Top five disappearing places

Race against time


February 15, 2020

/ By / Kolkata

(picture credit: Wikipedia)

These locations might not be dying but like Venice, they are incurably sick. 

It is hardly an exaggeration to say the Indian civilisation is one of the oldest in the world. The subcontinent has witnessed different eras of history, different emperors, dynasties and they have all left their mark. Older civilisations are usually filled with such relics with historic and cultural value, that is preserved right they have the potential to fetch a lot of tourism for the city or even the country. Rome is a primary example of it. The city of Rome is filled with relics that were preserved by the government, the people and now serve as a major tourist destination. These are the top five destinations in India that have immense historical value but sadly as getting corroded by nature and negligence of human beings:

Ajanta and Ellora caves, Maharashtra 

(picture credit: On a cheap Trip)

Ajanta may not be dying yet, but like Venice, it is incurably sick. The unique cave paintings of Ajanta and Ellora which, for over a century, have awed visitors from all over the world are rapidly becoming a tragic monument to archaeological neglect. The condition of the famous Buddhist cave paintings has visibly deteriorated over the recent years and even though the caves – one of the world’s oldest monasteries – have been on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the historic works of ancient Indian art are being starved of the expert attention they urgently require. The paintings in these caves are getting destroyed because of rainwater, humidity and negligence. Though the government is trying their best to restore and preserve them there are caves where the paintings are almost gone.

Udayagiri caves, Odisha

(picture credit: Flickr)

It was due to the Kalinga War that Ashoka gave state patronage to Buddhism and propagated it worldwide, making it a popular religion all over Asia. Not far from Bhubaneshwar in Odisha is Dhauli, the site of the Kalinga War and Ashoka’s remorse thereafter. On the way to the summit where a pristine white stupa now stands, the Ashokan edicts engraved on rocks could be seen in the past. Now, most of these have disappeared, corroded by nature and time or simply defaced and broken by visitors to the site. Ashoka’s repentance after the war made Dhauli a major centre of Hinayana Buddhism. One can find several small caves made for the sramanas (wandering monks), most popular being the Panch Pandava Gumpha. Though Udayagiri, Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri are the most popular Buddhist sites in Odisha, several Buddhist caves are also found in Jaipur district of Odisha. Just a decade-old discovery is the cave-site of Langudi and Kayam hills that dates to 1st-century BCE-3rd century CE. There are 40 rock-cut caves spread across the hills of Langudi, Vajragiri, Kayama, Deuli, Tarapur, Neulpur, and Kantigadia hills. The site is of such cultural elements but sadly the natural elements are corroding it. The bacteria is the main reason this structure is getting destroyed, the acid that bacteria produces from their cell wall when in contact with the rocks act as a catalyst of erosion

Hampi, Karnataka

(picture credit: Wikipedia)

Spread across 25 sqkm, once the capital of the prosperous kingdom of Vijaynagar, the ruins of Hampi are yet another UNESCO World Heritage sites. Sitting between hundreds or boulders and rocks, there are numerous famous temples such as Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Vithala Temple, Achyut Raya temple among others, there are also the remains statutes, Royal Enclosures, Queen’s Bath. Hampi was destroyed when the Vijaynagar empire came crashing down. Now this abandoned town is in ruins being eroded slowly by the natural elements.

Basgo, Ladakh

(picture credit: Wikipedia)

The Basgo fort overlooking the serene Indus River in Ladakh separated the lower and upper Ladakh which was once a very important cultural and political centre as it was the seat of the royal ruling family Namgyal. Just adjacent to the place, are three temples all dedicated to different forms of Budhha and the goddess Maitreyi. Unfortunately, the site is getting eroded by the natural elements.

Rosary Church, Karnataka

(picture credit: Youtube)

This submerging and emerging wonder of Incredible India is truly is a marvel in itself. The birth of the Rosary Church, Shettihalli, dated back to the 1860s and rests on the banks of Hemavathi River near Hassan. One can never see this fascinating structure in a piece as this beautiful church built by French Missionaries, is said to submerge during the rains and emerge again once the water recedes. However, repeated flooding has taken its toll and a truly gothic piece of with historical significance could soon crumble to dust. Water is the main reason this church is getting destroyed. As it is a submerging structure, the base of the building is getting washed away by water.

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