As the world pandemic continues to keep the world at a halt, we are far away from planning a dream vacation. These unforeseen circumstances have brought travel to a still, making enthusiastic and adventurous travelers think about how and where to travel when situations begin to improve. Don’t lose hope; we’re making it easy by recommending some places to visit after these hard times. Pack your bags, put on your travel suit, and get ready to discover some amazing places to travel!
India is a mysterious land full of treasures. So many unexplored places and more than 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites waiting for us to ditch international vacations and traverse the Indian lands. Join me on my journey as I list down the place’s architects must visit after the lockdown.
Being from Chandigarh, I have visited all the beautiful parts of the city and I encourage all the architectural enthusiasts in India to visit this city once. The best way to learn about architectural instincts of Le Corbusier and a magnificent example of town planning, you can learn a lot! Capitol Complex, the head of the city, has been recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage sites list in 2016.
A recently annexed state, which was independent until 1975, Sikkim is a beauty with lush green forests, untouched tranquil waters, rich historical structures, and stories and not to forget the magnificent views of the Kanchenjunga. These mountain ranges house a variety of flora and fauna and you need to dig deeper into the small towns to experience these natural wonders. The most commonly visited places are Gangtok, the capital, Pelling, Lachen, Lachung, and Ravangla. From Buddhist monasteries to adventurous treks, this state has a lot to offer.
Another mesmerizing North-Eastern beauty, Meghalaya is home to many off-beat hamlets you might want to explore. This lockdown has made us all appreciate nature in ways we didn’t even know we could. So why not explore these natural beauties like Dawki, Mawlynnong, and Laitmawsiang. The small village of Mawlynnong has accomplished in using local material like Bamboo to keep it clean and also attract people to see the true colors of Asia. Interested in trekking or hiking? Cherrapunji is the go-to spot for you all adventure heads!
4. PATAN, GUJARAT
Added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 2014, Rani kiVav (Queen’s Stepwell) is located on the banks of river Saraswati in the city of Patan. The town of Patan is famous for this exquisite architectural marvel which not only demonstrates distinctive craftsmanship but is also an idiosyncratic form of water resource and storage system. It is a Nanda- type step well that goes around 28 meters deep with seven levels of intricate sculptures and ornamentations on all walls, beams, columns, and pillars. It’s a treat to the eyes to see more than 500 sculptural marvels beneath the earth.
5. TAKTHOK MONASTERY, LADAKH
Looking for the perfect road trip location and opportunity? Ladakh comes as a savior. It has so many monasteries, lakes, and picturesque locations that one can never get enough! But as the lockdown will begin to be lifted, people will prefer to take the road than the air or tracks. Out of the many monasteries, you can visit, I recommend you to surely visit the TakThok monastery, almost 50kms from Leh. This monastery is one architectural marvel as all the construction of walls and roof has been done in rocks. The library of this monastery holds 108 volumes of the teachings of Buddha which also attracts the spiritual heads to this place!
6. CHOPTA VALLEY, UTTARAKHAND
This valley is the trekker’s nirvana! Numerous treks start from this base point like Tugnananth, Chandrashila, etc. although quite popular in the traveler community; this place is nothing like a typical tourist spot. It gives you the much-needed break from the hustle of a city; in our case, it would give us the much-needed break from lockdown and also promise some momentous scaling of our limits.
7. MANDU, MADHYA PRADESH
Home to the thrilling love story of Rani Roopmati and Sultan Baz Bahadur, this is an ancient town located in the Malwa district of Madhya Pradesh. The striking Afghan architecture and the Baobab trees surrounding them are a keen area of interest to visit. When here, do visit the famous Jahaz Mahal, which looks like a floating boat between twin lakes. Other places to see here are the Rani Roopmati Pavilion, Hindola Mahal, Mandu Fort, Jami Masjid, and a lot more marvelous structures. Not to forget the gateways through which you enter this city.
8. AUROVILLE, TAMIL NADU
I’m sure almost every architect knows about Auroville. It is a must-go for every architect to learn about sustainable living and the future. It is more of an experiment towards a progressive harmony in diversity; also to find inner peace and connect with the soul rather than the material desires or passions we have. People from all across the globe come and stay here for spiritual awakening and learning new techniques of construction like CSEB Blocks, etc. They have workshops open to all, all year round. Spare a few days for this one to get the best Auroville has to offer.
9. VIRASAT-E-KHALSA, ANANDPUR SAHIB (PUNJAB)
A recent addition to the Sikh cultural heritage, this place is a treat for people interested in Sikh history and culture. Completed and opened in 2011 for the public, this monument was built to commemorate 300 years to the founding of the Khalsa Panth by the 10th Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is a one day visit and an almost two-hour drive from Chandigarh. The complex is in two parts connected by a long bridge above a gorge.
10. HAMPI, KARNATAKA
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi is a must-visit for all those architectural enthusiasts out there. Spread over 4100 acres, it is a group of remains of monuments from the 1500 CE. This place is a historical delight for backpackers and architects on the go!
I hope you guys would take the time to read and also visit these places once things get better. Stay home. Stay Safe guys for now!