India is known all over the world for its ancient civilization and rich culture and heritage. It has a number of ancient cities, which continue to attract and inspire awe among people interested in history and evolution of civilizations, which is why these cities are thronged by tourists from around the world throughout the year.
Here is a list of top 10 ancient cities in India:
Kurukshetra is one of the most ancient cities in India, which is the place where the battle of Mahabharata took place between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Lord Krishna gave the sermon of Bhagvad Gita here. Located in Haryana, the city holds great significance for performing the last rites of the dead in Hinduism.
Kalibangan is a city of great significance in the ancient history and culture in India s it is the capital of the famous Indian Valley Civilization. The excavations at the location led to discovery of unique fire altars as well as the first ploughed field in the world.
The next name among the most ancient cities in India is that of Pushkar in Rajasthan. The city has the Pushkar Lake and Brahma Temple, which is one of the very few in the world. It hosts the famous Pushkar Mela every year, which attracts a large number of domestic and international tourists every year.
Another noted ancient city in India is Kannauj, which was originally the capital city of Emperor Harshavardhan, besides being the home of three other dynasties called Gurjara Pratiharas, Rashtrakutas and Palas, in the period of 8th-10th century. The city is known for a booming business of perfumery.
Somnath in Gujarat is another city recognized for its religious and historical significance. It is the home to one of the 12 jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, which makes it a legend according to the Shiv Mahapuran.
Featuring next on the list of top 10 ancient cities in India is Madurai, one of the biggest cities in Tamil Nadu, which is located on the banks of Vaigai River. The city is the home of the Meenakshi Temple, which is a famous symbol of architectural glory of India.
Patna, which was called Pataliputra in ancient times, is another name on the list of oldest cities in the country. Lying on the banks of River Ganges, the city used to serve as the capital of the age old Magadha Empire. The city has numerous religious destinations in its vicinity such as Bodh Gaya, Nalanda and Vaishali.
The holy city of Ujjain lies on the banks of River Kshipra and is believed to be the capital of Avanti kingdom in the legend of Mahabharata. The city is known for the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, which is one of the jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. It is also the venue of the world famous Kumbh Mela, which is organized once in every 12 years.
Next among the ancient cities of India is the birth place of Lord Rama, Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. It is believed that the city was founded by Manu some 9000 years ago and it is considered as one of the seven sacred cities in India as per the ancient Puranas. The city also holds an important position in Jain religion.
One of the oldest cities in the country and the world is Varanasi or Banaras, which lies on the banks of the holy River Ganges. Also called the “City of Temples”, this sacred city is revered as the religious capital of the country and houses thousands of temples, including the world famous Kashi Vishwanath temple. It has been recognized as center of learning with prominent institutions such as Banaras Hindu University and Kashi Vidyapeeth.
Some other major ancient cities in India are Sravasti, Dwarka and Thanjavur. These ancient cities are centers of attraction for historians and people around the world.