India has a rich history and a lot of it is left in the form of broken monuments and ruined structures. There is a beauty about these ruins, these unfinished structures that keeps me intrigued and I have spent a large part of my travels trying to discover more of it. Trying to discover broken architecture is like trailing a travel map. From South to North you can make a huge map marking the location of these structures.
Danushkodi is the last village of India. Located on the Indo-Sri Lankan border, Dhanushkodi was destroyed in the cyclones of the 60s. Today the broken houses, a church and other structures remind of what was lost in that calamity. Today Dhanushkodi exists as a ghost town, with a few fishermen coming here during the day time.
Holy Rosary Church, Shettihalli
Shettyhalli’s Holy Rosary Church is one of the most intriguing structures I have seen during my travels. A church built in 1860 started to fall apart after the government decided to build a dam nearby. Today Shettyhalli church stands in ruins, but as an imposing structure. Every year the church drowns in the flooding river and emerges after the flood level goes down. I don’t think there is any monument that depicts the human struggle of survival in a more accurate way.
Karnataka has a rich history with a number of dynasties that came to rule and left. Hampi was the kingdom of Vijayanagar empire and they built huge imposing structures in their capital Hampi. The rocks for the buildings were brought by the elephants and while today many of these buildings exists in the way they were constructed, others have fallen down and now exist only as ruins. Today Hampi thrives in a hippie culture and invites travelers from every part of the world.
Another example of once a thriving empire in Karnataka of the Chalukyas, Badami and Pattadkal speak of the glorious history through the ruins. Badami caves are famous for the carvings and statues. Ruins are scattered across the town of Badami that tell you about the glorious kingdom thrived in the era of Chalukyas. Apart from the caves you can also find 18th century tombs in the town.
Chitradurga fort is a beautiful fort complex hidden in a small town located on NH14. The fort is an excellent example of ancient war tactics as there are countless sharp right turns before you enter the main fort complex.
Fort Chapora, Goa
Fort Chapora is accessible by a small trek from Vagator beach. This fort is an ode to solo female travelers. The story says that back in the days when solo traveling was not allowed to the Portuguese women, one woman traveled the world on her own. She disguised herself as a man and when she arrived Goa, she was caught and executed. She set an example of bravery to the coming generations of solo female travelers.
Elephanta Caves, Mumbai
Elephanta is located on Gharapuri Island in Mumbai’s harbor. It is scattered over 60,000 square feet of area and is filled with beautiful sculptural pieces depicting various Hindu gods and goddesses. The premise was once used by The Portuguese as a target practice area and because of that a majority of area stands in ruins. Today Elephanta faces troubles from the Indian tourists themselves who have left their symbol of love on every wall and corner.
Lohagadh and Sinhgad Fort
The region of Mumbai and Pune have some amazing fort treks. Lohagadh and Sinhgad Forts are the prime examples of Maratha defense system and two of the most amazing monsoon treks. The views of the Western Ghats str simply astounding. Although, beware of the leeches when you are trekking here.
Ruins of Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad has a rich history if rise and fall of kingdoms. The Old Ahmedabad area thrives with structures and buildings built by the king Ahmed Shah and his descendants. The Ahmadabad city was protected by walls and there were a number of gates namely Dilli Gate, Laal Darwaza, Bhadra gate, Ram gate etc. Most of it stands in ruins but it is very easy to spot the broken structures scattered across the city.
This ends the part one of the ruins trail of India. I’ll compile the rest of the list and publish it soon.
Do let me know what did you think about this post in the comments section.