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Sanchi Stupa (Madhya Pradesh)

Just an hour’s drive from the bustling city of Bhopal lies oldest stone structure in India. Considered one of the most important Buddhist sites in the world, the Sanchi Stupa with its exquisite carvings of the famed Jataka tales on the stone pillars has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many other ancient Buddhist monuments in the area that include stupas, temples, monasteries and pillars. All those date back to somewhere between third century BC and twelfth century AD. They were commissioned by Mauryan emperor Ashoka in the honour of Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

Oldest historical structures in India known for their exquisite architecture

Our ancient roots dating back to hundreds of centuries is not something we ponder over too frequently. But if at all we do, the sheer richness and diversity of our history is bound to leave us spellbound. With primitive tools and calculation methods in a time when modern day building materials and technology was unimaginable, our forefathers built temples and cities that have survived till date.

Such ancient structures, which once formed the nerve-centre of trade, education, religion or culture, bowl us over with their engineering ingenuity, sculpture and designs even in this modern era of science and technology. We list some such oldest architectural marvels we can proudly look back to and call our own in this I-day special.