Around The World in 80 Treasures

I have written 199 posts so far.

I was thinking of what to write for 200.

By happy coincidence, it has so happened that number 200 is also going to be the 1st post of 2016.

So, the pressure to choose an apt and good topic was immense.

I thought of writing about Deadpool – but decided I will write that to coincide with the release of the film.

I thought about writing about myself – a short introduction to Fat Uncle Cheapo if you will – but decided to write that for my birthday.

So keep you eyes peeled people, those two are coming up soon.

Also coming up in the next few months are

  • A post about the greatest kings of India – kings, not warlords/generals, there is a difference
  • A post about the best forts of India – this one is for Shailaja
  • A post critiquing the recent Star Wars movie
  • A post about UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • A post about my experience in coconut country
  • A post about my experience in Gujarat
  • A post about my experiences in Rajasthan
  • A post about my targets for visit now that the Indian UNESCO list is complete
  • A post about Royal Rumble
  • A post with critical analysis and ranking of the wrestlers in WWE today
  • A post about nudism
  • A post about tattoos
  • A post about tourism in Bong country
  • A post about video games
  • A post about Feluda
  • A post about Sherlock
  • A post about the i-League and
  • A post about Jyotika – for her birthday

 

So you lot have all that to look forward to

But for now, I decided to write about India

The most beautiful country in the world!!!

Here goes

 

You know Jules Verne.

That man was awesome.

Naturally I mean as an author; I have no idea nor do I care about his humanity or personality.

But as an author he was truly one of the greats, possibly one of the top 10 entertainers (European) of all time (along with our William, Sir Wodehouse, Sir Pratchett, Sir Doyle, Dame Christie, Mr Stevenson, Mr Tolkien, Uderzo and Gosciny…..anyone who mentions the words Thomas Hardy or Charles Dickens or Virginia Wolf or Russian literature and entertaining in the same sentence get s a boot up their arse….the only thing entertaining in any of that is a naked Kate Winslet in the film Jude the Obscure

And one of Monsieur Verne’s greatest works was Around the World in Eighty Days (not least because he could come up with names like (Phileas Fogg and Passepartout).

Let’s face it, unless you are one of those hoity toity, la-di-dahs, you love this book. You loved it the first time you read it, you still love it now when you read it.

Hey, its not for nothing that he is the second most translated author of all time (Agatha Christie is first, our William is 3rd, Lenin is 7th)

http://www.unesco.org/xtrans/bsstatexp.aspx?crit1L=5&nTyp=min&topN=50

The book remains a huge hit…and naturally has spawned many such similar ideas.

 

And one such idea was televised by the BBC. Dan Cruikshank decided to roam around the world in search of 80 treasures – basically historically or culturally significant places

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Around_the_World_in_80_Treasures

 

And that has inspired me to come up with my very own list.

But instead of the world, as I said in the introduction, I will focus on the greatest country in the world – my very own India.

India is a glorious country when it comes to its natural beauty or its history and architectural marvels. The only problem India has is Indians, otherwise its heaven on earth.

However, it was not always like that.

There was a time when Indians were the leaders in art, architecture, sculpture, science, medicine, astronomy, gastronomy etc etc etc (of course then the Indian Anti National Congress came into existence and we became a doomed species).

So, I decided to make a list of 80 must see places in India. These 80 places should be considered as national treasures. They should be unique and worthy of being the marvels of India, the wonders of India, the jewels of India, the treasures of India – natural, or man made.

So I started to make a list of 80 such wonders

And failed spectacularly and gloriously.

There was no way in effing hell I could complete the list with just 80 items – even though Kashmir is not considered since they don’t consider themselves to be Indians and the Taj Mahal is banned because its the effing Taj Mahal and deserves to be banned…https://fatunclecheapo.wordpress.com/2015/10/16/ban-the-taj-mahal/

But when there is a will there is a way.

I decided to make two lists

A shortened list of 80 and a longer list inclusive of all the greats.

 

The next problem I faced was in how to start the ranking. These places are all beautiful in their own way and who am I to say one is more beautiful than the other?

So I decided to do it geographically.

 

Imagine if you will good people, the Fat Uncle Cheapo taking a deep breath and going out of his house on an epic journey.

His companions – an insatiable wanderlust, some clothes, a suitcase full of his medicines and pillows, a few guidebooks, a camera and a laptop (and depending on the prevalent situation his crutch and all those orthopedic braces).

 

I start off from Kolkata, then I travel to South India via Orissa. I travel through the east coast, touch Kanyakumari, then come back up through the west coast. I pass through Jai Telengana land, then go to Maharashtra, Gujarat and then go up north. After covering Rajasthan, Punjab, Ladakh, HP, Uttarakhand, Delhi, UP, MP and Bihar, I come back to West Bangladesh and then I go to the north eastern states.

I come back to West Bangladesh and finish my journey at the greatest institution of India – Mohun Bagan.

Savvy?

And what do I see?

 

Shortened List 

  1. Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

A gargantuan memorial to Queen Victoria made of white marble with some wonderful maps and pictures of ancient Kolkata inside

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Memorial_(India)

 

2. Sunderbans

The Royal Bengal Tiger, nuff said

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sundarbans

https://fatunclecheapo.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/pale-parabola-of-joy/

 

3. Jagannath Temple, Puri

Abode of a living god

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagannath_Temple,_Puri

 

4. Konarak Temple

A UNESCO World Heritage site – an ancient temple designed like a chariot dedicated to the Sun

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konark_Sun_Temple

 

5. Rajarani Temple, Bhubaneshwar

The temple which started it all – and influenced Khajuraho

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajarani_Temple

 

6. Borra Caves, AP

The wonders of stalactites and stalagmites

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borra_Caves

 

7. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad

One of the top forts of Asia, never mind India

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golkonda#The_Fort

 

8. Charminar, Hyderabad

The symbol of Hyderabad

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charminar

 

9. Bidar Fort, Bidar

A hidden gem, a remnant of the long lost glory of the Bahmani Sultanate

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidar_Fort

 

10. Gol Gumbaaz, Bijapur

Another remnant of the Bahmani Sultanate; an archaeological marvel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gol_Gumbaz

 

11. Mammalapuram/Mahabalipuram

Ancient Pallava city, UNESCO World heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahabalipuram

 

12. Thanjavore

Ancient Chola city; UNESCO World heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanjavur

 

13. Madurai Meenakshi Temple

A 1500 year old temple about a goddess with 3 boobies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meenakshi_Amman_Temple

 

14. Kanya Kumari

Immortalized by Swami Vivekananda

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanyakumari

 

15. My temple, Trivandrum

https://fatunclecheapo.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/i-am-a-god/

 

16. Kovalam beach, Trivandrum

One of the cleanest and nicest beaches of India

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kovalam

 

17. Paradesi Synagogue, Cochin

The oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth group of nations

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradesi_Synagogue

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradesi_Jews#Last_remaining_Paradasi_Jews

 

18. Belur and Halebidu

Gems of Hoysala architecture

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belur

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halebidu

 

19. Shravanabelagola

A thousand year old statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali, a Jain pilgrimage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shravanabelagola

 

20. Pattadakal

A UNESCo World Heritage site; a marvel of Chalukya temple architecture (Badami is within a couple of hours away as a bonus)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattadakal

 

21. Vittalaswami Temple, Hampi

The greatest temple of the glorious city of the Vijayanagar kingdom; a temple unique in the world due to its musical abilities – the pillars make music people

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hampi

 

22. Basilica and churches, Panaji, Goa

Splendid remnants of Portuguese baroque architecture

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_of_Bom_Jesus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churches_and_convents_of_Goa

 

23. Elephanta Island

https://fatunclecheapo.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/journey-to-a-mysterious-island/

 

24. Victoria Terminus, Mumbai

Gargoyles

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chhatrapati_Shivaji_Terminus

 

25. Ellora

26. Ajanta

https://fatunclecheapo.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/a-is-for-ajanta-e-is-for-ellora-m-is-for-murder/

 

27. Rani ki Bhav, Patan

Gargantuan stepwell, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rani_ki_vav

 

28. Sun Temple, Modhera

1000 year old temple of the Solanki dynasty

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Temple,_Modhera

 

29. Palitana

Jain pilgrimage town with fantastic temples dotting a mountain

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palitana

 

30. Gandhi Ashram, Sabarmati

No description necessary

 

31. Lothal

Ancient Harappan city

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lothal

 

32. Rann of Kutch

Unique geographical feature, home to wild asses

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rann_of_Kutch

 

33. Gir Forest

Home of lions

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gir_Forest_National_Park

 

34. Dholavira

Ancient Harappan city

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dholavira

 

35. Champaner Pavagadh

A 500 year old city showcasing pre Mughal architecture, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Champaner-Pavagadh_Archaeological_Park

 

36. Chittaurgarh

Capital of Mewar, the most famous and tragic Rajput city of Rana Kumbha, Rani Padmavati, Gora, Badal, Jaimal and Putta, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chittorgarh

 

37. Kumbalgarh

Rana Pratap’s – one of India’s greatest sons – birthplace, 2nd largest wall in the world after Great Wall of China, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumbhalgarh

 

38. Ranakpur Jain Temple

Spectacular Jain temple

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranakpur

 

39. Dilwara Jain Temple

Stunning marble temples

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilwara_Temples

 

40. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur 

The best fort of India with a fantastic museum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehrangarh_Fort

 

41. Jaisalmer Fort

1000 year old Sonar Kella for lovers of Feluda, UNESCO World heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaisalmer_Fort

 

42. Karni Mata Temple, Bikaner 

The temple of rats

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karni_Mata_Temple

 

43. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Ancient astronomical observatory, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jantar_Mantar_(Jaipur)

 

44. Amber Fort, Jaipur 

One of the largest forts of India, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amer_Fort

 

45. Golden Temple, Amritsar 

Holy site for the Sikhs, world’s largest langar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmandir_Sahib

 

46. Leh Palace, Leh

500 year old palace built like the Potala palace

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leh_Palace

 

47. Hemis monastery and National Park, Ladakh

1000 year old monastery

Natoinal park and home of the Snow leopard

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemis_National_Park

 

48. Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Home of the Dalai Lama

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharamsala

 

49. Shimla Railway

Mountail railway with beautiful views, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalka%E2%80%93Shimla_Railway

 

50. Great Himlayan National Park, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh

Home ot more than 375 fauna and numerous flora, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Himalayan_National_Park

 

51. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand  

Home to numerous flora and fauna, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_of_Flowers_National_Park

 

52. Qutb Minar, Delhi

Tallest brick minaret in the world, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qutb_Minar

 

53. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

2nd best Mughal tomb, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humayun%27s_Tomb

 

54. Lotus Temple, Delhi

Bahai temple renowned for its architecture

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Temple

 

55. Agra Fort

Historic Mughal fort, UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agra_Fort

 

56. Tomb of Itimad ud Daulah, Agra 

The best Mughal tomb of them all

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_I%27tim%C4%81d-ud-Daulah

 

57. Fatehpur Sikri

Historic Mughal city, UNESCO World Heritage site, dargah of famous Sufi saint

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatehpur_Sikri

 

58. Kedarnath Temple, Uttaranchal

The temple with the best scenic beauty, one of the Char Dhams of Hinduism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kedarnath

 

59. Badrinath, Uttaranchal

One of the Char Dhams of Hinduism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badrinath_Temple

 

60. Har ki Pauri, Haridwar

One of the holiest sites of Hinduism, famous for spiritual artis (non Hindus and atheists can enjoy the Ganges)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Har_Ki_Pauri

 

61. Patanjali University, Haridwar

The world’s only ayurveda university and hospital, plus India’s fastest growing company

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patanjali_Ayurved

 

62. Rishikesh

City of yoga, spirituality, mysticism and water based adventure sports

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rishikesh

 

63. Bhimbetka, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

Paleolithic site with ancient rock paintings; UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhimbetka_rock_shelters

 

64. Sanchi Stupa, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh 

Great Buddhist stupa; UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanchi

 

65. Marble Rocks, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marble_Rocks

 

66. Orchcha

Historic city of the Bundelas with marvelous palaces, temples and cenotaphs’ bonus vultures

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchha_State

 

67. Bhoolbhulaiya, Bara Imambara, Lucknow

One of the grandest and most beautiful buildings in India with a fantastic maze

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bara_Imambara

 

68. Residency, Lucknow 

Steeped in history of the 1857 mutiny, has the power to take you to the bygone days

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Residency_Lucknow

 

69. Ghats, Kashi/Varanasi

Living breathing history, one of the holiest sites of Hinduism (bonus – best rabri on the planet)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varanasi

 

70. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

Chandela architecture; world famous for the “erotic” art (sadly very few people know of the actual history and symbolism behind it or the fact that the erotic stuff is only 10% of the total art of the area and era); UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khajuraho_Group_of_Monuments

 

71. Bodh Gaya, Bihar

Holiest site of Buddhism – Gautama attained moksha and became the Buddha here; UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodh_Gaya

https://fatunclecheapo.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/om-mani-padme-humanity/

 

72. Nalanda, Bihar

2000 year old university

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalanda

 

73. Darjeeling Mountain Railways

UNESCO World Heritage site

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darjeeling_Himalayan_Railway

 

74. Darjeeling Tea Estates

World’s most famous tea gardens, without them there would be no British empire

https://fatunclecheapo.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/the-hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-mamata/

 

75. Kajiranga Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam 

Home of the rhinos

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaziranga_National_Park

 

76. Tawang Monastery, Arunachal Pradesh

Second largest Buddhist monastery in the world

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawang_Town

 

77. Living Root Bridges, Meghalaya

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_root_bridges

 

78. Umngot River, Dwaki

Cleanest river of them all

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawki

 

79. Unokoti, Tripura

Gigantic rock carvings of the Hindu pantheon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unakoti

 

80. Bishnupur, West Bengal

Terracotta temples

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishnupur,_Bankura

 

And of course, the best of them all

Mohun Bagan Athletic Club, the grandest, glorious and most beautiful man made structure and institution in India.

 

And just in case you are wondering, I have been to more than 60 of those already. Before I become completely paralyzed, I will go to the others as well.

Of course, in case any of you feel like sponsoring/inviting me over, I have no problems going to the places where I have already been.

Hell, I don’t even mind actually going through this journey at the same stretch. By my calculations, it would take around 2.5 months.

Anyone interested, por favor?

 

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2 thoughts on “Around The World in 80 Treasures

  1. Nice list…I’ve only been to around 15 or 16 of these places. Would love to travel with you again sometime, probably to go to one of the more obvious places that I haven’t been to (ajanta-ellora comes to mind). Alternatively, we could go to one of the places you haven’t been yet. What do you say?

    On another note, number 61 seemed an odd entry. All others seem to be about natural or architectural beauty, and a lot of them have some historical significance as well. So Patanjali University looks a bit of an outlier here. Did you see something specific while you were there that impressed you?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. See 61 is there because of its uniqueness. Its a ginormous compound full of big statues of the ancient medical practitioners like Sushrusha and Patanjali and many others. You won’t ind those anywhere else.

    Like

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