Intach at HolidayIQ™


Meet the Winners!

HolidayIQ in collaboration with INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage)
organised a 4 month long campaign to find out the #NextBigHeritageDestination!

As part of this campaign, HolidayIQ got hundreds of entries on lesser known Heritage destinations & attractions from across the
country, thereby consolidating our position as the place to find unique places to explore. A jury comprising of INTACH and HolidayIQ
selected the final winners! Happy Heritage Holidays!

1st Prize: By Puri Jaganathan

Chandravalli Subterranean Caves

Chitradurga District, Karnataka

Chitradurga comes from the word Chitrakaldurga which in Kannada means picturesque fort. The town, which takes its name from the marvellous fort it houses, has many other treasures apart from the famous fort. Chandravalli is one such treasure. Located just 3km from the fort, Chandravalli is a valley formed by three hills. There is a subterranean monastery called Ankali Mutt which is semilunar in shape (hence the name Chandravalli) and is located between two monoliths.

The monastery was inhabited from the Iron Age onwards. Buddhist, Jain, Shaiva and Veerashaiva monks have occupied Chandravalli. Archaeological findings show that rulers from many dynasties like Chalukya, Hoysala and Kadamba used these caves. Chandravalli is also a prehistoric site.

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2nd Prize: By Sandeep Gupta



Unakoti hill hosts an ancient Shaivite place of worship with countless huge rock reliefs celebrating Shiva. It is the prime tourist spot of Unakoti in the Kailashahar Subdivision in the North-eastern Indian state of Tripura. The government of India has approached to UNESCO to declare it as a world heritage site.

Legend 1
Accoring to this version, Lord Shiva and his entourage were headed towards his heavenly abode, Kailash, when they decided to spend the night at Kailashahar ,10km downhill from Unakoti. He warned his fellow travellers that they would have to leave before dawn, but after a night of revelry, Shiva was the only one who woke up on time. Known for his short temper, Shiva cursed the late sleepers to an eternity on Earth and walked off to Kailash in a huff. The entourage now adorns the hills of Unakoti as reliefs.

Legend 2

According to another version, the images have been carved by a sculptor called Kallu Kumhar. He was a great devotee of Parvati, so when Shiva-Parvati and their entourage were passing through this region en route Kailash, there are some who say Kallu Kumhar asked to accompany them. Shiva was wary of this proposition, so Parvati came up with a solution. She suggested that the sculptor make 1,00,00,000 images of Shiva to appease him and his entourage overnight, and should he be able to do so, he would accompany them. As the sun rose the next day, he fell just one short of a crore and that gave Shiva, the reason he needed to leave Kallu Kumhar behind.

These wonderful rock monuments are located at a marvelously landscaped forest area with green plants all around which adds to the loveliness of the monuments, frescos with their pre-historic attractiveness. Waterfalls at the site are not to be overlooked.

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3rd Prize: By Abhishek Misra

Neelkanth Temple, Kalinjar Fort

Banda, Uttar Pradesh

Neelkanth Temple is Lord Shiva's temple located on overhang of Kalinjar Fort in Banda District of Uttar Pradesh. It is said that after the great Samudra manthan, (Ocean Churning), Siva had consumed "Visha" and held it at his throat. Such was his prowess. His throat became blue with inflammation and hence the name Neelkanth. It was here that Shiva found relief from the agony of his sacrifice. The fort is called Kalinjar, because they say that Shiva had slayed Kaal( Time) here( and achieved Timelessness, the Turiya state). Majestic and profound, this place is a promising discovery. It is said that the mighty Sher Shah Suri, breathed his last here. The relics have both mughal as well as pre mughal structures. The fort was at its zenith under the Chandelas in 1020 AD

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Consolation Prize: By Rashmi S


Gadag District, Karnataka

Sudi is a panchayat town in the Gadag District of Karnataka, India. In the past, it was an important town of the Kalyani Chalukyas during 1000 AD. It is famous for rare stone carved monuments like Twin towered temple, Mallikarjuna temple, Nagakunda (large well built of stone and carvings) and few other structural temples.

Sudi belongs to the core area of Western Chalukya architectural activity in modern Karnataka (particularly North Karnataka). Padevala Taila (son of Nagadeva), continued to serve under Satyasraya (succeeded his father Taila in 997 AD) and his mother Attiyabbe made a grant in 1005 A.D. Satyasraya had two daughters. Vradhamabbarasi and Akkadevi and one son Kundin (Kundiraja). Akkadevi was a good administrator and was governing some division during the time of Satyasraya and his successors. Kundiraja was placed in charge of divisions like Banavasi and Santalige. Akkadevi and Kundin, continued to govern some provinces of the Chalukya Empire during the reign of Vikramaditya.

Sudi was the capital of the Kalyani Chalukyas in 1100 AD. Kalyani Chalukyas king's daughter Akkadevi ruled the place. There are also historical records indicating that coins were manufactured in this town during that time.

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Consolation Prize: By Ishan Kathane


Ahmednagar, Maharashtra

Saptatirth Pushkarni, Kedareshwar Cave, Konkan Kada, Taramati Peak, Temple of Harrishchandreshwar. Harishchandragad is a hill fort in the Ahmednagar district of India. Its history is linked with that of Malshej Ghat, kothale village and it has played a major role in guarding and controlling the surrounding region. Its origin is said to have been in 6th century, during the rule of Kalchuri dynasty. The citadel was built during this era. The various caves probably have been carved out in the 11th century. Though the cliffs are named Taramati and Rohidas, these caves consists idols of Lord Vishnu and Lord Ganesh .

Great sage Changdev (one who created the epic "Tatvasaar"), used to meditate here in 14th century. The caves are from the same period. The various constructions on the fort and those existing the surrounding region point to the existence of diverse cultures here. The carvings on the temples of Nageshwar (in Khireshwar village), in the Harishchandreshwar temple and in the cave of Kedareshwar indicate that the fort belongs to the medieval period (since it is related to Shaiva, Shakta or Naath).

Later the fort was under the control of Moghuls. The Marathas captured it in 1747. The last warrior named Joshi became a martyr in the fight against English in 1818.

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By Dibakar Singha

The Palace of Koch kings

Coochbehar , West Bengal

The early history of Cooch Behar has to be sought in the history of Assam. In early times, the territory was known as Pragjyotisha, which is mentioned in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. It appears that the western part of the original territory of Pragjyotisha came to be known as Kamarupa in later times. Kamarupa remained under the suzerainty of the Guptas and Palas for some time. According to tradition, Kamarupa was conquered by Muslim Army in A.D.1498, but they could not keep the kingdom for long. After the expulsion of the Muslim army the Kamta kingdom was engulfed in anarchy. During that period, rise of Koch king started.

Classical European style of Italian Renaissance, this magnificent palace was built by the famous Koch king Maharaja Nripendra Narayan in 1887. Raised on a basement of 1.5 metres in height, this double storied brick building covers an area of 4768 square metres. It extends 120 metres from north to south and 90 metres from east to west. The frontal facade consists of a series of arches resting by an alternate arrangement of narrow and broad piers to contain single and double Corinthian plasters respectively.

A porch is projected in the centre to provide main entrance to the building through Durbar Hall.

Among the tourist attractions in Cooch Behar, what strikes first in our mind is the Rajbari or the palace of the Kings and the adjoining royal buildings as well as the endless royal facts & stories. In fact, apart from being the place of Raj (monarchy), the district captures bygone glorious past in the moods of local people even today. The peace loving people of Cooch Behar even boast of this beautiful city where the Maharajas (kings) used to stay and never tires, if not laments in excitement, narrating the Raj stories.

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By Prakash Manjrekar

Bhimsen Cave (Bhiyadant)

Near Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh

The Bhimsen caves are located at a distance of 25 kilometres from Chanderi in Bhiyadant village, on the banks of the Aur/Urvashi River. These caves are popular within both Jain and Hindu pilgrims. This site consists of ancient rock-cut caves which have been further carved with the images of Jain Tirthankara (Lord Rishabhdev) and Hindu gods (Brahma, Shiva, Varaha & Uma Maheshwar). An inscription dated back to A.D. 942 has been found which names Vinayakpal, as the then king of the region.

Of particular interest is a sculpture of the Hindu god, Brahma, carved inside a cavity on the rock face. The Brahma images are very rarely found carved and depicted.

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By Himani Medatwal

Taragarh Fort

Bundi, Rajasthan

Bundi Palace (Garh Palace), Taragarh Fort, step wells (baoris) and beautiful havelis are some of the key rich heritage sites scattered across Bundi.

Raniji Ki Baori (The Queen’s Step-Well) Bundi is also known as the city of step-wells. It has about fifty beautiful step-wells and tanks called Baoris. Raniji ki Baori is situated along a busy chowk area of Bundi and is best among all because of its architectural beauty.

As we know, Rajasthan is famous for its historical architectures and among these, Bundi fort is a historical place that says about the bravery of kings.

From the top of the hill, You will get scenic view of Bundi city. Many of the houses are painted with the blue colour, giving it an another name of “Blue City of Rajasthan”. You can shoot Bundi city from the fort and that is the main reason why the fort is worth visiting.

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By Swati Chakraborty



Gopalpur has an ancient port which was used for commercial trading purpose by British East India Company. The port is now lying in ruins and history which was once famous as a trading point.

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By Shikha Sharma

Somnathpur temple

Somnathpur, Karnataka

Somnathpur temple is in town of Somnathpur which is 35Kms away from the city of Mysore in Karnataka State, India. Its a temple of Lord Keshava or Kesava, incarnation of Lord Krishna. This Hoysala architecture temple is in very well maintained state and the sculptures are very vivid and lively. Its a star shaped temple. Somnathpur temple was constructed in A.D. 1268 during the reign of Narsimha III by his army general "Somnath", hence the name of temple is named after him. The temple is the best preserved monument of Hoysala architecture.

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By Shashikala Kataria

Sojat city

Pali, Rajasthan

There’s an old fort of Sojat and many Mehndi (Henna) farms in this historical city. The fort has a big reservoir and several temples like Sejal Mata, Chaturbhuj and so on. There is also an old temple of Chamunda Mata situated on top of one of the hillock. Sojat city of Marwar region (Jodhpur empire) is situated on the left bank of the Sukri River in Pali district India. It was earlier known as Tamravati Nagri (in the ancient times) . There is also a large and famous fort situated on top of one of the hillocks.

Sojat, also called Henna City (Mehndi Nagri), is India's largest henna cultivating and producing city. Henna produced in this region is popular all over the world as "Rajasthani Henna". It imparts rich dark reddish colour on hands and feet and also acts as a good natural conditioner for hair. Due to its favourable climatic conditions, Sojat is the only region in India where henna is grown and exported worldwide: about 90% of the henna produced in this region is exported to about 130 countries.

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By Nivedha Selvaraj

Veerabhadra Swamy Temple

Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh

Hidden in a small village in Anantapur, Lepakshi is a culturally and archaeologically significant place. Built during Vijayanagara Kingâ period, the priceless Veerabhadra Swamy Temple in Lepakshi is perched on a tortoise shaped hill called the Kurma Saila. The architecture dates back to 16th century and is a feast to art and history lovers. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Veerabhadra and has beautifully carved inscriptions on each pillar. Every pillar has a unique carving on it that makes any art lover rejoice with happiness. The Nandi is 4.5 m high and 8.2 m long and has been positioned in a place facing the Shivalinga, which is inside the temple. The architecture of the temple is an epitome of sheer brilliance. The hanging pillar in the temple premises stands as a testament to that. It is a wonder to witness such magnificence. Was it the invasion, famine or just pure jealousy that stopped the completion of the open air Kalayana Mandapa, only Nandi, which is outside the temple acts as the sole witness to what had happened 5 centuries back.

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By Ratnesh Mathur


Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh

India's largest town from 800 BCE to 400 CE - Ahichhatra, the Capital of Panchalas, is the second most mentioned city of the Mahabharata. It is birthplace of Draupadi & capital of King Drupada, whose friend Dronacharya takes offence & relocates to Gurgaon. Ahichhatra's name remains unchanged but its now considered a village. Just 3.5 hours drive from New Delhi & 1.5 hours from the famous, Hastinapur, It has 2 stunning large Stupa-like structures & its city walls intact, much older than the Nalanda ruins of Bihar. Ahichhatra, the capital of the Panchalas finds mention in the Buddha's 16 Mahajanapadas as an important location where he gave an important sermon & 4 of the important Upanishads of the Vedas, refer to the writer suggesting that this was his hometown.

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By Soumya Pandey

Krishna Nadi Temple,

Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra

Krishna River Temple is located in Mahabaleshwar district of Maharashtra. This temple marks the origination of Krishna river and dates back to 3000 years history. Only ruins of the temple are left that fascinates the imagination of history lovers. The entire place surrounds the gush sound of various small water outlets coming together to form the beginning of the holy river Krishna. Temple adorns Lord Shiva idol which is also very old. One can touch the water and surrender to its purity of this place.

It dates back to 3000 years. The scenic beauty in front of the temple facing the mountains and vast river itself conjures the presence of Lord Shiva.

Great place to visit in Monsoon. Please visit for a lifetime experience.

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By Swaminathan Natarajan

Kalleshwara Temple

Aralaguppe, Tumkur Karnataka

Kalleshwara Temple - One of the best and rare specimen from the house of Nolambas. The Uma-Sahitha idol is one of its kind and the embrace of Shiva. Shy looking Parvati is a feat of creative thinking of the sculptor.

In the shrine of Kalleshwara Linga, the most beautiful Ashtadikapalika Panel on the ceiling awaits the visitors. Just look up and you will see a 3D print kind of protruding, Tandeveswara panel with flying celestials and musicians.

One will be awestruck and sad. Sad at the state of negligence, this monument faces as a tourism destination . Hope this contest will help it reach the masses.

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By Pritesh khare

Bhartari Caves

Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

Bhartari Cave is located at Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. It is a very deep cave where you wont feel oxygen when you are completely inside the cave. There are many other untold stories that are related to this place.

It is spiritually very known place but still not so known among the masses.

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By Monica Saxena


Datia district, Madhya Pradesh

Seondha is a serene heritage on the banks of Kali Sindh, a tributary of Yamuna. It has a dazzling wide waterfall surrounded by sedimentry brown rocks, one of its own kind. Boating through its rocky water tunnel is a mesmerizing experience. A modern architecture, a ship shape fort beside the river is an enchanting to the soul. Its close connectivity with Ratangarh Devi Ma enhances its religious importance. Its diverse flora and fauna adds to its magnificence. The Bundeli culture and cuisine makes it magnanimous.

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By Ranganath kampli


Bellary District, Karnataka

The Sandur Heritage has numerous view points like Sandur Nari halla lake, Kumara swamy Temple at Doni Malai, Daroji Lake and Bear Sanctuary. The Sandur city is the taluq of Bellary District.

Sandur, Daroji, Donimalai are in the range of within 40 Kms.

Cultural Kumara Swamy Temple, Ubbalagandi falls, Veerabadreshwara Temple are located on Daroji lake.

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By Vishnu Sreenivasa


Kolar, Karnataka

Avani is the birthplace of Lava and Kusha. There is a historical temple of Ramalingeshwara in the Chola architecture. The speciality of this temple is the 6 feet tall Linga. There is also Avani hill behind the temple. People can go for trekking if the weather is pleasant.

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By Prashant Bhat

Chaturmukha Basadi

Honnavar Taluk, Karnataka

Chaturmukha Basadi is located near Gerusoppa in Honnavar taluk Uttar kannada district. To reach there you need to walk through a dense forest of about 2Kms. It is believed that the sculpture was crafted around 14th century. As the name depicts, it has four entrances with Dwarapalakas at the doors.

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By Bhavapriya Jothimohan

The Chettinad Houses

Karakudi , Tamil Nadu

Chettinad houses are beautiful decapitated huge palatial houses in Karaikudi. A once in lifetime experience to walk through the streets of this, now deserted houses. Get transported back by a century and enjoy the thrill of living in such houses with 100s of rooms. Simply stunning. The grandeur of the generation past is a must visit for anyone looking to anchor our roots and feel proud. There are few heritage hotels in the area (basically renovated homes).Kadiapati - 73 km from Trichy,Tamilnadu . These houses were the abode of Nattukottai Chettiars or Nagathars, the most famous and successful merchant community of the south who were one of early institutional bankers in Tamil Nadu. Thirumayum fort is also close by.

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By Anil Mamidwar

Dodda Aladha Mara

Kethohalli, Karnataka

This Old Banyan Tree is around 400 year old and 4th biggest banyan tree spreading 3 acres of land. It is1.5 hour drive from Bangalore approx. 30 km towards Mysore on Bangalore – Mysore NH, located in small village Kethohalli. City buses are available from Majestic, Kengeri, K R city market to the stop at Dodda Alada Mara.

It is considered as the abode of Lord Muneshwara. For that matter Lord Muruga (Subrahmanya) is also considered as Maha Muni. It is also named as Ficus benghalensis and is the National tree of India

There is a fenced boundary around the tree. Benches are provided for people to sit and relax which makes it a good picnic spot as well. A restaurant at the spot offers food and water to visitors. This is 400 year old and 4th biggest after Anantpur banyan tree. Beware of monkeys

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By Mahiboob s Ukkali

Bara dari (cook palace)

Bijapur, Karnataka

A palace of Md Adil Shah regime in Vijayapur (Bijapur). It was built to shelter cook during summer days in those times. It has a twelve way water passage underneath making the place cooler.

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By Krupali Shah

Tera fort

Kutch, Gujarat

This fort is really big and can be visited once in your lifetime. There are lots of fort in kutch district of Gujarat state which are still unexplored and Tera fort is one of them. Hindi film used to be shot here decades ago. Currently, this fort requires lots of maintenance, though it stands for history which is unexplored. This small village houses good people and lovely environment.

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By Piyush Verma

Hinglajgarh & Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary

Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh

The history of Bhanpura and its immediate surroundings go back to thousands of years. It gained prominence only in the 19th century, when it was ruled by the Maratha king, Yashwant Rao Holkar (1776-1811). These places has numerous historical architectures such as Bhanpura and its surrounding areas, including the Gandhi Sagar Dam and sanctuary, numerous shelters with prehistoric cave paintings, inaccessible forts and fabulous Maratha architecture.

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By Lt Col R Ravindra

Vijayraghogarh Fort

Katni Dist, Madhya Pradesh

Vijayraghavgarh is a big town( tehsil headquarters and nagar panchayat) in Katni district, Madhya Pradesh. It belongs to Jabalpur division and is 34 km towards east of district headquarters Katni. Vijayraghavgarh fort is surrounded by Badwara tehsil in the south, Shahnagar tehsil in the west and Maihar tehsil in north.

Katni, Jabalpur, Rewa, Satna, Umariya, and Shahdol are some of the major nearby cities.

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By VasanthRaj


Hassan, Karnataka

NuggeHalli is near to Hassan, Karnataka It was built by Hoysala Dynasty. This is one of the less visited places and it is almost 140Km from Bengaluru.

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By Vatsala C. S.


Davangere, Karnataka

The name of Santhebennur town in Davangere district brings to mind, images of a historical pushkarini (sacred pond), which is known for its architectural beauty. In fact, the history of Santhebennur is closely linked to the pushkarini. The region was a part of the Vijayanagar empire, and Kengal Hanumantappa Nayaka, a local palegar,. He built a Rama Temple and a pushkarini here in the 16th century. God Rama was the family deity of the Nayaka rulers. Now, even after five centuries, the structure remains intact. Today, the pushkarini with a majestic mantapa at the centre is considered to be one of the magnificent structures of South India.

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