Sinchita Mitra

Once upon a time, the cities of India thrived with immense wealth, as the elegant queens and kings roamed around with their regal gold pieces of jewellery. India is an ancient country, and over the centuries, it has witnessed several evaluations, era, and civilisations. This variety has made the Indian towns rich with cultural and historical anecdotes. There are many towns in India that tell the story of a time long gone by. These towns are quintessentially living in an era where India was different.

Walk with us into few of these ancient towns in India, where the time has seemed to stop.


Ghats of Varanasi | source: gilbertotorres47

This chaotic yet colourful town is not just one of the oldest cities in India, but in the world too. Mark Twain even famously called this city older than history itself. Through his famous quote, he managed to capture the exact essence of Varanasi. This essence is something that you will get the moment you step into this archaic city. Equipped with vibrant roads that twist into a labyrinth, and the eternally beautiful Ganga flowing through Varanasi, this city is a whole different world in itself.

It is also one of the holiest city in India. Every little, narrow road or street in India has a story of its own. Step foot into this ancient city and get lost into the many stories that the walls echo.


source: Tourism of India

One foot into this city and you will be swept away with the effervescent and aromatic whiffs of the many perfumes this town is famous for.

The name itself is derived from an ancient and exotic word – Kanyakubja, which means the maiden’s womb.

The entire city is like a heritage museum, as lavish and ancient monuments cover the city. Kannauj has a rich history since it was a strategically placed town, which made it a conflict zone for three major dynasties in India. All of these dynasties wanted to capture this town to increase their clout.

The best way to travel back in time through this city is by simply walking across and ensuring that you visit popular monuments like Raja Jaichandra Fort and the ancient Ajaipal Temple. These monuments have a lot of historical anecdotes that will surely help you experience the past.


Pushkar Fair | source: Goibibo

Located in the historic state of Rajasthan, this small town is just another testimony to the fact that Rajasthan is loaded with ancient and rustic towns.

Pushkar is situated by the banks of the serene Sarovar Lake and is one of the most scenic cities in Rajasthan.

The traditions synonymous to this town pours out of every nook and corner that you visit, and you will find yourself relishing in these archaic yet exciting traditions.

The town is famous for the Brahma Temple- in India there is only one temple devoted to Lord Brahma, and it is in the town of Pushkar.

The town also holds the famous Pushkar Mela, which is essentially a cattle fair. The fun-filled fair attracts tourists from all over the world, as people flock to witness the traditions and the rituals of this place.

The Man Mahal, located at the banks of the Lake, is absolutely gorgeous.


Tuk Tuk ride | source: Angel Lahoz

The rich history and culture is a widely known knowledge among the Indian folks. Ujjain was a hit for literary and political discussions. It was once the capital of Avanti, and now it prides itself to the host of the famous Simhastha Kumbh Mela.

The moment you reach Ujjain you will be greeted with a strong whiff of strong cultural presence. The locals will proudly tell you the wealthy history of Ujjain.

You will also find some extremely important temples like the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple.

The city is still rooted in its Puranic tradition, and you will feel that you have time travelled and reached some time in the past.

You must also visit the Ramghat, and witness the mesmerising yet traditional Aarti at 8 pm sharp. The scene is absolutely majestic, and you will get a glimpse of how things used to work in ancient times.

What really makes this city special this the way art has been preserved. The ancient art is radiated through every building or temple that you pass through. It still remains an exemplary town to study architecture. The intricate architecture speaks volumes about the kind of civilisations that ruled here.


source: DNA India

This historic city has found its mention even in the great epic- Ramayana. It is said to the birthplace of Lord Rama and is one of the major pilgrimage centres.

Ayodhya is located at the banks of the serene Sarayu River, and one look at the town, you will feel the holy spirit just washing over you.

Ayodhya is brimming with different ancient monuments and historically significant structures. Make sure you visit all of them to weave a wonderful story about the town of Ayodhya. This one is not to miss.

Ensure that you visit Treta Ke Thakur, Mausoleum of Bahu Begum, Guptar Ghat and Gulab Bari, to get the complete feel of a city that is still stuck in time.


source: Goibibo

The rich town of Pataliputra is a place who must have read about in your history books. One of the richest and most famous towns in India, at some point in time, this town is now a treasure trove of historical stories and anecdotes.

Patna, as it is called today, is located at the coast of the holy river of Ganga.

This 5th Century city is now an example of the wealthy part of India.

Step foot into this ancient city as you witness the past unfold before you. Each ancient building you pass will remind you of the era long gone by. This old city was once the hub for several dynasties, and iconic figures like Chanakya were from this region.


source: Dune Wellness Group

Music and art have always been in perfect synch and harmony in this little town. Tanjore has always been famous for its inclination towards excellent pieces of art and musical instruments like the Veena and the mridangam.

You will feel like a king as you look at the marvellous bronze statues found in the city.

This city was once ruled by the Chola dynasty, whose marks you can still find. A city filled with historic attractions, you will be scrambling for time to visit all of them.


source: Times of India

Gwalior is a small city in Madhya Pradesh and is one of those forgotten ancient cities of India. Many tend to forget that this little city has been in India for a long long time and is one of the oldest cities in India.

Gwalior has given India legendary figures like Tansen and Rani Lakshmibai.

The town of Gwalior is an example of the myriad cultures and traditions that India had and still has within it.

There are many historical sites that you must visit like the Tomb of Tansen, the Gwalior Fort, and Shivpuri.


source: Oneday Tours

This beautiful and colourful city in the south has been the inspiration for several writers, poets, and artists. The tall colourful yet unique architecture of its temples is what makes Madurai so iconic.

The ancient city of Madurai has even found its name mentioned in the travelogues of extremely famous travellers like Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, and Megasthenes- such is the charm of this place.

As you walk across the city you will find yourself admiring the Tamil culture, that has been well preserved in this town. This city is also often called the Athens of the East, owing to its rich ancient civilisations.

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