The year 2007 got us a new set of Seven Wonders of the World. And, by a large vote, India’s Taj Mahal became one of the new Seven Wonders of the New World on 07-07-2007.
But I was surprised to see a news report that said as per the public opinion in India based on SMS polls for Seven Wonders of India, Taj Mahal fared so badly, making it a distant Third!
Here is a list of the 7 Wonders of India that this report mentioned. The numbers indicate the votes each place got.
1.The statue of Bahubali at Sravana Belgola, Karnataka (49%)
2. The Golden temple at Amritsar, Puanjab (24%)
3. Taj Mahal at Agra, Uttar Pradesh (8%)
4. The monuments at Hampe, Karnataka
5. The Sun Temple at Konarak, Orissa
6. The monunents of Nalanda, Bihar
7. Temples of Khajuraho, Madhyapradesh.
I am indeed glad to see two of the wonderful sevel to be from Karnataka. And even more, because I come from the viscinity of the #1 in the list.
After I saw this list, I made it a point to update the image on the top of this blog. Now it shows the lotus feet of Lord Bahubali atop the Vindhyagiri hill in Sravana Belagola.
For those interested in statistics, this monolith is 57 ft tall (who does not know that?), it was completed in the year 983 AD (well, many may know that too).
The letters you see in the picture on either side of the statue are proclaiming that the statue was made on the orders of Chavunda Raya, a General of Ganga Kings in no less than 3 languages ( Kannnada, Tamizh, Marathi – Some claim it is Konkani).
And this happens to be the oldest written record in Marathi language (or Konkani, if you belive those two languages had seperated out in 10th century AD). Now this may be some trivia that not many people know 😉
The other two scripts you see in the picture (Kannada, and Tamizh) have had a written records from much earlier times. So this edict at the feet of Bahubali, are not as significant to the history of these languages as it is to Marathi, and Konkani, and end up as just another number in Epigraphia Carnatica.
I have not seen many of these 7 seven wonders. So I thought why not make up my own list of Seven Wonders of India 🙂 among the places I have seen?
Here is my list of Seven Wonders of India:
1. The caves and frescoes at Ajanta, Maharashtra (1st – 7th century AD)
2. The Chalukya monuments at Badami, Aihole and Pattadakallu , Karnataka (5th – 8th century AD)
3. The Kailasa (Cave) temple at Ellora, Maharashtra (850 AD)
4. Monuments at Sravana Belagola, including the statue of Bahubali, Karnataka (3rd – 12th century AD)
5. Brihadeeshwara temple, Tanjavoor, Tamil Nadu (11th century AD)
6. Hoysaleswara-Shantaleshwara twin temple at Halebeedu, Karnataka (1117 AD)
7. The monuments (including the Stupa) at Saranath, Uttar Pradesh (3rd century BC – 3rd century AD)
No wonder you see more places from Karnataka than any other part of India – Because that is what I have seen most. There are still other places which I have seen, that could have made it to the list; like Hampe, which is in the list from the SMS opinion poll. But IMO, the art in cave temples in Badami, and temples of Aihole, and Pattadakallu rank much higher than that of the monuments in Hampi!