Some of the world’s greatest cities are no more. Once thriving, hundreds of cities across the world now lie in ruins – ravaged either by war or simply the natural progression. These are the world’s greatest lost cities.
The unique fire altars and the world’s earliest attested plowed field are what make Kalibangan so important among the other lost cities of the world.
It is located in Hanumangarh, Rajasthan. It is believed to be established in 3700 BC and abandoned in 1750 BC. It was discovered again in 1919 AD by Luigi Pio Tessitori, an Italian Indologist, who was doing work on Ram Charit Manas by Tulsidas.
2. Tikal, Guatemala.
Guatemala’s crown jewel is Tikal, perhaps the greatest of all the Maya city-states. Its magnificent six temples still dominate the landscape much as they did a thousand years ago, soaring above the rainforest canopy and making one wonder at the ceremonies that once took place here, and the size of the city now swallowed up by the jungle.
3. Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan.
The civilization that flourished in the Indus Valley and built Mohenjo-Daro around 2600 BC was a rival of its better-known Greek and Egyptian equivalents – though little is known about its people, who were early masters of town planning and civil engineering. Today its complex of houses, shops, ramparts, and streets are under threat from erosion.
4. Mesa Verde, Colorado, USA.
The Mesa Verde National Park contains over 600 cliff dwellings once inhabited by the Anasazi people, who lived here from the seventh to fourteenth centuries AD. Built mainly from sandstone, wood and mortar under the overhang of ridges, the most famous – Cliff Palace – housed around 100 people, and was accessed via ladders.
5. Vijayanagar, India.
You’ve probably never heard of it, but in 1500 AD Vijayanagar had twice the population of Paris and was the hub of the greatest empire in southern India. Built around a set of holy places including the spectacular Virupaksha Temple (which still stands), today its temple districts and shrines are revered by Hindus and non-Hindus alike.
6. Persepolis, Iran.
A magnificent city founded by Darius I in 518 BC, Persepolis took over a century to build. Entering through the massive Gate of All Nations, you get a sense of why: a huge terrace faces you, and in every part of the complex are intricate carvings of slaves, kings, officials, and representatives from across the Persian empire.
7. Pompeii and Herculaneum, Italy.
The city of Pompeii was covered under a wave of ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, with many of its citizens buried alive, complete with their animals and possessions, and perfectly preserved. Nearby Herculaneum was evacuated in time but buried deeper under the ash; here doors and even food remained intact. Together they work as a kind of morbid time capsule.