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    The ancient lost city of Monkey God

    Perhaps in distant future, one of our descendants will gaze upon the ruins of Taj Mahal or Statue Of Liberty and wonder about the settlements around. It won’t be a surprise if, then, a lot of present day cities would already be submerged. After all, the history mentions many ancient lost cities of the world that were drowned, abandoned, or merely lost in the wilderness.

    Many of these lost cities of the world were eventually forgotten with the passage of time until some wanderer or historian accidentally or intentionally discovered the ruins. Thanks to these people, we came to know of these hidden beautiful places in the world.

    There is no end to the list of the lost cities of the ancient world. But, to make things easier for you, we have listed some of the lost cities of the world that were eventually discovered. Have a look!

    Ancient Hidden Cities From India That Were Long Lost

    1. Kalibangan

    Ruins of the fire altars at Kalibangan

    Image Source

    The unique fire altars and the world’s earliest attested ploughed field are what make Kalibangan so important among the other lost cities of the world.

    Location: Hanumangarh, Rajasthan
    Established in: 3700 BC
    Abandoned in: 1750 BC
    Discovered in: 1919 AD; by Luigi Pio Tessitori, an Italian Indologist, who was doing work on Ram Charit Manas by Tulsidas


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    2. Lothal

    Ruins of the ancient Indian city of Lothal in Gujarat

    Image Source

    Arguably the most important excavated city among the long lost cities of the world, Lothal still shows the brilliance of city-planning and organised structures during the times of the

    Indus Valley Civilisation.
    Location: Saragwala Village in Ahmedabad, Gujarat
    Established in: 3700 BC
    Abandoned in: 1900 BC
    Discovered in: 1954 AD

    Suggested Read: 10 Incomparable Places To Visit In Gujarat

    3. Dwarka

    A collage showing scenes from the submerged ancient city of Dwarka in Gujarat

    The submerged city of Lord Krishna is one of the mythical lost cities. The present-day Dwarka is claimed to be the 7th city, with first 6 submerged off its coast in the Arabian Sea. Archaeologists, however, have only succeeded in recovering ruins that date back to the 15th century BC.

    Location: Gujarat
    Established in: 1500 BC (estimated)
    Abandoned in: 1443 BC (estimated)
    Discovered in: 1983 AD

    4. Sanchi

    The famous Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh

    Sanchi is the most famous historical places in India. It is famous for the Greco-Buddhist-styled Sanchi stupas and the Ashoka pillar that was erected during the time of Emperor Ashoka. One of the lost cities of the ancient world, it was later rediscovered in the 19th century.

    Location: Sanchi Town, Madhya Pradesh
    Established in: 300 BC
    Abandoned in: 1300 AD
    Discovered in: 1818 AD; by British General Taylor

    Suggested Read: 15 Tourist Places In Madhya Pradesh That You Should Be Visiting Right Now!

    5. Vijayanagara

    A shot of the ruins of Hampi as seen from Matanga Hill

    Image Source

    Though archaeologists have successfully found remains that found date back to around 300 BC, the entire excavated city of Vijayanagar in Hampi belongs to the time of the empire by the same name. However, even the Hindu legend of Ramayana has mentioned Hampi by the name of Kishkinda – the realm of the monkey gods.

    Location: Hampi, Karnataka
    Established in:
    1336 AD
    Abandoned in: 1565 AD
    Discovered in: 1800 AD; by Colonel Colin Mackenzie

    Must Read: 10 Lost Cities In India That Have Been Discovered

    Other Ancient Cities Of The World


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    6. Mohenjo-daro

    Ruins of Mohenjo Daro at Sindh in Pakistan

    Image Source

    Listed among the ancient lost cities of the world, Mohenjo Daro was long lost until its discovery in 1922. Excavations revealed it to be one of the largest cities of Indus Valley Civilisation and one of the earliest urban settlements in the world. The use of fire-burnt bricks to make organised structures and the marvelous planning are what make the city so famous. And of all the buildings & ruins unearthed, the structure of the Great Bath is the most famous.

    Location: Sindh, Pakistan
    Established in: 2500 BC
    Abandoned in: 1900 BC
    Discovered in: 1922; by R. D. Banerji, an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India

    7. Taxila

    The excavated and restored site of Taxila at Rawalpindi in Pakistan

    Image Source Taxila or Takshashila finds its mention in Indian & Greco-Roman literary sources and in the accounts of two Chinese Buddhist pilgrims, Faxian & Xuanzang. It was India’s largest seat of learning. According to the Hindu epic of Ramayana, Takshashila was founded by King Bharat who was Lord Rama’s brother. The city is said to be named Bharata’s son Taksha, its first ruler. However, excavations could not prove its relation to anything predating 600 BC.

    Location: Rawalpindi, Pakistan
    Established in: 600 BC
    Abandoned in: 500 AD
    Discovered in: 1863 AD; by Sir Alexander Cunningham

    8. Caral

    An aerial view of the ruins of the lost city of Caral in Peru

    Image Source

    Caral was believed to be the oldest urban center in the Americas until older sites like Bandurria in Peru were discovered. No battlements, no weapons, and no mutilated bodies have been found from the excavation sites. So, the long lost city is believed to be home to a gentle society that was involved in commerce, music, and pleasure.

    Location: Supe Valley, Barranca Province, Peru
    Established in: 2600 BC
    Abandoned in: 2000 BC
    Discovered in: 1905; but were quickly forgotten due to lack of artifacts before Paul Kosok rediscovered it in 1948

    9. Machu Picchu

    View of the Lost Incan City of Machu Picchu near Cusco in Peru

    Built as an estate for emperor Pachacuti, Machu Pichhu is the most iconic structure of the Inca civilisation. However, the structure could serve the dynasty for only about a century and was abandoned at the time of the Spanish conquest. In a worldwide poll of 2007, it was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

    Location: Cusco Region, Peru
    Established in: 1450 AD
    Abandoned in: 1532 AD – 1572 AD
    Discovered in: 1911 AD; by American historian Hiram Bingham

    Suggested Read: 20 Best Countries To Visit In The World This Year

    10. Calakmul

    The Calakmul city hidden in the forest of Mexico

    Image Source

    The Maya archaeological site of Calakmul was the seat of the Snake Kingdom. Literally meaning City of the Two Adjacent Pyramids, it had 2 very tall pyramids and hundreds of small structures.

    Location: Campeche, Mexico
    Established in: 7th century; when Kaan dynasty relocated here
    Abandoned in: 9th century
    Discovered on: 29th December 1931; by biologist Cyrus L. Lundell

    11. Lagunita

    An archaeologist at the excavation site of the Maya city of Lagunita

    Image Source

    It wasn’t long ago that the long lost cities of Lagunita and Tamchen from the Maya civilisation were finally discovered in the jungles of Mexico. The discovery was made after reviewing aerial photographs of the area.

    Location: Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
    Established in: 300 BC
    Abandoned in: 700 AD – 1000 AD
    Discovered in: August 2014; by Ivan Sprajc – associate professor at the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts – following the descriptions of Swiss archaeologist Eric Von Euw who visited the site in 1970s
    Another Mayan City: Tikal, Guatemala

    Tourists at the Gran Plaza at the archaeological site Tikal in Guatemala

    Suggested Read: Panajachel (Guatemala) & Other Offbeat Honeymoon Destinations In The World

    12. Göbekli Tepe

    The stunning ruins of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey

    Image Source

    Göbekli Tepe, the oldest known temple of the world, pre-dates the pottery neolithic era. Many circular & oval structures were discovered atop a hill. Evidence later proved that these structures weren’t used for domestic purposes, rather primarily for religious purposes.

    Location: Örencik, Turkey
    Established in: 9600 BC
    Abandoned in: 7300 BC
    Discovered in: 1963 AD

    Suggested Read: Travel Back In Time With Turkey’s Top 10 Historical Places That Still Have Tales To Tell

    13. Troy

    An amphitheater in the lost city of Troy

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    Troy and Trojan War were only discussed in Greek legends for long until the city’s discovery in late 19th century. One of the formerly mythical lost cities, Troy not only finds mention in poetry works of Homer & others but also was made into a great adventure war film in 2004.

    Location: Tevfikiye, Çanakkale Province, Turkey
    Established in: 3000 BC
    Abandoned in: 500 AD
    Discovered in: 1870; by the famous archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann

    14. Mesa Verde

    The hidden city in the Mesa Verde National Park

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    A National Park & and a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, Mesa Verde protects some of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites in the US. It is best known for the Cliff Palace, which is considered to be the largest cliff dwelling in North America.

    Location: Southwestern Colorado, USA
    Established in: 1190 AD
    Abandoned in: 1300 AD
    Discovered in: 1988 AD; by cowboys Richard Wetherill and Charlie Mason

    15. Skara Brae

    Stone age village Skara Brae on Orkney in Scotland

    Older than Stonehenge and Great Pyramids, Skara Brae is known as the Sottish Pompeii because it is very well preserved. It was a stone-built Neolithic settlement on the largest island in the Orkney archipelago of Scotland that was discovered following severe storms during 1850 to mid-1920s.

    Location: Bay of Skaill on the west coast of Mainland, Orkney, Scotland
    Established in: 3180 BC
    Abandoned in: 2500 BC
    Discovered in: 1850 AD

    16. Pompeii

    A snap of a beautiful sunset at Pompeii that is one of the ancient lost cities of the world

    Pompeii is one of the ancient lost cities of Roman empire that was destroyed and buried under a thick layer of volcanic ash after the massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius. When the site was discovered, the objects that were recovered were found to be preserved due to the lack of air & moisture beneath the layer of ash.

    Location: Province of Naples, Campania district, Italy
    Established in: 7th century BC
    Abandoned in: 79 AD; following the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius
    Discovered in: 1748; by the Spanish military engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre

    17. Leptis Magna

    Ruins of the Roman city of Leptis Magna in Libya

    The erstwhile prominent Roman city, Leptis Magna is known to be one of best preserved Roman ruins in the Mediterranean. The excavated site has well-preserved remains of theatre, amphitheatre, market place, gates, Arch of Septimius Severus, and more.

    Location: Khoms, Libya
    Established in: 7th century BC
    Abandoned in: 7th century AD
    Discovered in: Early 1920s; by Italian archaeologists

    18. Helike

    An excavated site of Helike in Greece

    Image Source

    Location: Achaea, Greece
    Established in:
    Abandoned in: 373 BC; when it got submerged following a tsunami
    Discovered in: 2001; by Helike Society that was formed after multiple previous discoveries that suggested the existence of the city

    19. Heracleion

    The submerged city of Heracleion in Egypt

    Image Source

    Location: Alexandria, Egypt
    Established in: 12th century BC or before
    Abandoned in: 2nd century AD or 3rd century AD; probably because of tremors that were followed by the liquefaction of the silts on which it was built
    Discovered in: 2000; by by the French underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio

    Must Read: 35 Greatest Underwater Wonders Of The World That Will Leave You Dumbfounded

    20. Petra

    A night shot of the lost city of Petra in Jordon

    Location: Ma’an Governorate, Jordan
    Established in: 312 BC
    Abandoned in: 663 AD; when Arabs conquered the region, following the major earthquakes of 363 AD & 551 AD
    Discovered in: 1812 AD; by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt

    Boy, aren’t we glad that these ancient lost cities of the world have been rediscovered! So, what’s holding you back? Plan a holiday now and visit these beautiful places.

    Further Read: 14 Gorgeous Places That Will Disappear From The World Map By 2050


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