Sabrimala: Kerala. It is renowned for the Sabarimala temple of Lord Ayyappa, which is a famous pilgrim centre in Pathanamthitta district.
Salarjung Museum: Hyderabad, Telangana. This museum displays the private collection of Nawab Salar Jung III. It houses magnificent exhibits of European and Indian paintings, jewellery, armour, precious stones and manuscripts.
Sanchi: Madhya Pradesh. Sanchi is known for stupas, monasteries, temples and pillars dating from the 3rd century B.C. to the 12th century A.D. The most famous of these monuments, the Sanchi Stupa 1, was originally built by the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The Great Stupas, the Four Gateways, Ashoka Pillar, Buddhist Vihara, the Great Bowl, the Gupta Temple, Udaigiri caves and the Lohangi hill monuments are some of the important places in Sanchi.
Sanghol: Punjab. It is an archeological treasure house consisting of relics dating from the Harappan era, the epic Aryan age, red and grey pottery and Indus Valley seals.
Sariska : Rajasthan. Sariska, which is famous of its wild-life sanctuary, is also significant historically. The Kankwadi Fort is the place where the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had imprisoned his elder brother Dara Shikoh. The famous Neel Kantha Mahadev temple and the Hanuman temple at Pandupole are also famous. There are also remains of 300 odd Hindu and Jain temples constructed between the 8-12th centuries A.D.
Sarnath: Bihar. Located about 10 km from Varanasi, Sarnath or Isipatana is the place where Buddha delivered his first sermon (‘Dharma-Chakrapravartana’) after attaining enlightenment and set in motion the wheel of law, the Dharmachakra. Also known as ‘Rishipatana’, the place of the Rishis or sages, or ‘Mrigadaya’, the deer park, the name is derived from Saranganatha, the lord of the deer. Sarnath remained abandoned until 1834, when the British archaeologists excavated the site in 1836. The Dhamekh Stupa, dating back to 500 A.D., is the largest in the region and marks the spot where the Buddha proclaimed his faith. The Chaukhandi Stupa belongs to the Gupta period and is said to be the site where Buddha was reunited with his five disciples, who had previously deserted him. An octagonal tower built by Emperor Akbar to commemorate his father’s visit to the place caps the Stupa. The Dhamarajika stupa was built by Ashoka but is now in ruins. The Ashoka Pillar records the visit of Emperor Ashoka to Sarnath in the 3 BC. Mulagandha Kuti Vihar is a beautiful vihara built by the Mahabodhi Society in 1931 with Japanese help.
Sasaram: Bihar. It is renowned for the grand mausoleum of Sher Shah Suri, the Pathan emperor of India. Located nearby is the tomb of his father, Hasan Sur Khan built in 1535 A.D. and that of his son Salim Shah. On the outskirts of the village is the tomb of Alwal Khan, the chief architect of Sher Shah. A few hours drive from Sasaram is Rohtasgarh Fort perched high on the Kaimur Hills.
Shantiniketan: West Bengal. Shantiniketan, meaning ‘abode of peace’, is a meditation center which was founded in 1863 by Debendranath Tagore, father of Rabindranath Tagore. Rabindranath Tagore established the Brahmo Vidyalaya and in 1901 another open-air laboratory school at this place. In 1921, it had expanded into a residential university called the Vishwa-Bharati University. It includes separate colleges for fine arts and crafts, dance, music, teachers training, Asian Languages, technology, post-graduate studies and research. “Rabindra-Sadhana” is the university’s museum and the center for the study of Tagore. Another institution for rural reconstruction, health, social welfare and the revival of the folk arts called Sriniketan was founded by Tagore in 1922 close to the Shantiniketan.
Shimla: Himachal Pradesh. Shimla was the summer capital of the British India. Jakhoo Hills, Anna Dale, the Glen Forests, Summer Hill, Chadwick Falls, Mashobra & Craignano, Naldhera and Fagu are important tourist destinations in Shimla.
Shirdi: Maharashtra. The place is known for the Shri Sai Baba Sansthan of Shirdi, which was established in 1922.
Sibsagar: Assam. Sibsagar was the capital of the mighty Ahoms, who ruled Assam for more than six hundred years, before the advent of the British. The most remarkable landmark of the town is the 200-year old Sibsagar tank. On its banks are three significant temples – Shivadol, Vishnudol and Devidol. About 6 km from Sibsagar is an immense seven-storeyed palace known as Talatal Ghar. Sibsagar is also famous for Joysagar, believed to be the largest man-made lake in India, and the Ahom Museum.
Sikandra: Uttar Pradesh. A place near Agra famous for the Akbar’s Tomb and the Barodi Palace built by Sikander Lodi.
Sirhind: Punjab. It is famous for the Fatehgarh Saheb Gurudwara, which commemorates the martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh’s two young sons, who were entombed alive by Aurangzeb’s generals. The famous marble shrine of Hazrat Mujadid Sirhindi or Alaf Saani and the Khaas Bagh and Sarai (built by Babar) are also located here.
Sirmour: Himachal Pradesh. The three towns of Nahan, Renuka and Paonta Sahib in the Sirmour district are considered as a religious triangle. Nahan is famous for the Suketi Fossil Park. The beautiful Renuka lake, which is shaped is like a sleeping woman, is considered very sacred for Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists. The Paonta Sahib is a sacred town dedicated to the memory of Guru Gobind Singh. There are several Gurudwaras in this town such as Tirgarh Sahib, Shergarh Sahib and Bhangini Sahib.
Sisgunj Gurudwara: Delhi. Located in Chandini Chowk, the Gurudwara Sisgunj commemorates the site of the ninth Sikh guru, Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom, who was beheaded by Aurangzeb in 1675.
Sitamarhi: Bihar. It is a sacred place in Hindu mythology and is believed to be the site where Sita sprang to life out of an earthen pot.
Solan: Himachal Pradesh. Solan is well known as ‘ the Mushroom City of India’. The Jatoli Shiv temple and the Sholoni Devi temple are the landmarks of Solan, along with several specimens of colonial architecture within the town. The Bon Monastery is perhaps the oldest monastery in India.
Sonepur: Bihar. It is famous for the Sonepur Mela, the biggest cattle fair in Asia and the Harihar Nath temple which is believed to have been built by Lord Rama on his way to the Court of King Janak to win Sita. The temple was repaired by Raja Man Singh. The builder of the present temple was Raja Ram Narayan, a prominent figure during the late Mughal period.
Sonipat: The town finds a mention in early literary texts. The Dargah Mama Bhanja, housing the graves of Hazrat Imam Nasiruddin and his nephew Ibrahim, Khwaja Khizir Tomb, the Kos Minar at Jawahari and the Satkumba Temple are some interesting places in Sonipat.
Sravanabelgola: Karnataka. It is famous for its 18m high statue of Gomateshwara (Lord Bahubali) built in 983 A.D. by Chamundaraya. The statue, which stands atop one of the hills (Indragiri), is considered as the world’s tallest monolithic statue. The Mahamastakabhisheka festival is held here once every 12 years.
Sravasti: Uttar Pradesh. Located about 195 km from Gorakhpur, Sravasti is the place where Buddha performed a miracle, besides spending 27 rainy seasons, preaching his gospels. Emperor Ashoka marked his pilgrimage to Sravasti by building two pillars.
Sringeri: Karnataka. Sringeri is famous as the first of the four Mathas established by Sri Sankaracharya for the propagation of Advaita philosophy. It is famous for Vidyashankara and Sharada Temples.
Srinagar: Jammu & Kashmir. Srinagar, the winter capital of Jammu & Kashmir, was founded by King Pravarsena in 72 A.D. It is famous for the beautiful Mughal Gardens (Chasma Shahi, Nishat, Shalimar and Pari Mahal); historic sites of Harwan and Burzahom; a Chinar tree plantation called Nissim Bagh (laid our by Emperor Akbar); Hazrat Bal mosque; Hari Parbhat; Shrine of Makhdoom Sahib; Shrine of Akhund Mulla Shah; Zaina Kadal (tomb of mother of king Zain-ul-Abadin); the Christian shrine of Rozabel; Patthar Masjid; Jama Masjid at Nowhatta; Shah Hamdan’s shrine; Pratap Singh Museum; Shankaracharya Hill and the Dal and Nagin lakes. It is also famous for the Shankaracharya temple constructed in 266 B.C.
Sriperumpudur: Tamil Nadu. Sriperumpudur is an important pilgrim centre for the Vaishnavites as it is the birthplace of Saint Ramanujar, the Father of Visishtadvaita philosophy of Vaishnavism. It is also the place where the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Sri Lankan Tamil suicide bomber.
Srisailam: Andhra Pradesh. Located on the banks of river Krishna, the town of Srisailam is famous for the Bhramaramba Mallikarjunaswamy temple. The god of the temple, Sri Mallikarjunaswamy is one of the 12 “Jyotirlingams” in India. The temple is also the abode of Mahakali in the form of Bhramaramba. The place has a pre-vedic importance and its presence is mentioned in the Mahabharata. Other small temples like the “Sahasra Linga”, the “Panchapandava” and the “Vata Vriksha” are also well known.
St. Paul’s Cathedral: Located in Kolkata, it celebrated its 150th birthday in 1994. The cathedral is a good example of Indo-Gothic architecture. The altar designed by London architect, Arthur Bloomfield in 1868, depicts the life of St. Paul from conversion till death. The Kneeling Statue of Heber, sculptured by the celebrated sculptor Sir Francis Chantely was installed in 1844.
Sundarban: West Bengal. Sundarban is one of the important national parks of India and is home to the magnificent Royal Bengal tiger. It also has abundant Olive Ridley sea turtles, crocodiles and the Gangetic dolphin. The Sajnakhali sanctuary, famous for its rich avian population, is regarded as a part of the Sunderbans National Park.
Please click on the alphabet to see places and monuments of cultural importance: