Discovering the 7 Oldest countries in the world

 In General, Holidays, Travel

As our Earth is around 4.5 Billion years old, it definitely stores the stories of our ancestors in the form of different cultures, monuments, artifacts, etc., in some of the oldest countries in the world. These countries whisper many interesting stories about our gods, empires, and dynasties and invite you on a timeless journey through our past which has been collected in these countries. So, if you are a history lover, then don’t worry, we’ve got your back. 

Here are some of the oldest countries in the world:

  1. India
  2. Iran
  3. Egypt
  4. Japan
  5. China
  6. Greece
  7. Ethiopia

1. India

khajuraho-temples-in-india

Talking about the oldest nations in the world then no one can forget India, starting from ancient cities like Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, which hold silent evidence of a glorious past and how advanced India was during that time. 

Ruins of ancient India, when unearthed by archaeologists, revealed a sophisticated urban society with advanced water management systems, planned streets, and trade networks which shows the supremacy. Apart from that, archaeologists are still finding the remains of Indian culture in many Asian countries, which proves that India is quite an old country with a historic past.

Following are some of the great examples of India being one of the oldest countries in the world:

1. Khajuraho Temples

Khajuraho Temples is located in Madhya Pradesh, and has been built between the 9th and 12th centuries BCE. These Temples are a group of Hindu and Jain temples famous for their sculptures, and are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The sculptures inside the temple depict a wide range of subjects, including love, war, and religion. These temples show how artistically advanced people were at that time and display the mastery of the Chandela dynasty.

2. The Great Living Chola Temples

The Great Living Chola Temples are located in Tamil Nadu and were built by the Chola Dynasty between the 10th to 12th centuries CE

Comprises three temples: the Brihadisvara at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara at Gangaikondacholapuram and Airavatesvara. The Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur is the most famous among the Great Chola Temples.

3. Ajanta and Ellora Caves

Located in the state of Maharashtra, it showcases the artistic brilliance of ancient India. These rock-cut caves and temples were built around the 2nd century BCE – 6th century CE. These caves and temples are famous for their wall paintings and murals depicting Buddhist stories. The Ellora Caves, spanning from the 6th – 12th centuries CE, demonstrate a diverse mix of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples, each with its unique architectural style. It is surely an example of ancient people’s excellence in art.

4. Sanchi Stupa

It is one of the oldest and most important Buddhist monuments in India which was built in the 3rd century BCE. It is a hemispherical structure featuring complex carvings depicting Buddhist beliefs and symbols. Located in Madhya Pradesh, this is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5. Qutub Minar

Considered an architectural masterpiece of the early Delhi Sultanate period. This is a huge tower which is approx 73-meter-tall made with “Red sandstone and marble”, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in the 12th century CE.

6. Konark Sun Temple

Located in the state of Odisha, it is an architectural marvel dedicated to Surya (Sun God). This temple was built in the 13th century CE, and it is shaped like a huge chariot with seven horses and wheels. The complicated carvings and sculptures on the temple walls are enough to list India as one of the oldest countries in the world. These walls depict various aspects of Hindu mythology and daily life.

7. Nalanda Mahavihara

This ancient university is believed to have been built in the 5th century BCE and was a renowned centre of Buddhist learning. The ruins of Nalanda include monasteries, shrines, and a vast library, showcasing the intellectual and cultural achievements of the era. Although later on this massive university was destroyed by the Khilji Dynasty, the remains still show why this ancient university was the “Center of Education”.

Well, these are just a few ancient wonders that India has to offer. India is loaded with historical treasures and a rich, everlasting legacy. If you want to explore India, then there’s no other way than just visiting it.

 2. Iran: Land of Aryans

persepolis-in-iran

Maybe Iran doesn’t come into our minds when we think about travelling. Well, you’ll likely be familiar with the name “Iran” but how much do you actually know about it? Previously it was known as Persia, then one of the kings re-branded it as Iran, which means land of Aryans

As Iran is among one of the oldest countries in the world, it makes this a perfect destination for someone who is a history lover. Today, most Western people are familiar with Iran by its name only, not only for its rich ancient cultures and traditions but also for its generous people and phenomenally diverse landscapes. Unlike most Islamic states, the national language in Iran is Farsi, not Arabic. 

Want to know more?

Here are some of the destinations of Iran that you’d love to visit as Iran is widely accepted as the oldest nations in the world:

1. Persepolis

In ancient times, it was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Persepolis stands as a testament to ancient Persian grandeur. Its intricate ruins and majestic palaces depict the empire’s power and artistry.

2. Pasargadae

This UNESCO World Heritage Site has the tomb of Cyrus the Great, one who started the Achaemenid Empire. The site also features the remains of Cyrus’ palace and holds significant historical and cultural importance.

3. Isfahan

Not that old, but Isfahan is widely famous for its stunning Islamic architecture and historical significance. Its fascinating mosques, the iconic Imam Square, and the complex details of the Shah Mosque are testimonials to Iran’s rich cultural heritage.

4. Shiraz

Known as the city of poets, literature, and gardens, Shiraz is steeped in history. It hosts the tombs of famous Persian poets Hafez and Saadi, and its lush gardens, like the Eram Garden, offer a side glance into Iran’s ancient beauty and tranquillity.

5. The Step Pyramid of Djoser

In the search for the world’s oldest countries, how can we forget Egypt?

Egypt is engraved with the world’s most ancient and impressive landmarks. With a history dating back to 3100 BCE, Egypt is known as one of the top oldest countries in the world. Its ancient pyramids and temples are living witness to its rich cultural heritage. Egypt has some of the most iconic ancient landmarks, including the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Valley of the Kings, ancient temples, and unique traditions which is why Egypt is one of the oldest countries in the world.

Here are some interesting destinations of Egypt that tell us that it is one of the oldest countries in the world

3. Egypt

the-step-pyramid-of-djoser-in-egypt

When we say pyramids then a lot of people think about the pyramids of Giza, but do you know that this impressive piece of art is older than the Great Pyramid of Giza?

Located in the Saqqara Necropolis, it is the oldest known monumental stone building in the world. It was built around 2686-2613 BCE and was built as the tomb of Pharaoh Djoser. It is a remarkable piece of architectural engineering.

1. The Temple of Hatshepsut

This temple is located on the west bank of the Nile River near Luxor, and it is one of the most stunning temples in Egypt. It was built by Queen Hatshepsut (around 1479-1458 BCE) and is dedicated to the Goddess Hathor(an ancient Egyptian Deity). The temple’s beauty is often recognised because it offers a stunning view of the Nile River.

2. The Nile River

Nile is the longest river in the world which flows through Egypt and has been a source of life for the people of Africa. The river flows through or along the 10 borders of African countries, which helps in the development of agriculture and the growth of a large population.

3. The Great Sphinx of Giza

This giant limestone statue, located on the Giza Plateau is one of the most visited landmarks in Egypt. It is believed to have been built during the reign of Pharaoh Khafre (around 2558-2532 BCE). The thought behind building this statue was to represent the King himself.

4. Japan

himeji-castle-in-japan

Japan is considered one of the oldest countries in the world, with a continuous history dating back to around 660 BCE. It has a rich and diverse culture with ancient traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.

As you are looking for the oldest nations in the world, then you’ll be surprised to know that the Japanese language is one of the oldest written languages in the world. It has a complex grammar and a rich vocabulary, and it is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. hence, there would be no hesitation to consider Japan as one of the oldest countries in the world

Some Popular and historical places in Japan:

1. Himeji Castle

This castle in Hyōgo Prefecture is one of the most famous and iconic castles in Japan. It was built in the 14th century and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle is nicknamed “White Heron Castle” because of its elegant white walls.

2. Itsukushima Shrine

This shrine in Hiroshima is one of the most famous shrines in Japan. Built-in the 6th century, It is also known as the “Floating Torii Gate” because, during high tide, its torii gate appears to float on the water.

3. Kinkaku-ji Temple

This temple is located in Kyoto, and it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan. It is also known as the Golden Pavilion because of its gold-plated exterior. The temple was built in 1397 CE and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5. China

the-great-wall-of-china

China is considered as one of the oldest countries in the world, with a history from around 3100 BCE. Its ancient civilisations, such as the Shang and the Han, laid the foundation for its rich cultural and philosophical traditions. 

A very long and old history of China is traced in its numerous ancient landmarks, including the Great Wall, the Terracotta Army, and the Forbidden City. Since you are looking for the oldest nations in the world then visiting China is gonna be a lifetime experience for you.

Here are some popular and oldest tourist attractions in China, which makes it one of the world’s oldest countries:

1. The Great Wall of China

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is among the “Longest man-made structures in the world”. The complete wall is over 20,000 km, stretching from the east seaside to the west desert in northern China. It took a long time of hundreds of years to construct and was done by over 6 different Chinese dynasties. A popular myth is that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space with the naked eye. Unfortunately, a high-tech lens is required to see the wall from the moon.

It is definitely the most visited tourist attraction not only in China, but it also comes under one of the most visited historical places in the world.

2. The Terracotta Army

This vast collection of terracotta statues was built in 221-206 BCE to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang of the Quin Dynasty. The statues are incredibly carved and detailed; they provide tremendous ancient Chinese culture.

3. The Forbidden City

When we talk about the oldest monuments in the world, then the list would definitely be starting from “The Forbidden City”. It is located in Beijing. The place is called the Forbidden City because, when this place was home to the emperors, at that time, no one could enter or leave the walled city without the emperor’s permission because of the water surrounding the whole complex.

It is believed that it was the residence of 24 emperors and their families from the Ming Dynasty in 1420 to the Qing Dynasty in 1912. The Forbidden City is the world’s largest palace complex, with over 980 buildings and 9,999 rooms. We can say because of this destination, China is one of the oldest countries in the world, receiving over 14 million visitors annually. It was declared as the largest preservation of wooden structures.

4. The Temple of Heaven

This temple was built during the Ming Dynasty and is one of the most important religious sites in China. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and its tranquil atmosphere.

6. Greece: A Cradle of Civilization

acropolis-of-athens-in greece

Greece is one of the oldest countries in the world. Its ancient cities, like Athens and Sparta, helped in forming Western democracy and philosophy. Greece’s long history is hidden in its numerous ancient landmarks, including the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Zeus.

In the past, because of its location at the centre of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Greece was a hub for the exchange of culture and ideas. Greece has around 18 World Heritage Sites so if you’re someone who is in love with the heritage sites, then Greece is a treat for you.

Greece’s rich cultural heritage is featured in its numerous historical sites, museums, and festivals. The ancient legacy of Greece still inspires people worldwide

Check out some popular and oldest tourist attractions in Greece:

1. Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis in Athens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic and recognisable landmarks in the world. It is a hilltop citadel in which the most important temples and buildings of ancient Athens were built, including the Erechtheion, the Parthenon,the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, etc.

The Acropolis is a symbol of Greek democracy, art, and culture, and it has served as a source of inspiration for artists and writers. This magnificent beauty is attracting millions of visitors every year, making it one of the oldest countries in the world.

Here’s an interesting motivation to go to the Acropolis. Did you know the Acropolis did not stop evolving? Every new civilisation that passed from the city contributed to building a diverse architecture in the hill of Athens.

2. Delphi

Located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, Delphi was a sacred sanctuary in ancient times. Famously known as the seat of the Oracle of Apollo. This archaeological site has impressive temples, theatres, and treasures, offering a sink into the religious and cultural significance of Delphi.

3. Palace of Knossos

The Palace of Knossos is located on the island of Crete; it was the official and formal centre of the Minoan civilisation (3000 BCE – 1100 BCE). It features elaborate frescoes (an ancient type of painting), architecture, and advanced drainage systems, showcasing the artistic diversity of the Minoan civilisation.

4. Archaeological Site of Olympia

Located in the Peloponnese region, this site was used as an Olympic Games centre in ancient times. The archaeological site has some amazing features: the remains of temples, stadiums, and training grounds, which show the athletic and cultural traditions of ancient Greece.

Stunning landscapes, carved stones, and welcoming people continuously attract visitors from around the globe, offering a journey through the roots of history and the beauty of the Mediterranean.

7. Ethiopia

rock-hewn-churches-of -lalibela-in-ethiopia

In the search for the oldest countries in the world, this African country is surely impressive. Linked with the rise and fall of powerful kingdoms and empires, Ethiopia’s history started from The D’mt Kingdom, established around 980 BCE. It is considered the earliest known state in Ethiopia. Its capital, Yeha, has a remarkable temple complex dating back to the 8th century BCE.

There are many research which shows and makes Ethiopia one of the oldest countries in the world. Many ethnic groups have contributed to Ethiopia’s rich cultural shade, making it a land of vibrant festivals, colorful handicrafts, and diverse culinary traditions. The unique cultural heritage of Ethiopia and natural beauty of it has earned its reputation as one of the most fascinating destinations in the world

Popular and Oldest Tourist Attractions in Ethiopia:

1. Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

The town of Lalibela is a remarkable complex of 11 rock-hewn churches, each carved from a single block of volcanic rock. It is located in northern Ethiopia. These churches, from the 12th and 13th centuries, are considered architectural marvels and are considered one of the holy sites by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.

2. Lower Valley of the Omo

The Lower Valley of the Omo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for its archaeological treasures. The valley has yielded some of the oldest fossilised hominid (extinct apes) remains, providing insights into human evolution. The nearby area is also home to the Omotic people, who have preserved their traditional way of life.

3. Fasil Ghebbi

The ancient city of Aksum, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site offering archaeological wonders. Its pillars, including the famous Great Stele of Aksum are believed to have been made to mark the tombs of Aksumite kings after their death. The ruins of ancient temples, palaces, and baths provide richness to this glorious city, making Ethiopia one of the oldest countries in the world.

Located in the highlands of northern Ethiopia, Fasil Ghebbi was the capital of the Ethiopian Empire from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Its palaces and churches feature a classic architectural style of Ethiopian, Islamic, and European influences, and it is prominent in their walls also.

4. Historical Sites of Aksum

The ancient city of Aksum, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site offering archaeological wonders. Its pillars, including the famous Great Stele of Aksum are believed to have been made to mark the tombs of Aksumite kings after their death. The ruins of ancient temples, palaces, and baths provide richness to this glorious city, making Ethiopia one of the oldest countries in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oldest countries in the world

What are the 10 oldest countries?

Determining the exact age of a country can be a complex task. However, based on historical records and the establishment of organised governments, here are the 10 oldest countries in the world:

Iran, Egypt, Vietnam, Armenia, North Korea, China, India, Georgia, Israel and Sudan.

Which is the oldest country in the world?

The oldest country in the world is Iran, with a continuous history dating back to around 3200 BCE. It is also known as Persia and is located in Western Asia.

Which is the oldest nationality in the world?

Both China and Egypt have experienced political and cultural shifts, but their traditional way of living and their cultural identities and traditions have remained impressive throughout history. Therefore, both China and Egypt can be considered among the oldest nationalities in the world.

Which country has the longest history in the world?

China has the longest continuous history of any country in the world, with a recorded history dating back over 3,500 years. The earliest evidence of civilisation in China can be traced back to the Xia dynasty, which is believed to have existed from around 2070 to 1600 BCE.

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