World Heritage Sites in India recognized by UNESCO

India is always a top favorite destination for tourists across globe. The unique flavor of culture, custom, architecture, nature, flora and fauna attract million of travelers every year. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Jaisalmer to Itanagar; Republic of India has an enchanting beauty and million reasons to visit this holy land.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has recognized total 30 sites in India as World’s Heritage Site. Agra fort and Ajanta Caves were the very first World Heritage Site in India inscribed in the year 1983.

The latest one in this list is Forts of Rajasthan added in the year 2013. Along with these 24 cultural and 6 natural sites, there are also a tentative list of 33 sites submitted for recognition.

Here is a list of each World Heritage Site with brief information about it:

Cultural Sites:

1. Agra Fort at Agra in Uttar Pradesh (1983) – Also known as the Red Fort of Agra. Built in the 16th century this fort represents Mughal opulence and their strength of that time.

2. Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra (1983) – The incredible rock cut monuments are part of Buddhist caves built during the 2nd Century BC to 6th Century.

3. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh (1989) – A series of Buddhist monuments built during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC by Maurya Dynasty Empire Ashoka.

4. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park in Gujarat (2004) – A Prehistoric site and rich by its living cultural heritage properties Champaner was one of the most prosperous city in India.

5. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) in Maharashtra (2004) – The historic railway station in Mumbai, and one of the busiest railway stations in India.

6. Churches and Convents of Goa (1986) – Built during the 16th and 18th century by the Portuguese colonial rulers.

7. Elephanta Caves (1987) – Built during 5th to the 8th Century, network of sculpted caves on Elephanta Island in Maharashtra.

8. Ellora Caves (1983) – Built between 600 to 1000 AD these 34 monasteries and temples sculpted in rock walls shows cultural mix and religious art of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.

9. Fatehpur Sikri (1986) – Built by Mughal emperor Akbar in the 16th century, this city literally means “the City of Victory”.

10. Great Living Chola Temples (1987) – Built during 11th and 12th-century by kings of the Chola empire, the site has 3 great temples.

11. Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986) – Hampi is the ruins of Vijayanagara city, which was one of the most prosperous city during 14th to the 16th century.

12. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984) – This site is in Tamil nadu. Built by the Pallava kings during 7th and 8th centuries it was the most prominent site during Mamalla rule.

13. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987) – The site in Karnataka is a series of 9 Hindu Temples and Jain sanctuary.

14. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993) – This tomb in Delhi was built by Mughal Emperor Humayun’s widow Biga Begum (Hajji Begum) in 1570.

15. Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986) – This site in Madhya Pradesh was built by Chandela dynasty rulers during 950 AD to 1050 AD.

16. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002) – The Buddhist Temple in Bihar is one of the holiest shrines for Buddhists. The first temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BC and later more temples were added during 5th and 6th century AD and 19th century AD.

17. Mountain Railways of India (1999) – In the series of mountain railways, three rail routes comes: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in Darjeeling, West Bengal, Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Ooty, Tamil nadu and Kalka-Shimla Railway, Himachal Pradesh

18. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993) – Initiated by Qutubuddin Aibak in 1192 this is a masterpiece in South Delhi built of red sandstone.

19. Red Fort Complex (2007) – Also known as Lal Qila is one of the historic sites in Delhi built by 5th Mughal Emperor Shahjahan during the 17th century.

20. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003) – This site in Madhya Pradesh is from the 2nd and 1st centuries BC and shows the prehistoric age rock paintings.

21. Sun Temple, Konark (1984) – This 13th Century built Sun temple in state of Orissa is an amazing piece of architecture.

22. Taj Mahal (1983) – One of the seven wonders in the world, Taj Mahal in Agra is a mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his third wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal

23. The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010) – Built during 1727 and 1734 Jantar Mantar is an architectural astronomical instruments built by Maharaja Jai Singh II.

24. Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013) – Series of forts built on the rocks and mountains of the Aravallis mountain range in Rajasthan shows the power of the Rajputs.

Natural Sites:

1. Kaziranga National Park (1985) – This national park in Assam is one and only shelter of Indian one horn Rhino.

2. Keoladeo National Park (1985) – One of the most famous bird sanctuary in state of Rajasthan.

3. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985) – Situated in Assam this wildlife sanctuary is part of “Project Tiger” to save tigers in the world. It is the home of more than 500 species.

4. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988) – It is located in High of West Himalayas also known as Garhwal Himalayas of Chamoli District of Uttarakhand.

5. Sundarbans National Park (1987) – The house of Royal Bengal Tiger this site is located bordering Bay of Bengal in West Bengal.

6. Western Ghats (2012) – The series of Sahyadri Mountain range includes a total of 39 seats out of which 20 falls under state of Kerala, 10 in Karnataka, 5 in Tamil nadu and 4 in Maharashtra.

Properties submitted on the Tentative List (33)

1. Temples at Bishnupur, West Bengal (1998)

2. Buddhist Monastery Complex, Alchi, Leh, known as Alchi Chos-kor (1998)

3. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (1998)

4. Dholavira: a Harappan City, Gujarat, Disstt, Kachchh (1998)

5. Rani-ki-Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (1998)

6. Mattanchery Palace, Ernakulam, Kerala (1998)

7. Tomb of Sher Shah Suri, Sasaram, Bihar (1998)

8. Group of Monuments at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh (1998)

9. Ancient Buddhist Site, Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (1998)

10. Hemis Gompa (1998)

11. Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab (2004)

12. River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam (2004)

13. The Matheran Light Railway (extension to the Mountain Railways of India) (2005)

14. Namdapha National Park (2006)

15. Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch (2006)

16. Kangchendzonga National Park (2006)

17. Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh (2006)

18. The Kangra Valley Railway – Extension to the Mountain Railways of India (2009)

19. Churchgate – Extension to Mumbai CST (2009)

20. The Maharaja Railways of India (2009)

21. Oak Grove School (2009)

22. Excavated Remains at Nalanda (2009)

23. Great Himalayan National Park (2009)

24. Bhitarkanika Conservation Area (2009)

25. Neora Valley National Park (2009)

26. Desert National Park (2009)

27. Silk Road Sites in India (2010)

28. Santiniketan (2010)

29. The Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs, Charminar (2010)

30. Mughal Gardens in Kashmir (2010)

31. Historic city of Ahmedabad (2011)

32. The Victorian & Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai (2012)

33. Delhi – A Heritage City (2012)

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