India is the most beautiful country. The places you find here are far better and awesome than anywhere. Our country is one of most visited countries of the world. Tourists from many countries come here and admire the natural and inheriting mesmerizing scenic beauty. We have exclusive cultural sites which presents brilliant craftsmanship.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India
There are 35 world heritage sites that are recognized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The convention of protection of cultural and natural heritage around the world was adopted on November 1972. India’s first 2 sites were listed at the seventh session in 1983. Those two sites were Agra fort and Ajanta caves. Later, a tentative list of 44 sites was submitted by India for recognition.
Among the 35 heritage sites 27 places have cultural importance, 7 places with natural significance and 1 mixed. All of these are awesome places to visit. Let’s discuss about the importance and uniqueness of each place:
World Heritage Sites In India
Cultural World Heritage Sites
- Agra Fort: One of first monument of India, getting placed in World heritage list of UNESCO, it is also called Red Fort of Agra. It represents the power and opulence of Mughals. It was started building in the time of Emperor Akaar. Other impressive parts of this fort are Shish mahal, Muhmaan Burj, Diwan-e-khaas, Diwan-e-aam and Nagina masjid.
- Ajanta Caves: These are the Buddhist caves made in two phases, first in 2nd century BC and second in 6th century at Gupta Rule. The 31 rock cave monuments represent the religious art of Buddhism. It is located in Maharashtra.
- Ellora Caves: Apart from Ajanta caves, Ellora complex are a mix of cultural religious arts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. These caves represent the ancient civilization of India.
- Sanchi Buddhist Monuments: This Buddhist monument is situated at Sanchi, 45 km away from Bhopal. It is inscribed in UNESCO world heritage list because of its unique cultural importance.
- Champner-Pavagarh Archeological Park: Situated in the Panchmahal district of Gujarat, this archeological park was inscribed in world heritage site in 2004. The Kalikamata temple and Jain temple on Pavagadh hills are considered to be important shrine and attracts most of the pilgrim throughout the year.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: The biggest and historic railway station of Mumbai serves as the headquarters of Central Railways. It was primarily named “Victoria Terminus” in honour of Queen Victoria. Later the state government changed it in the name of the great emperor, the famous Maratha king “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj”. It was designed uniquely during 1887-1888 by British Architect.
- Goa Churches and Convents: These were built under Portuguese rule in between 16th and 18th century. Most of them are Cathedral churches and are mainly dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria.
- Elephanta Caves: Also located in the east of Mumbai, Maharashtra, these caves are located in the arm of Arabian Sea. These caves are divided into two parts: One big part represents Hindu culture and another small part represents Buddhist culture. Due to its outstanding architectural design, it was inscribed in the list of UNESCO in 1985.
- Fatehpur Sikri: Also called “the city of victory”, Fatehpur Sikri was built by Great Mughal Emperor Akbar. This complex includes the famous and largest mosques of India namely, Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal and Tomb of Salim Chishti.
- Great Living Chola Temples: These temples were built by Chola Empire stretched all over Tamil Nadu. It includes three big temples namely, Brihdeshwarar temple at Thanjavur, Airavateshwarar Temple in Darasuram and Brihadeeswarar Temple at Gangaikonda. All comes in Tamilnadu state of India. The temples represent the brilliant achievements of Chola dynasty through its architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting. It was inscribed in UNESCO in 1987 for its cultural heritage.
- Hampi Monuments: The group of hampi monuments situated in ostentatious town in the banks of river Tungabhadra, Karnataka. The Dravidian temples and palaces attracted and won admiration of the travelers and so gained the place in heritage monuments.
- Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram: Located about 58 kms from Chennai, these monuments were built by Pallava kings in 7th and 8th centuries. The temple town has around 40 monuments with one largest open air base-relief in the world. These monuments were carved out of the rocks. They were designed in the form of Chariots, and mandapas.
- Group monuments of Pattadakal: It is also situated in Karnataka. The remarkable series of nine Hindu as well as Jain temples made the place memorable.
- Hill forts of Rajasthan: it’s a series of sites located in the outcrops of Aravalli Mountain range in Rajasthan. It represents Rajpoot military strongholds. The series consist of Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambhore, Amber fort, Jaisalmer and Gagron forts. These complexes include Hindu and Jain temples, palaces urban centers and trading centers.
- Humayun’s Tomb: It was built in the remembrance of first Mughal emperor Humayun. It was inscribed as UNESCO world heritage site in 1993. It is famous for its huge luxurious gardens with water channels. It was taken as the symbol of Mughal dynasty. The architecture is incredible.
- Khajuraho Group of Monuments: The beautiful place is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh and it was inscribed in the list of UNESCO world heritage site in October, 1982. The place is an attribute to Chandela dynasty. It is famous for its unique artistic creation.
- Bodh Gaya: Mahabodhi Temple complex at Bodh Gaya is listed as a unique cultural monument. This place has its ancient fame because Mahatma Buddha was enlightened under the Bodhi tree placed inside the complex.
- Mountain Railways of India: The mountain railways represent a collective list of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway and Kalka-Shimla Railway. These were built in 19th century, during British Rule. The UNESCO world heritage recognized them as “outstanding examples of bold, ingenious engineering solutions” for solving the problem of establishing rail link in mountains terrain.
- Qutub Minar: Located in south Delhi, this monument s the masterpiece of red sandstone architecture. This tower is 238 feet high and 47 feet wide diameter in the ground level which reduce to 9feet diameter on top.
- The Queen’s Stepwell (Rani-ki-Vav): It is a famous stepwell which is 64 meter long, 20m wide & 27m deep. There are more than 500 sculptures of God, most of them devoted to Lord Vishnu in different forms.
- Red Fort Complex: Also known as Lal Quila, it was built by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shahjehan. The design of the fort represents a blend of Persian architecture. Built on the right bank of Yamuna River, the fort is enclosed in an area of 656 meters and raised to a height of 75 feet.
- Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka: As inscribed in UNESCO, “a magnificent repository of rock paintings within natural rock shelters”. It is located in the foothills of Vindhya Range. It was inscribed in the year 2003. The rock art discovered in that area has unique paintings over them, which represents their hunting art in landscape format.
- Sun Temple, Konark: Also known as “Black Pagoda”, Konark temple is located in the Mahanadi delta of Bay of Bengal, Orissa. It is built in the form of Sun’s Chariot with six horses and 24 wheels. Its unique structure made it one of renowned temples in India.
- Taj Mahal: Not only a world heritage site, but also included in one of Seven Wonders of the World, The Taj Mahal, represents the eternal beauty of love. It was built by Kind Shahjahan in loving memory of his wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal. Its architectural design is a combined element of Persian, Islamic and Indian styles. It took around 20 years to build this acclaimed masterpiece.
- Jantar-Mantar, Jaipur: It was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734. It was modeled according to the one built before in Delhi. The kind had constructed a total of 5 such facilities at different locations. The Jaipur observatory is the largest of them and also well preserved. Due to its excellent astronomical skills and cosmological concept, UNESCO had given it the place in list the list of World Heritage Sites.
- Archeological Site of Nalanda University: Nalanda is the most ancient university of India. It is located in the state of Bihar. Dedicated to Buddhism, the complex includes stupas, shrines and viharas with excellent art work of stucco, stone and metal.
- The Architectural work of LeCorbusier: This representation of modern art in 17 sites around the world is listed in World Heritage list of UNESCO recently in 2016.
Seve Natural World Heritage Sites
- Kaziranga National Park: It is located in the state of Assam in the plains of Brahmaputra River. It was declared World heritage by the year 1985. First establishes as reserved forest in 1908, it inhabited the rare one-horned rhinoceros. This is a home for many other mammals like elephants, tiger, panther and thousands of birds.
- Keoladeo National Park: This national park is located in the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan. It was previously a place of duck hunting for the emperors. Later it became a bird sanctuary. This park is famous for 364 species of wintering birds that flocks in quite large numbers. These aquatic birds arrive from different and distant countries of Afghanistan, Turkey, China and Siberia. You can also see the rare species of Siberian crane here.
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary: This Assam based sanctuary is a natural habitat of several plant species. It is also a home to a huge variety of endangered wildlife, such as tiger, pygmy hog, Indian rhinoceros and elephants, wild buffaloes, golden langur and Bengal florican. It was also get place in world heritage list in the year 1985.
- Nanda Devi National Park and valley of flowers: It is located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhnad. It is a home to many rare and endangered animals like, blue ship, brown bear, Asiatic black bear and snow leopard. It is also famous for its unique natural landscape beauty scattered all around the place.
- Sunderbans National Park: World famous for rare tiger reserve, Sundarban gained the position of World heritage site in 1984. It covers 10,000 km sq of land and water area. This national park is intensely covered with mangrove forests. Other than habited the rare Bengal tiger, it also sheltered variety of birds, reptiles and aquatic mammal.
- Western Ghats: Also known as Sahyadri mountains, Western Ghats are spotted as the most “Hottest hotspot” of India and eighth in the world. It is spread among 5 different states namely Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil nadu.
- Great Himalayan National Park: located at Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, this place is characterized by high alpine peaks, alpine meadows and riverine forests. It was awarded as the world heritage site in 2014.
Mixed World Heritage Site
- Kanchanjonga National Park: This beautiful piece of nature is located in the heart of Himalayan range. It is the only mixed heritage site in India, the 24th in world (as per UNESCO list). Covered with ancient forests and having unique diversity of valley, lakes and spectacular view of snow-capped mountains, it has both cultural as well as natural significance.
With these kind of heritage sites in India, there happened to be lot of tourism revenue generated and in return Government is spending in providing good facilities for those who visit these place so as to make sure they feel safe and secure in visiting INDIA again.