List Of UNESCO'S World Heritage Sites In India!

Safalta Expert Published by: Deepesh Mehra Updated Mon, 31 Jan 2022 01:27 PM IST

Highlights

Check out the List Of UNESCO'S World Heritage Sites In India here with Safalta. Get to know about World Heritage Sites maintained by the international 'World Heritage Programme', administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific, or another form of significance. Each year the authorized bodies from various countries add a list of sites to the Tentative List of World Heritage. United Nations Economic and Cultural Organization is mandated by United Nations to safeguard, protect and preserve the intangible cultural and natural heritage of human civilization. The sites that are added to the List Of UNESCO World Heritage Sites enjoy worldwide recognition and are often stand out as sites of significance in human evolution. But to be selected as a World Heritage Site it must be somehow a unique landmark that is geographically and historically identifiable and has special cultural or physical significance.

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India at present has 40 sites on the list of World Heritage Sites. The sites are distinct examples of cultural, natural, and mixed heritage sites in the World. The significant and most iconic sites from India are no surprise due to the rich history of cultural development: diversity and beauty of the natural landscape across various geographies in India.

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The unique tradition of India and the reverence it attaches with nature is witnessed in the mixed world heritage site, which not only is an example of rich flora and fauna but also a thriving man-environment relationship that exists here. In this article, we have covered the List Of World Heritage Sites for the benefit of candidates preparing for various examinations. If you are preparing for competitive exams and are looking for expert guidance, you can check out our monthly FREE Current Affairs Ebook- Download Now.
 
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List Of UNESCO'S World Heritage Sites

There is a total of 40 sites from India. The composition of the list is as follows:
  1. Cultural Sites -32
  2. Natural Sites - 7 
  3. Mixed World Heritage Sites - 1
Note - 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

  • It was founded in 1945 to develop the “intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind” as a means of building lasting peace.
  • It is located in Paris, France.

The sites under the List Of World Heritage Site are as follows:

Cultural Sites -List Of World Heritage Site

1. The Taj Mahal:

The Taj Mahal is located in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh, on the right bank of the Yamuna River, amid a large Mughal Garden that spans almost 17 hectares. It was created in honor of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's wife Mumtaz Mahal, with work beginning in 1632 AD and ending in 1648 AD.


2. Ajanta Caves:

The Ajanta Caves are Hindu and Buddhist caves that were constructed in two stages. The first was during Emperor Ashoka's reign. The second expansions were created during the Gupta period's 5th and 6th centuries AD. The caves have ornately decorated fresco paintings reminiscent of Sri Lanka's Sigiriya frescoes and sculptures. There are 31 rock-cut cave monuments that are one-of-a-kind depictions of Hindu and Buddhist sacred art.


3. Ellora Caves:

Ellora is an archaeological monument in the Indian state of Maharashtra, 29 kilometers (18 miles) northwest of the city of Aurangabad. It was erected by the Kalachuri, Chalukya, and Rashtrakuta kings throughout their reigns (6th and 9th centuries). The 34 "caves" are actually buildings excavated from the Charanandri hills' vertical face. The Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religions are all represented in these caverns. Built-in close vicinity are the 17 Hindu (caves 13–29), 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves. In 1983, the Ellora Caves were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


4. Agra Fort:

The Agra Fort, commonly known as the Red Fort of Agra, is the crown jewel of the Mughal Empire, representing richness and strength. It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982 as a cultural monument in Category iii. The stronghold is built in red sandstone and spans 2.5 kilometers along the right bank of the Yamuna River (1.6 mi). A moat surrounds it, enclosing various palaces, towers, and mosques. They were constructed between the 16th and early 18th centuries.


5. Sun Temple Konark:

Konark Sun Temple, also known as Konark, is an architectural marvel of India's heritage. It is located in the eastern state of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa), India, and is one of the most prominent tourist destinations. A large temple devoted to the Sun God can be found in Konark. The word 'Konark' is formed by combining the syllables 'Kona' and 'Arka.' When the words 'Kona' and 'Arka' are combined, the result is 'Sun of the Corner.' The Konark Sun Temple is devoted to the Sun God and is located in Puri's northeastern corner.


6. Kaziranga National Park:

UNESCO designated Kaziranga as a World Heritage Site in 1985 for its unique natural environment, which is located in the northeastern state of Assam amid the flood plains of the Brahmaputra River's south bank. It was declared as a protected forest in 1908 to safeguard rhinoceros whose numbers were falling. It was first established in 1916 as The Kaziranga Game Sanctuary, then renamed Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950, and finally declared a national park in 1974. The park, which spans 42,996 hectares (106,250 acres), is home to the greatest population of the giant Indian one-horned rhinoceros in the world.

 

7. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram:

The Pallava rulers created this set of sanctuaries, which were carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It's notable for its rathas (chariot temples), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), gigantic open-air reliefs like the famous 'Descent of the Ganges,' and the temple of Rivage, which has thousands of sculptures dedicated to Shiva's splendour.


8. Keoladeo National Park:

The Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest Biogeographical Province includes the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur. It has a total size of 2,783 hectares (6,880 acres). In 1982, it was designated as a national park. It began as a duck-hunting reserve for the Maharajas of Bharatpur in 1900, then evolved into a bird sanctuary in 1956, with the Maharajas retaining shooting rights until 1972. In 1981, it was designated as a Ramsar Wetland site.


9. Churches and Convents of Goa:

The Portuguese reign in this section of India's western coast gave birth to the churches and convents of Velha (Old) Goa. Se' Cathedral, Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi, Chapel of St. Catherine, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of Lady of Rosary, and Church of St. Augustine are the most comprehensive group of churches and cathedrals built in Old Goa during the 16th to 17th centuries AD.


10. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary:

It's in the state of Assam, at the base of the Bhutan-Himalayan foothills. It is well-known for its diverse biodiversity and scenic beauty. Manas was the first tiger reserve to be added to the Project Tiger network in 1973. In 1985, the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Manas was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1989. It stretches from the Sankosh River in the west to the Dhansiri River in the east, covering an area of 2837 square kilometers.


11. Fatehpur Sikri:

Emperor Akbar erected Fatehpur Sikri in the second half of the 16th century. Fatehpur Sikri (City of Victory) was only the Mughal Empire's capital for just ten years. The Jama Masjid, one of India's largest mosques, is part of a complex of monuments and temples built in a consistent architectural style. To honor the Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chishti, who lived in Sikri, Akbar moved his palace and court from Agra to Sikri (in a cavern on the ridge).


12. Khajuraho Group of Monuments:

The Chandela dynasty, which rose to fame under the Gurjar Pratihars' rule, is credited with the Khajuraho Group of Monuments. The surviving monuments belong to Hindu and Jain religious activities, with spectacular fusions of sculpture and architecture; the Kandariya Temple is the best example of this excellent trait. Only 22 of the 85 temples built have remained in a 6 km2 area, representing the Chandela period of the 10th century.


13. Group of Monuments Hampi:

The Hampi Group of Monuments consists of a gloomy yet showy Hampi town on the banks of the Tungabhadra River in Karnataka. The remains of Vijayanagara, the historic capital of the great Vijayanagara Empire, are included in Hampi. Hampi is rich in Dravidian temples and palaces. Between the 14th and 16th centuries, these attracted the attention of travelers.


14. Khajuraho Group of Monuments:

The Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh are among the country's most stunning medieval structures. Between AD 900 and 1130, the Chandella monarchs constructed these temples. It was the heyday of the Chandella dynasty. Every Chandella ruler is thought to have erected at least one temple during his reign. So no single Chandella monarch built all of the Khajuraho Temples; rather, it was a Chandella ruler tradition that practically all of the Chandella dynasty's rulers followed.


15. Great Living Chola Temples:

The Great Living Chola Temples, erected by Chola rulers, covered the entire state of Tamil Nadu. The Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram, and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram is among the three magnificent temples of the 11th and 12th centuries that make up this cultural heritage site. Rajendra I finished building the Gangaikondacholisvaram Temple in 1035.


16. Elephanta Caves:

The Elephanta Caves (also known as Gharapurichi Leni or Gharapuri) are a network of carved caves on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri (meaning "the city of caves") in Maharashtra, India. The island, which lies in the Arabian Sea, is made up of two sets of caves: a big group of five Hindu caves and a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves feature rock-cut stone sculptures of Lord Shiva, symbolizing the Shaiva Hindu faith.


17. Sundarban National Park:

Sundarban, the world's largest delta, spans 10,200 square kilometers of Mangrove Forest in India and Bangladesh. Sundarbans National Park, located in the southern section of West Bengal, is a part of the forest within Indian territory. The Sundarbans cover an area of 38,500 sq km, with water/marsh covering nearly a third of it. Sundari trees can be found in abundance throughout the forest. The Royal Bengal tigers are well-known in Sundarban.

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18. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal:

Karnataka is the pinnacle of eclectic art that, during the Chalukya dynasty's reign in the 7th and 8th centuries, produced a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India. There is an excellent collection of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary, to be found there. The Temple of Virupaksha, built around 740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband's triumph against the rulers of the South, is one of the group's highlights.

 

19. Nanda Devi National Park:

Nanda Devi National Park was designated as a national park in 1982. It is located in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, near the peak of Nanda Devi (7816 m). In 1988, UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site. Sanjay Gandhi National Park was established by Notification in 1982 but was afterward renamed Nanda Devi National Park. There are 312 floral species found here, including 17 uncommon species. The major flora includes fir, birch, rhododendron, and juniper.


20. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi:

The first tomb created with various improvements, located in the center of exquisite gardens with water channels, Humayun's Tomb in Delhi, was the forerunner monument to the Taj Mahal (built a century later). It was constructed in 1570 and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument in 1993 due to its cultural significance. Biga Begum, the second Mughal Emperor Humayun's widow, constructed it between 1569 and 1570. (Hajji Begum).


21. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi:

Sanchi is a popular tourist destination for Buddhists in India. It is located in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh's Raisen district. The Great Stupa at Sanchi is India's oldest stone structure, having been built in the third century BCE by Emperor Ashoka the Great. The stupa is situated on a 91-meter-high hill (298.48 ft.). Sanchi was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989.

 

22. Qutub Minar and its Monuments, Delhi:

The Minar of Qutb and its Monuments The Qutb Minar, a red sandstone tower of 72.5 meters (238 feet) height with a base of 14.32 meters (47.0 feet) reduced to 2.75 meters (9.0 feet) diameter at the top, is the centerpiece of Delhi, which is located to the south of Delhi. Itineraries, the Alai Darwaza Gate (1311), the Alai Minar (an incomplete mound of the intended Minar or tower), the Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque (India's oldest mosque), the mausoleum of Iltutmish, and an Iron Pillar are among the monuments built in the early 13th century.

 

23. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya:

Emperor Asoka established the first temple in the 3rd century B.C., while the current Mahabodhi Temple Complex dates from the 5th to–6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built completely of brick that is still intact, dating from the late Gupta period, and is thought to have influenced the development of brick building over the ages.


24. The Great Himalayan National Park:

It is located in Himachal Pradesh, India, in the Kullu District. In 1999, GHNP was formally designated as a National Park, with a total area of 754.4 square kilometers. The Great Himalayan National Park is home to a diverse range of flora and wildlife, including 32 mammals, 180 birds, three reptiles, ten amphibians, 12 annelids, 18 mollusks, and 126 insects. On June 23, 2014, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Note: The Latest Editions are
  • Dholavira: a Harappan City (2021)
  • Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana (2021)

Natural Sites- Under List Of UNESCO'S World Heritage Sites

  • Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)
  • Kaziranga National Park (1985)
  • Keoladeo National Park (1985)
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
  • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988,2005)
  • Sundarbans National Park (1987)
  • Western Ghats (2012)

Mixed Sites- Under List Of UNESCO'S World Heritage Sites

  • Khangchendzonga National Park (2016)
Note : This year there are 6 other sites added to the List of Tentative Sites from India -  They are 
  • Satpura Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh): ...
  • Ghats of Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh): ...
  • Megalithic Site of Hire Benkal (Karnataka): ...
  • Maratha Military Architecture in Maharashtra: ...
  • Bhedaghat-Lametaghat in Narmada Valley- Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh): ...
  • Temples of Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu):


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