Unesco World Heritage Sites in India
A monument or a place which is legally protected by an international convention headed by United Nations Educational, Specific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) is said to be a World Heritage Site. World Heritage Sites are recognised by UNESCO for having some special significance (that maybe cultural, historical, scientific etc.). The headquarter of UNESCO is in Paris, France.
A place or a monument must satisfy following criteria to be recognised under UNESCO World Heritage Sites-
- It should be a masterpiece of human creativity and have some significance.
- Must exhibit an important interchange of human values.
- It must be unique.
- Should be a wonderful example of its kind and have significant stage in history.
- Should represent a culture or human interaction with the environment.
- Contains areas of exceptional beauty or some superlative natural phenomena.
Italy and China are the countries with highest number of World Heritage Sites recognised by UNESCO; both have 55 entries under this list.
India has 38 World Heritage Sites, categorised as 30 Cultural, 7 Natural and 1 Mixed.
World Heritage Sites of India are as follows-
|Name of Heritage||State||Year of recognition||Description|
|Cultural World Heritage Sites|
|Agra Fort||Uttar Pradesh||1983||It was one of the two sites first recognised by UNESCO. Renowned as the Red Fort of Agra, situated on right bank of the Yamuna River, built using red sandstone, represents Mughal empire.|
|Ajanta Caves||Maharashtra||1983||One of the two sites first recognised by UNESCO. They are Buddhists caves built in two phases: the first was from the reign of Emperor Ashoka & the second was made during the 5th and 6th centuries AD of the Gupta period.|
|Ellora Caves||Maharashtra||1983||It is a mixture of cultural religious arts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.|
|Taj Mahal||Uttar Pradesh||1983||One among the Seven Wonders of the World— a funerary mosque, constructed by Emperor Shahjahan in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, third wife Begum who had died in 1631|
|Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram||Tamil Nadu||1984||Constructed by the Pallava kings in the 7th and 8th centuries. These monuments are constructed of rock along the Coromandel coast.|
|Sun Temple, Konarak||Orissa||1984||A 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the "Black Pagoda"), at Konark, in Odisha. Situated on the east coast of the Bay of Bengal in the Mahanadi Delta, constructed in the form of the sun god with 24 wheels.|
|Churches and Convents of Goa||Goa||1986||Constructed by the Portuguese colonial rulers of Goa between the 16th and 18th centuries|
|Elephanta Caves||Maharashtra||1987||Network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri (literally "the city of caves") in Mumbai Harbour, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to the east of the city of Mumbai. There are group of 2 caves on island —the larger one consists of five Hindu caves and a smaller one has two Buddhist caves.|
|Group of Monuments at Hampi||Karnataka||1986||Located on the banks of the river Tungabhadra in Karnataka. Hampi is an important Hindu and Jain religious centre, has the Virupaksha Temple and several other monuments.|
|Fatehpur Sikri||Uttar Pradesh||1986||"The City of Victory," constructed in the second half of the 16th century by the Mughal Emperor Akbar (1556–1605).|
|Khajuraho Group of Monuments||Madhya Pradesh||1986||The monuments belong to the Hindu and Jain religious practices with the fusion of sculpture and architecture.|
|Group of Monuments at Pattadakal||Karnataka||1987||It covers nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary.|
|Great Living Chola Temples||Tamil Nadu||1987||Constructed by the kings of Chola Empire; having three great temples; the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur and Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.|
|Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi||Madhya Pradesh||1989||Belong to the class of Buddhist monuments dated between 200 BC and 100 BC.|
|Humayun’s Tomb||Delhi||1993||The first tomb constructed with several innovations, located at the centre of luxurious gardens with water channels, was the predecessor monument to the Taj Mahal (built a century later). It was constructed by the second Mughal Emperor Humayun's widow Biga Begum (Hajji Begum) .|
|Mountain Railways of India||Tamil Nadu||1999||It consists of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway under the UNESCO World Heritage Site.|
|Qutb Minar and its Monuments||Delhi||1993||A complex with the Qutb Minar as the centre piece, built of red sandstone tower.|
|Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya||Bihar||2002||The temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC around the Bodhi Tree Ficus religiosa (to the west of the temple). Presently, the temples are dated between 5th and 6th centuries AD.|
|Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park||Gujarat||2004||It is situated in the Panchmahal district. It is archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties in the form of impressive landscape.|
|Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Formerly Victoria Terminus)||Maharashtra||2004||A historic railway station in Mumbai, serving as the headquarters of the Central Railways. It is one among busiest railway stations in India.|
|Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka||Madhya Pradesh||2003||It comprises of a magnificent repository of rock paintings within natural rock shelters", located in the foothills of the Vindhya range of hills.|
|Red Fort Complex||Delhi||2007||Also known as Lal Qila, a palace fort built by Shahjahan . It represents the glory of the Mughal rule and is considered as the Highest point of Mughal architectural, artistic aesthetic creativity.|
|The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur||Rajasthan||2010||It is a group of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II.|
|Hill Forts of Rajasthan||Rajasthan (Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambhore, Amber Sub-Cluster, Jaisalmer, Gagron)||2013||The series of sites located on rocky outcrops of the Aravallis mountain range in Rajasthan. The property has many forts..|
|Rani-Ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan||Gujarat||2014||It is famous stepwell known for its size and sculpture, there are more than 500 sculptures of god.|
|Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda||Bihar||2016||It contains the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution. It has stupas, shrines, viharas and important art works in stucco, stone and metal. Nalanda is one of the oldest university of the Indian Subcontinent.|
|The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement||Chandigarh||2016||17 sites of this nature are spread over seven countries. Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh, is home to many architectural projects.|
|Historic City of Ahmedabad||Gujarat||2017||Located on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati River, presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period. The city is the capital of the State of Gujarat for six centuries till present.|
|Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles||Maharashtra||2018||It is a collection of the Victorian Gothic buildings and Art Deco buildings. The Bombay High Court, Rajabai Clock Tower, Eros Cinema and the University of Mumbai comes under the category.|
|The walled city of Jaipur||Rajasthan||2019||It was founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II. It is capital of Rajasthan.|
|Natural World Heritage Site|
|Kaziranga National Park||Assam||1985||Located on the flood plains of the Brahmaputra River's south bank. It was established in 1908 to protect the dwindling numbers of rhinoceros.|
|Keoladeo Ghana National Park||Rajasthan||1985||Located within the Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest Bio-geographical Province. It was declared as a national park in 1982; Under Ramsar Wetland site in 1981|
|Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers||Uttarakhand||19822005||It is nestled high in West Himalaya.|
|Manas Wildlife Sanctuary||Assam||1985||Situated in the plains of the Manas River in the foothills of the Himalayas, on the border with Bhutan (contiguous with the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan).|
|Sunderbans National Park||West Bengal||1984||The largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world, a national park, tiger reserve, World Heritage Site and a biosphere reserve located in the Sundarbans Ganges river delta bordered with the Bay of Bengal. It is also present in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves|
|Western Ghats||Maharashtra,Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala||2012||Called as the Sahyadri Mountains, a mountain range along the western side of India and one among the ten "Hottest biodiversity hotspots" in world. Around 39 properties (including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests) were recognised as World Heritage Sites- 20 in the state of Kerala, ten in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra|
|G reat Himalayan National Park||Himachal Pradesh||2014||Known for high alpine peaks, alpine meadows and riverine forests.|
|Mixed Word Heritage Site|
|Khangchendzon-ga National Park||Sikkim||2016||Situated in the heart of the Himalayan range in northern India, the Park includes a unique diversity of plains, valleys, lakes, glaciers and spectacular, snow-capped mountains surrounded by ancient forests. It has the world's third highest peak..|