The UNESCO World Heritage sites are the sites of cultural significance and importance, designated by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). India is a big diverse country with a very interesting and rich history. It has the sixth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The UNESCO world heritage sites are distinguished into three categories – Cultural, Natural & Mixed.
Cultural Sites consist of archeological sites, building with historical significance, magnificent and eye-catching monumental sculptures, monuments, town sites, and other such places. The Natural Sites comprise the ecological and biological evolutionary processes, unique habitats, and sites that boost rare biodiversity or endangered plants and animals. The Mixed Sites are the ones that have the elements of both Cultural & Natural Sites.
There are more than 40 UNESCO world heritage sites in India, Dholavira in Gujarat and the Ramappa Temple of Telangana are the newest addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. As a matter of fact, there is only one mixed UNESCO world heritage in India.
1. Taj Mahal, Agra
Taj Mahal, a building located on the banks of river Yamuna holds a prestigious place in the Seven Wonders of the World and is also a very popular UNESCO World Heritage Site in the country. This, White Marble architecture was built in 1600 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
2. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
Ajanta Caves are one of the first World Heritage Sites in India and beautifully impact the art and architecture of India. These caves consist of around 31 rock-cut Buddhist Cave Monuments, sculptures, and paintings.
3. Fatehpur Sikri, Agra
Another beautiful monument located in the city of Taj is the Fatehpur Sikri. It mainly constitutes of four monuments namely The Jama Masjid, The Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal or Jada Baai ka Mahal, Diwane-Khas, and Diwan-eaam.
4. Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi located in the northern part of Karnataka is a collection of heritage sites that hold religious significance to Hindus. The ruins at Hampi depict the fine Dravidian style of art and architecture.
5. Red Fort, Delhi
Red Fort located in the heart of Delhi, is widely known for its Indian, Timuri, Persian, and Shahjahanabad architectural styles. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan when he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi.
6. Sun Temple, Orissa
Sun Temple situated in Konark, Orissa is a 13th-century temple famous for its Kalinga Architecture and one of the most famous Brahman sanctuaries. It is a monumental representation of the sun god Surya’s chariot, it’s 24 wheels are led by 6 horses decorated with symbolic designs.
7. Agra Fort, Agra
Situated near the Taj Mahal, is one of the most architecturally rich monuments of the Mughal Era. It is a fusion of Indian, Timurid, and Persian forms of Architecture and is a famous tourist spot after the Taj Mahal In Agra.
8. Mahabalipuram Monuments, Tamil Nadu
Mahabalipuram temples are famous because they have been carved out of rock and that is what makes these unique. These were built under the reign of the Pallava rulers, it consists of 49 sanctuaries including the Largest Open-Air Bas Relief, Chariot Temples, and Mandapas.
9. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
Kaziranga National Park is primarily famous for Worlds 2/3rd Great One Horned Rhinoceros along with the highest number of Tigers in the World. It is home to 15 endangered Indian species consisting of, leopard, tiger, water buffalo, swamp Deer, Indian muntjac, capped langur, sloth bear, and Ganges dolphin, otter, and wild boar. The park consists of many dense grasslands, lakes, and forests and lies on the flood plains of the Brahmaputra river.
10. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho is one of the most famous UNESCO World Heritage sites in India, consisting of 85 Temples spread over an area of 20sq/km. Situated 175 km southeast of Jhansi, this heritage site is renowned for a group of Hindu & Jain temples. These were built under the reign of the Chandella dynasty which portrays the rich cultural heritage of India.
11. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Maharashtra
Built by Frederick William Stevens formerly known as Victoria Terminus, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is the headquarters of the Central Railway in Mumbai. It is famous for the Terror Attacks on Mumbai in 2008, Gothic Style Architecture.
12. Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
Elephanta Caves located in Mumbai are widely known for Hindu & Buddhist Caves. The caves are situated on the Arabian Sea Island and consist of Basal Rock Caves and Shiva Temples.
13. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
Sundarbans National Park, a famous tiger and biosphere reserve is known for the Royal Bengal Tigers.
The reserve is mostly covered by dense mangrove forests and is the largest mangrove forest in the world. Apart from the maximum population of Bengal Tigers in India, there are the Gangetic dolphin, spotted deer, wild boar, and other mammal and amphibian species.
14. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
Humayun’s Tomb was built between 1565-1572 by the first wife of Humayun Begam Bega. This tomb consists of many smaller buildings, the tombs of Isa Khan Niyazi, an Afghan noble in Sher Shah Suri’s court of the Suri dynasty.
15. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
Built-in the 18th century by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh of Rajasthan astronomical observatory. It has a total of 19 astronomical instruments including the world’s largest Sundial.