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World Heritage Sites in India

These are places of importance of cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.

The Convention concerning the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted on 17 November 1997 following the General Conference of the UNESCO held from 17 October 1972 to 21 November 1972.

India’s first two sites inscribed on the list at the Seventh Session of the World Heritage held in 1983 were the Agra Fort and the Ajanta Caves.

Name Description
Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary Region : Assam, India.
Period : 20th century.

It is  located in the Northeastern state of Assam in the flood plains of the Brahmaputra River’s south bank, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 for its unique natural environment. It was first established as a reserved forest in 1908 to protect the dwindling species of Rhinoceros. 
Manas Wild Life Sanctuary Region : Assam, India.
Period : 20th century.

It is located in the Northeastern state of Assam covers an area of 50,000 hectares (120,000 acres) in the plains of the Manas River’s in the foot hills of the Himalayas on the border with Bhutan (contiguous with the Manas Wild Life Sanctuary in Bhutan). It was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 for its unique natural environment. 
Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya Region : Bihar, India.
Period : 3rd century BC, 5th and 6th century AD and 19th century AD.

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (Buddha Gaya), spread over an area of 4.86 hectares (12.0 acres) was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The first temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC (260 BC) around the Bodhi Tree Ficus religiosa (to the west of the temple).
Humayun’s Tomb Region : Delhi, India.
Period : 1570.

Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi  was built in 1570 and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument in 1993 for its cultural importance. It was built in 1569–1570 by the second Mughal Emperor Humayun’s widow Biga Begum (Hajji Begum).
Qutb Minar and its Monuments Region : Delhi, India.
Period : Late 12th century.

Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi, located to the south of Delhi, is a complex with the Qutb Minar as the centre piece, which is a red sandstone tower. Built in the beginning of the 13th century, the complex of structures comprises itineraries, the Alai Darwaza Gate (1311), the Alai Minar (an incomplete mound of the intended Minar or tower), the Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque (the earliest existing mosque in India), the tomb of Iltumish, and an Iron Pillar.
Red Fort Complex Region : Delhi, India.
Period : 1546.

Red Fort Complex, also known as Lal Qila is a palace fort built in the 17th century by Shahjahan (1628–58), the fifth Mughal Emperor as part of his new capital city of Shahjahanabad located to the north of Delhi. It represents the glory of the Mughal rule and is considered the Highpoint of Mughal architectural, artistic aesthetic creativity.
Churches and Convents of Goa Region : Velha Goa (Old Goa), Goa, India.
Period : 16th and 18th century.

Churches and Convents of Goa are monuments inscribed by UNESCO under the World Heritage List in 1986 as cultural property, which were built by the Portuguese colonial rulers of Goa between 16th and 18th centuries. These monuments are mainly in the former capital of Velha Goa. 
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park Region : Gujarat, India.
Period : Prehistoric & 8th to 14th centuries.

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is situated in Panchmahal district in Gujarat, India. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 as a natural site. There is a concentration of largely un-excavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties cradled in an impressive landscape which includes prehistoric (chalcolithic) sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th century capital of the state of Gujarat.  
Group of Monuments at Hampi Region : Bellary District, Karnataka, India.
Period : 14th and 16th centuries.

The Group of Monuments at Hampi comprise a sombre but ostentatious Hampi town, in northern Karnataka. Hampi subsumes the ruins of Vijayanagara, which was the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Dravidian temples and palaces abound in Hampi.
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal Region : Karnataka, India.
Period : 8th century.

The Group of monuments in Pattadakal designated under UNESCO World Heritage List, in 1987, cover a remarkable series of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary. In this group of temples, the Virupaksha Temple, built in c.740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband's victory over the kings from the south, is considered the most outstanding architectural edifice (This is different from the Virupaksha Temple at Hampi.) .
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi Region : Madhya Pradesh, India.
Period : 2nd and 1st centuries BC to the 12th century CE.

Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, located 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Bhopal in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are a group of Buddhist monuments dated between 200 BC and 100BC. The site, however, has been conjectured to have been developed in the 3rd century BC, when Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire ruled.
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka Region : Madhya Pradesh, India.
Period : 2nd and 1st centuries BC.

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka  described in the UNESCO Inscription as “the site complex a  magnificent repository of rock paintings within natural rock shelters”  is located in the foothills of the Vindhya range of hills in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.  It is spread in sandstone formations extending over an area of 1893 ha  with a buffer zone 10,280 hectares (25,400 acres).
Khajuraho Group of Monuments Region : Madhya Pradesh, India.
Period : 950 AD to 1050 AD.

Khajuraho Group of Monuments attributed to the Chandela dynasty of Rajput descent reached its glory between 950 AD and 1050 AD. Of the 85 temples built, only 22 temples have survived in an  area of 6sqkm, which represents the Chandela period of the 10th century.  Located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, it was inscribed by  UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Ajanta Caves Region : Maharashtra, India.
Period : 2nd century BC.

Ajanta Caves  listed under UNESCO World Heritage as a cultural heritage site, are  Buddhist caves that were built in two phases, the first phase was from  2nd century BC. In the second phase, further additions were made during  the 5th and 6th centuries AD of the Gupta period.
Ellora Caves Region : Maharashtra, India.
Period :600 to 1000 AD.

Ellora Caves also known as Ellora Complex are a cultural mix of religious arts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. These are 34 monasteries and temples sculpted contiguously into rock walls of a high basalt  cliff, which are seen along a length of 2 kilometres (1.2 mi). Dated to  600 to 1000 AD, they are a reflection of artistic creation of the  ancient civilization of India.
Elephanta Caves Region : Maharashtra, India.
Period : 5th and 8th centuries.

The Elephanta Caves are a 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. The island, located on an arm of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves — the first is a large group of five  Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. Renovated  in the 1970s, the caves were designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 to preserve the artwork.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus  (formerly Victoria Terminus) Region : Maharashtra, India.
Period : 1887–1888.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a historic railway station in Mumbai, which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. It is one of the busiest railway stations in India, and serves Central Railway trains terminating in Mumbai as well as the Mumbai Suburban Railway. The station was designed by Frederick William Stevens,  a consulting architect in 1887–1888. It took ten years to complete and  was named "Victoria Terminus" in honour of the Queen and Empress Victoria. It was opened on the date of her Golden Jubilee in 1887. On 2 July 2004, the station was nominated as a World Heritage Site.
Sun Temple, Konarak Region : Puri District, Orissa, India.
Period : 13th-century.

Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the "Black Pagoda"), at Konark, in Orissa. Located on the east coast of the Bay of Bengal in the Mahanadi Delta, it is built in the form of the chariot of Surya  (Arka), the sun god with 24 wheels, and is heavily decorated with  symbolic stone carvings and led by a team of six horses. The temple is one of the most renowned temples in India and is a World Heritage Site inscribed in 1984.
Keoladeo National Park Region : Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.
Period : 1981.

Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur is located within the Indus-Ganges  Monsoon Forest Biogeographical Province. It extends over an area of  2,783 hectares (6,880 acres). It was declared a national park in 1982.  Earlier to this, in 1900, it was a duck-hunting reserve of the Maharajasof  Bharatpur, then became a bird sanctuary in 1956, with the Maharajas  exercising shooting rights till 1972, and was recorded as a Ramsar Wetland  site, in 1981. It was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Jantar Mantar,  Region : Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.
Period : 1727 and 1734.

The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (King) Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. It is modeled after the one that he had built at the Mughal capital of Delhi.  It has been inscribed  as cultural property on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "an expression  of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a  scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period."
Great Living Chola Temples Region : Tamil Nadu, India.
Period : 11th and 12th-century.

The Great Living Chola Temples, built by kings of the Chola Empire  stretched over all of Tamil Nadu. This cultural heritage site includes  three great temples of 11th and 12th century namely, the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The site was  inscribed under UNESCO World Heritage List. 
Group of Monuments Region : Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.
Period : 7th and 8th centuries.

The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, in Tamilnadu, about 58 km from Chennai, were built by the Pallava kings in the 7th and 8th centuries. The town is said to have gained prominence under the rule of Mamalla. These monuments have been carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast.  The temple town has approximately forty monuments, including the  largest open-air bas-relief in the world. It was inscribed under the  UNESCO World Heritage list
Agra Fort Region : Uttar Pradesh, India.
Period : 16th century.

Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort of Agra, which represented Mughal  opulence and power as the centre piece of their empire was inscribed in  the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982. The fortress located on the right bank of the Yamuna River, built in red sandstone.  These were built from  16th century onwards till early 18th century, starting with Emperor Akbar's reign in the 16th century to that of Aurangzeb in the early part of the 18th century, including the contributions made during the reign of Jahangir and Shahjahan of the Moghul  Rule in India.
Fatehpur Sikri Region : Uttar Pradesh, India.
Period : 16th century.

Fatehpur Sikri, "the City of Victory," was built during the second half of the 16th century by the Mughal Emperor Akbar  (1556-1605). It was the capital of the Empire and seat of the grand  Mughal court, but only for 14 years.
Taj Mahal Region : Uttar Pradesh, India.
Period : 17th century.

Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World is a mausoleum – a funerary mosque. It was built by Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his third wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal who had died in 1631. This much acclaimed masterpiece was built over a 16 year period between 1631 and 1648 under the Chief Architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri supported by several thousand artisans under the guidance of an Imperial Committee. It was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List It is set amidst vast Mughal Gardens, which cover 17 hectares (42 acres) of land on the right bank of the Yamuna River.
Mountain Railways of India Region :
1.) Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (1999), Darjeeling, West Bengal.
2.) Nilgiri Mountain Railway (2005) Ooty, Tamilnadu.
3.) Kalka-Shimla Railway, Himachal Pradesh (2008) India.
Period : 19th and early 20th century.

The Mountain Railways of India represents a collective listing of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway under the UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the Mountain Railways of India are five railway lines built in the mountains of India in the 19th and early 20th century, during the British Raj, which are run even today by the Indian Railways.
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks Region : Chamoli District, Uttaranchal, India.
Period : 1939 and 1982.

Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks are nestled high in West Himalaya. Valley of Flowers National Park is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty. It is located in the Garhwal Himalaya of Chamoli District of Uttaranchal (formerly part of Uttar Pradesh). It was inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.
Sundarbans National Park Region : West Bengal, India.
Period : 1939 and 1982.

The Sundarbans National Park, the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sundarbans Ganges river delta bordering the Bay of Bengal, in West Bengal. It is also on the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The Sundarbans as a whole encompasses 10,000&nbsp;km<sup>2</sup> (3,900&nbsp;sq&nbsp;mi) of land and water, about 5,980&nbsp;km<sup>2</sup> (2,310&nbsp;sq&nbsp;mi) in India and the balance is in Bangladesh.

Last updated on: 18/11/2019


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