UNESCO World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Day: April 18 is to celebrate and promote the cultural heritage across the world.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), in 1982, suggested that April 18 be celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites and UNESCO approved the proposal the next year during its 22nd General Conference.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has recognised 38 World Heritage Sites in India.

List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

India is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites: it’s ranging from natural wonders to architectural marvels. As you explore India, don’t forget to see these spectacular sites in the country.

Name of sitesYearLocationSignificance
Ajanta Caves1983MaharashtraFamous for Buddhist Rock-cut Cave Monuments. Richly Decorated Paintings and Frescoes like Sigiriya Paintings.
Ellora Caves1983MaharashtraFamous for Buddhist, Jain and Hindu Temples and Monasteries , Caves excavated out of Hills, Rock-cut Architecture.
Agra Fort1983Uttar PradeshOne of the most important monumental structures by Mughal empire.
Taj Mahal1983Uttar PradeshOne of the Seven Wonders of the World. Shahjahan built in the memory of his third wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal.
Sun Temple1984OrissaFamous for the traditional style of Kalinga Architecture.
1984Tamil NaduFamous for Largest Open Air Rock Relief, Chariot Temples, Mandapas, Pallava Dynasty Architecture.
National Park
1985AssamFamous for Worlds 2/3rd Great One-Horned Rhinoceroses, Highest Density of Tigers in World, Elephants, Wild Water Buffalo, Swamp Deer and recognized Important Bird Area.
National Park
1985RajasthanFamous for Man-Made Wetland Bird Sanctuary, Siberian Cranes, Hotspot for Ornithologists.
Wildlife Sanctuary
1985AssamFamous for Project Tiger Reserve, Elephant Reserve and Biosphere Reserve.
Churches and
Convents of Goa
1986GoaFamous for Rome of the Orient, First Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque Art Forms in Asia, First Latin Rite Mass in Asia.
of Khajuraho
1986Madhya Pradesh Famous for a group of Hindu and Jain Temples situated 175 km south-east of Jhansi. Well known for their Nagara style symbolism and erotic figures and sculptures.
of Hampi
1986KarnatakaProsperous kingdom of Vijayanagar. The ruins at Hampi depict the fine Dravidian style of art and Architecture. The most important heritage monument in this site is the Virupaksha Temple.
Fatehpur Sikri1986Uttar PradeshIt constitutes of four main Monuments. The Jama Masjid, The Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal or Jada Baai ka Mahal,  Diwan-e-khas and Diwan-e-aam.
Elephanta Caves1987MaharashtraFamous for Hindu and Buddhist Caves, Caves on Island in Arabian Sea, Basal Rock Caves, Shiva Temples.
Great Living
Chola Temples
1987Tamil NaduFamous for Chola Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and Bronze Casting.
1987KarnatakaFamous for its Chalukya style of architecture that originated in Aihole and blended with the Nagara and Dravidian styles of architecture.
National Park
1987West BengalFamous as Biosphere Reserve, Largest Estuarine Mangrove Forest, Bengal Tiger and Salt-Water Crocodile.
Nanda Devi &
Valley of Flowers
National Park
1988UttarakhandFamous for Asiatic Black Bear, Snow Leopard, Brown Bear, Blue Sheep and Himalayan Monal, World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Monuments of
Madhya Pradesh
Famous for Monolithic Pillars, Palaces, Temples and Monasteries, Mauryan Architecture, Ye Dharma Hetu Inscriptions.
Humayun’s Tomb1993DelhiFamous for Precursor to Taj Mahal, Mughal Architecture, A Tomb, Many Water Channels, A Pavilion and A Bath.
Qutub Minar and its Monuments1993DelhiIncludes Qutub Minar, Alai Darwaza, Alai Minar, Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque, Tomb of Iltumish, and Iron Pillar.
Mountain Railways
of Darjeeling, Kalka
Shimla & Nilgiri

(West Bengal),
Kalka Shimla
(Himachal Pradesh),
Nilgiri (Tamil Nadu)

The mountain railways of India comprise of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla.
Mahabodhi Temple2002BiharAn important religious centre for the Buddhists as this was the place where Mahatma Buddha attained enlightenment. Bodh Gaya is considered as the holiest pilgrimage spot for the Buddhists.
Rock Shelters
2003Madhya PradeshFamous for Rock Paintings within Natural Rock Shelters, Stone Age Inscriptions, Sitting Place of Bhima (Mahabharata).
Shivaji Terminus
2004MaharashtraFamous forCentral Railways Headquarter, Terror Attacks on Mumbai in 2008, Gothic Style Architecture.
Archaeological Park
2004GujaratThis place is the only complete unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal city.  The park also houses some of the ancient Chalcolithic Indian Sites, from the Stone Age era.
Red Fort2007DelhiFamous for Shahjahanabad, Persian, Timuri and Indian Architectural Styles, Red Sandstone Architecture, Moti Masjid.
Jantar Mantar2010RajasthanFamous for Architectural Astronomical Instruments, Maharaja Jai Singh II, Largest of its kind Observatory.
Western Ghats2012Karnataka, Kerala,
Tamil Nadu,
Famous for Among World’s Ten “Hottest Biodiversity Hotspots”. Includes many National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Reserve Forests.
Hill Forts2013RajasthanThis place is famous for its unique Rajput Military Defense Architecture.  It includes six majestic forts in Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amber Fort and Jaisalmer Fort.
Rani Ki Vav
(The Queen’s
2014Gujarat It is an explicit example of fine Ancient Indian architecture which is constructed during the time of the Solanki dynasty.
Great Himalayan
National Park
2014Himachal PradeshIt is home to about 375 fauna species and several floral species, including some very rare species of plants and animals such as blue sheep, snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan Tahr, musk deer spruces, horse chestnuts and huge alpine meadows. It is a part of the Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspots.
Nalanda2016BiharA centre of learning and a Buddhist monastery from 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE.
National Park
2016SikkimThe national park is famous for its fauna and flora, with snow leopard being occasionally sighted.
Architectural Work
of Le Corbusier (Capitol Complex)
2016ChandigarhRecognized as a World Heritage Site as part of an outstanding contribution to Modern Movement.
The Historic City2017Ahmedabad A walled city on the banks of Sabarmati where communities following Hinduism, Islam and Jainism have co-existed for centuries.
Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles2018MumbaiIt is a collection of 94 buildings of great cultural importance, located in the Fort Area of Mumbai.
The Pink City2019JaipurJaipur is home to many magnificent forts, palaces, temples and museums and   also filled to the brim with local handicrafts and trinkets.

So, are you ready to explore the natural and cultural heritage, already? Let us know in the comments below.

Also See: 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India to Visit


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