UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

Published on 06/11/2013 by Atul Shantitravel
Maharashtra Ancient cave temple in Ellora

Maharashtra Ancient cave temple in Ellora

Heritage is our legacy. Resources and significant monuments have been left for us by our ancestors, with which we live today and we have a responsibility to pass on the same with good care to our future generations. To serve this purpose, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had started a mission to plan the policies and actions to preserve these unique places around the world irrespective of national territories, considering them to be resources for all citizens of the world. After conceptualizing this agenda, UNESCO adopted a treaty in 1972 called Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The mission was to identify, preserve and protect the cultural and natural heritage around the world. There are many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. 

To be included in the list, sites must be important places of universal value and should have the ten criteria mentioned by the UNESCO selection criteria guidelines.

World Heritage sites in India

Rajasthan Jodhpur Meherangarh Fort view

Rajasthan Jodhpur Meherangarh Fort view

India is an active state member of the World Heritage since 1977 and has been working in close co-ordination with International agencies active in preservation like ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) and ICCROM (International Centre for the study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property).

Places inscribed on the World Heritage List

At present, there are 30 World Heritage sites in India. Among these, 24 sites are Cultural and 6 are Natural Properties. Below is an alphabetical list of all the monuments included as World Heritage Sites.

Cultural Sites & Monuments

  1. Agra Fort (1983)
  2. Ajanta Caves (1983)
  3. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
  4. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
  5. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
  6. Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
  7. Elephanta Caves (1987)
  8. Ellora Caves (1983)
  9. Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
  10. Great Living Chola Temples (1987)
  11. Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
  12. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
  13. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)
  14. Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)
  15. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
  16. Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
  17. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
  18. Mountain Railways of India (1999)
  19. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
  20. Red Fort Complex (2007)
  21. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
  22. Sun Temple, Konârak (1984)
  23. Taj Mahal (1983)
  24. The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)

Natural sites

  1. Kaziranga National Park (1985)
  2. Keoladeo National Park (1985)
  3. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
  4. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988)
  5. Sundarbans National Park (1987)
  6. Western Ghats (2012)

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About Atul Shantitravel

I was born in a small village in Shekhawati, Rajasthan, where I did my schooling. Shekhawati is well known for its fresco paintings. I graduated from Bikaner, a small town famous for the Rat temple & Camels in the Thar Desert. Thereafter, I undertook preparatory classes for a year for MBA in Jaipur, finished my MBA in Tourism from IITTM, Gwalior, did an internship in Mumbai & finally landed up in Delhi to work as a travel Designer/advisor. Having lived in various heritage cities of Rajasthan and North India, I have always had a fascination for tourism and travel since childhood, which took me to various places in South India including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Each trip enticed me to travel more within India to explore the culture and heritage. The best part of my job is that every day, I explore a few new things about my country. My favorite city is Udaipur for its beautiful ambience. I love the region of Shekhawati for its charming frescoed palaces and of course, nostalgic value. My dream destination is Ladakh and I hope I will see it soon.