World Heritage Sites In India- Have you visited any?

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Hello folks!

How are you all? Are you ready to know another amazing Indian tourist spot?

I know very well, what you want.

But, Today  I was thinking different.

Today, while I was thinking what to serve you. I got an idea of giving you some knowledge about your own country.

Knowledge!

Yeah, Knowledge. Not what we have learned from books, not what we learned from our friends, family and colleagues.

It’s a bit different.

How many of you really know India well? Do you know how many world heritage sites in India? Have you ever thought who built these forts, monuments and temples.

If not, then this post is really for you.

I am going to take you in flashback. In History!

Ok, tell me. How many world heritage sites in India till today?

Any Guesses!!

You have no Idea. It’s fine.

You must be wondering, it’s a travel blog and what I am serving you. A list of heritage sites in India.

Yes, you are right! I want you guys to have a look.

And

Who told you these heritage sites are not to visit?

These heritage sites always attract a huge number of tourists every year.

Still if you are not convinced, let me tell you why I am writing about it. There is a reason behind it.

Benefits! And it is very important too.

In my opinion a number of students, job seeker, government job hunters and in some case even the professional stuck with a simple question from another person about India.

And what do you have in reply is the modern India.

And what if, they want to know the history and culture of India.

So, What is wrong in getting a bit of knowledge about your country?

It’s Our Country, Our nation, our pride, INDIA!!

How many world heritage sites in India

Out of the total 1031 sites in the world, 32 are in India (Thanks to the latest entry of the Great Himalayan National Parks and Rani ki Vav. And out of 32 world heritage sites in India. 25 sites are cultural where 7 sites are for their natural importance.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places those belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of which territory they are from.

It simply means, the World Heritage Sites in India are having cultural and natural importance in the world.

Indeed a big number on a global platform.

How UNESCO decides

A UNESCO World Heritage Site can be monument, desert, a forest, mountain, building, lake, island, city or a complex. Which has a special physical or cultural significance.

When it all started

The way back in 1972 a resolution had adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO with a motto of Protection of the World Natural and Cultural Heritage sites in world’.

The resolutions main objective was to define the natural and cultural aspects of sites.

Now what I am gonna do is to take you to a tour of all 32 world heritage sites in India starting from the north India.

After having a tour, you will come to know why these sites have a special place in everyone’s heart, be it a foreigner or Indian.

1. Mountain Railways of India (1999)

We Indians know the value of our railways. A huge capacity of people believes to travel by train.

Isn’t it great to know that mountain railway of India comes under UNESCO world heritage sites in India.

This site contains three stations. First is The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway(1881), second is Nilgiri Mountain Railways in Tamil Nadu and the third one is Kalka-Shimla Railway.

World heritage sites in India Darjeeling
Image source : http://bit.ly/1RWQeG5

All three are operational till today. These are engineering marvelous of 19th and 20th century.

A toy train ride, beautiful scene, snow, mountains, lush green environment, and tea plantations. These railways are offering you your best railway ride.

2. The Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, Himachal Pradesh (2014)

Here comes the mighty Himalaya!

Another beautiful world heritage sites in India. The Great Himalayan National Conservation Area.

The Great Himalayan National Park is located in the western part of the Mountains of Himalaya in Himachal Pradesh and is known for its high alpine peaks, riverine forests and alpine meadows.

This 90,540 hectare includes snow melt water source origins of several rivers, the Upper Mountain glacial, and the catchments of water supplies that are important to huge number of users.

great-himalayan-national-park
Image source : http://bit.ly/28jxzQO

This world heritage site is also very important in providing protection to the monsoon-affected forests and alpine meadows of the Himalayan front ranges.

It is home of flora and fauna species which include some rare species of plants and animals such as snow leopard, blue sheep, Himalayan Tahr,  musk deer spruces, Himalayan brown bear and horse chestnuts .

3. Qutub-Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)

One of the most visited and popular world heritage sites in India. Not just Qutub-Minar, but its monuments which are Alai Darwaza, Alai Minar, Iron Pillar, Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque and Tomb of Iltutmish.

These monuments are known as the Qutub Complex and represent the earliest known symbols for Islamic Architecture in India.

Qutub-MinarImage source : http://bit.ly/25Lp41W

Qutubuddin-Aibak (first muslim ruler of Delhi) after his victory over the last Hindu emperor built Qutub-Minar in 1193.

The main attraction of Qutub complex is Qutub-minar, because of its height of 73 meter, base of 2.5 meter and diameter of 15 meter..

4. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)

It was started after the death (1556) of Humayun. His widow Hamida Banu Begum had proposed to construct the Tomb in 1569, 14 years later after the death of Humayun.

A Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyath was appointed by Hamida Banu Begum for constructing the tomb.

Humayun's tomb
Image source : http://bit.ly/24ytlQA

The tomb stands tall in the centre of a square garden, divided into four main parterre by charbagh and water-channels  in the centre.

Baradari (pavilion) is at the centre of the eastern wall and a bath chamber(Hammam) in the centre of northern wall are also very pleasant to eyes.

5. Red Fort Complex, Delhi (2007)

When we talk about a place with cultural and political importance. Red Fort stands on top.

Situated in the heart of India, Delhi.

Red fort
Image source : http://bit.ly/25LC8kG

It all started in 1638 by Shah Jahan when he shifted his capital to Delhi from Agra. It was then known with the name of Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi. (Took 9 years to complete)

It have fourteen gates and out of these fourteen gates, Lahori, the Mori , Ajmeri, Kashmiri, Delhi gates and Turkman are most important.

The Red fort is different and better planned than Agra Fort, because of what Shahjahan has learned in Agra.

6. Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh (1983)

Agra fort is near to the Taj Mahal(One of the most sought world heritage sites in India).

It was constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar.

Agra FortImage source : http://bit.ly/1UEeHV6

Although it was built in Mughal Era still it is the combination of persian (Timurid) and Indian architecture.

The reason behind it was, Mughal’s constructed it on the remaining part of a brick monument known as Badalgarh, which was owned by Raja Badal Singh(A Hindu Rajput King).

Monuments like Muhammad Buried(an octagonal Tower), Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Khas Mahal,  Moti Masjid , Nagina Masjid and Diwan-e-Am are also the part of this iconic heritage site.

7. Taj Mahal, Agra (1983)

Who doesn’t know The TAJ MAHAL?

Taj Mahal is famous for many reason.

Taj Mahal is the showcase of Muslim art in India! Symbol of Love! One of the seven wonders of the world! World heritage site in India!

World Heritage sites in india Taj Mahal
Image source : http://bit.ly/1PGMmyN

It is located at the bank of river Yamuna. Shahjahan, Mughal Emperor built the taj mahal in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal

The beauty, the architecture, the art, the white marble. It has everything.

8. Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh (1986)

We are seeing UNESCO recognized world heritage sites in India.

And it is clear that the architecture and design which came in India after the visit of Mughals changed the look of the country.

They constructed a number of monuments and FATEHPUR SIKRI is also among them.

Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh
Image source : http://bit.ly/25LoRvX

The name FATEHPUR itself is enough to tell you the meaning. It means Victory (Fateh). Victory of Akbar over Ranthambore and Chittor.

It has four monuments. The Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal (Forts of Jodha Bai), Diwan-E-Aam and Diwan-E-Khas.

9. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Uttarakhand (1988)

Now, let’s shift our concentration from Mughal empire and monuments towards natural beauty.

The Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks in Uttarakhand is one among seven natural world heritage sites in India.

Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
Image source : http://bit.ly/1UEjiXh

Brown Bear, Snow Leopard, Blue sheeps, Asiatic bear, Himalayan Monal and the Biosphere reserves are some famous place in this heritage site.

Nanda Devi, Uttarakhand and also India’s highest mountain peak. And Valley of flowers(National Park) is situated near Nanda devi.

One of the beautiful world heritage sites in India offers you 600 species of flora and 520 of Fauna.

10. Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)

Ask to any tourist. Why do you want to travel to Rajasthan?

The reply would be always the same. The forts!

One of the best world heritage sites in India is Hill Station of Rajasthan. It is not a single fort but a combination of six major forts of Rajasthan which are  Kumbhalgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jhalawar, Chittorgarh, , Jaisalmer and Jaipur.

Hill Forts of Rajasthan
Image source : http://bit.ly/1TV0BMW

The real demonstration of Rajput architecture.

These forts are located on the Aravalli Mountain Range.The length and expanse of these forts are enough to define the power of Rajputanas.

At first they had a water storage and harvesting system that is in use even today.

11. Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur Rajasthan (1985)

Another among the natural world heritage sites in India. Initially it was a duck-shooting site for Maharajas, later converted into Bird sanctuary.

It is also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.

Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur Rajasthan
Image source : http://bit.ly/1Uz5sTb

It is because of large number of birds species (366 species). Besides birds, park has floral species of fish, snake, lizard, amphibians, turtle species and siberian crane..

It is a place in winter for the aquatic birds from China, Siberia, Turkmenistan and afghanistan.  

12. The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (Rajasthan) (2010)

Built in the 18th century, The Jantar-Mantar, Jaipur is a world heritage sites in India famous for astronomical observatory. It is the most comprehensive, significant and best of India’s historic observations.

The best explained as an expression of astronomical skills and cosmological concepts at the end of Mughal empire.

Jantar Mantar Jaipur
Image source : http://bit.ly/1VLNLVV

The reason of constructing was to observe the astronomical positions thru naked eyes.

13. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat (2004)

Situated in the centre of Champaner (Muhammadabad), this world heritage sites in India was built by the Sultan of Gujarat, sultan Mahmud Begada.

The place is both historically and culturally significant and it’s the only unchanged Islamic city.

Champaner-Pavagadh_Archaeological_Park
Image source : http://bit.ly/21762fP

Being itself a world heritage site, it also includes 11 different heritage monuments of 16th century that are- Palaces and Pavilion, Custom house, Tombs, Mosques, Gateways, temples, Helical wells, Fortresses and walls and Greeneries.

14. Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014)

One of the latest entry of world heritage sites in India is Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat.

It was built in the memory of a king in the 11th century.

Stepwells, a distinctive form of water resource and storage systems. have been constructed since the 3rd BC.

Rani ki Vav
Image source : http://bit.ly/1X9Rn4V

It was the craftsman’s ability in stepwell construction and Maru-Gurjara architectural style that made it possible to construct the Rani-Ki-Vav.

It is divided into seven levels.

Among these seven levels, the fourth level is the deepest. It leads into a rectangular tank of 9.5 by 9.4 metres, at a depth of 23 metres.

15. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra (1983)

Ajanta Caves are all about the Buddhist culture.

These caves were supposed to serve as a retreat for the Monks.

t was during the Gupta period, 2nd century BC, when first buddhist cave monument came into existence.

Ajanta Cave
Image source : http://bit.ly/1HWQBR8

The fabulous painting, sculptures of Ajanta cave, and the religious art marks on the stone created by simple chisels and hammers. These are known as artistic masterpiece.

16. Ellora Caves, Maharashtra (1983)

This world heritage sites in India is famous for the 34 monasteries and temples in only 2 km.

It is an important UNESCO world heritage sites in India, which is ranging 29 Km in the northwest of the city of Aurangabad.

ellora caves
Image source : http://bit.ly/28jCxNt

Ellora, brings the ancient civilization of India to life with its monuments from 600 AD to 1000 AD.

The sanctuaries devoted to Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism are also the beauty of this place.

17. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), Maharashtra (2004)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or formerly known as Victoria Terminus (19th Century) is the Headquarter of central railway in Mumbai.

F.W. Stevens, was the chief architecture and was known as the master of Indian gothic style of architecture.

Chhatrapati_Shivaji_Terminus
Image source : http://bit.ly/1PPVvE4

It is the best example of two cultures, British architect and Indian craftsman.

Having the remarkable turrets, Pointed arches and stone domes, the terminus took 10 years in completion(started in 1878) and gave Mumbai the face of International Mercantile of India.

Originally the land was called as Bori Bandar and the first train to thane had departed from this place.

18. Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra (1987)

Elephanta caves also The ‘City of Caves’ is situated on an island in the Sea of Oman near to Mumbai.

It contains a rock art collection linked to the cult of Shiva.

The chain of sculpted caves initially known with the name Gharapuri.  Portuguese changed the name to Elephanta.

Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
Image source : http://bit.ly/1UokFqy

That is why most of the sculptures have portuguese touch, when British took over the island. They wanted to send the Elephant structure to England.

But,They failed.

This world heritage sites in India is famous for Shiva Temple, Caves on Island in Arabian Sea, Hindu and Buddhist Caves and Basal Rock Caves.

19. Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)

Here comes the Goa!

City famous for Beaches, nightclubs, parties and heaven for fun lovers!

But, it is famous for more things too.

Churches and Convents of Goa
Image source : http://bit.ly/1XDdn9i

The churches and Convents of Goa, due to their architectural forms are in the list of UNESCO recognized world heritage sites in India.

The churches and convents of Goa, the former capital of the Portuguese- mainly the Church of Bom Jesus,  St Francis-Xavier’s tomb – illustrate the evangelizer of catholic of Asia.

20. Group of Monuments at Hampi, Karnataka (1986)

Hampi, also known as Pampa Kshetra of Kishkindha is situated on the southern bank of the river Tungabhadra.

It was the seat of the mighty Vijayanagara Empire.

Virupaksha Temple (Religious place of Hindus) is the most important monument in this site,

Group of Monuments at HampiImage source : http://bit.ly/1X9SpOo

The number of monuments collectively known as Group of Monuments of Hampi.

Another beautiful Vittala Temple is more than just a temple. When you will tap it gently, the walls make musical sounds. That’s why they even called as MUSICAL PILLARS (SAREGAMA).

Hemakuta group of temples, Achyutaraya temple complex, Krishna temple complex,  Ganesa, Pattabhirama temple complex, Vitthala temple complex, Narasimha and Lotus Mahal complex are other attraction of Hampi.

21. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka (1987)

Another monument, another masterpiece in Karnataka and another UNESCO world heritage sites in India.

Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka.

It is famous for its architecture style, Chalukya style. It was originated in Aihole and mix with the Nagara and Dravidian style.

Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
Image source : http://bit.ly/1tgw0mR

It was the second capital of Chalukyan and main purpose of this site was the social gathering at any festival.

It is also have temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Jain Sanctuaries.

Some of the other monuments are Mallikarjun Temple, Virupaksha Temple, Chandrashekhara Temple, Sangameshwara Temple, Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Jain Temple  and Jagannath Temple.

22. Western Ghats (2012)

A natural UNESCO world heritage sites in India, Western Ghats are older than the mighty Himalaya. The Western Ghats are famous for its biophysical and ecological process. It range from north to south along the Deccan plateau.

Western Ghats
Image source : http://bit.ly/1UEggT2

Forests of the site include evergreen forests, which are home to around 325 globally threatened bird, reptile, flora, fauna, amphibian and fish species.

You may see the Indian Tigers roaming here and there at this site.

23. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu (1984)

This famous world heritage site is in the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal in Chennai region in India.

It is famous for a vast number of temples especially because of its Five Ratha (Mahabharata fame) architecture., which was built during the empire of Pallava.

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
Image source : http://bit.ly/24yACzI

Dharmaraja Ratha, Arjuna Ratha, Draupadi Ratha, etc are some of the other heritage sites in Mahabalipuram..

Mahabalipuram also has the largest stone-bas relief in the world.

24. Great Living Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu (1987)

The temples here was built during the Chola rule. That is why it is famous for its Chola architecture & design, temples, sculpture and paintings.

Great Living Chola Temples
Image source : http://bit.ly/1TV3tJA

One of its only kind, The Brihadeeswarar Temple. No other temple in world has heigh as of this temple. One most interesting fact about this temple is that, the shadow during noon do not touches the ground. It is not a magic, the temple was built like this.

Airavatesvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Thanjavur and Darasuram are other heritage sites in this region.

25. Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha (1984)

It is time to shift to South-East India.

One of the famous world heritage sites in India, resides in ODISHA in Konark region, The Sun Temple.

This World Heritage Site in India reflects the traditional style of Kalinga Architecture.

Sun Temple Konarak
Image source : http://bit.ly/1Ye2xp6

Why it is so famous, it is because of the temple depicts the chariot of the God Sun which is being pulled by seven horses. It was built by King Narasimhadeva.

Temple design is so unique that the rising sun shines its rays on the temple first.

Besides this, It’s also considered to be the largest brahman sanctuaries in India.

26. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh (2003)

Sometime in life it happens that you search for a thing and accidently you meet with the best.

The same goes to the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka.It was one world heritage sites in India, which was accidently found by an archelogist  Dr. V.S. Wakankar.

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
Image source : http://bit.ly/1TYoloO

Famous for Rock painting from Upper Paleolithic to Medieval which exhibits seven historic periods.

27. Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh (1986)

Situated in Madhya Pradesh, the centre of India. This  world heritage sites in India offers you the temples with sculptures and carvings, which was built in 950-1050 AD.

Khajuraho Group of Monuments
Image source : http://bit.ly/22OGqWy

Initially there was in total 85 temples of Hindus and Jains were there, but today only 22 are present.

28. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh (1989)

Sanchi Stupa is in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. One of the oldest stone structure of India.

It was built by the Emperor Ashoka, in the honour of Lord Buddha.

Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
Image source : http://bit.ly/1t89kEu

The Sanchi Stupa is surrounded by four gateways. These gateways depicts the life of Lord Buddha.

Even our National Emblem is inspired by the Ashoka Pillars in Sanchi Stupa.

29. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, Bihar (2002)

Bodh Gaya, place where Lord Buddha gained enlightenment. It is situated in the Patna region in Bihar.

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya
Image source : http://bit.ly/1X9UuKb

Main attraction of this heritage site is Mahabodhi temple complex.  The temple was built by Ashoka after he started to idolize Lord Buddha.

30. Kaziranga National Park, Assam (1985)

Have you ever seen the One horned rhinoceroses?

No!

Ok, have you ever seen Tigers, swamp deer, Wild water buffalo, elephants and  birds at single place?

Again No!

Then My friend this place is definitely for you.

Kaziranga national park
Image source : http://bit.ly/1TYphcP

Kaziranga National Park is one of the natural world heritage sites in India. It was said, that during the British rule while the wife of Lord Curzon disappoint after not got a chance to see even a single rhinoceroses.

She asked her husband to husband to start protecting these species.

31. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam (1985)

Situated in the northern Assam near the border of Bhutan, this site lies on the foothills of mighty Himalayas!

Name of this world heritage site in India was derived from the river Manas (Goddess Manasa).

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Image source : http://bit.ly/1tgyIss

This site is famous for its Tiger reserves, Elephant reserves, birds, Assam roofed turtles, Golden Langoor, Pygmy Hogs and Biosphere reserves.

32. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal (1987)

Also known as world’s largest Delta on river and mangrove forest.

This world heritage site in India has so much to offer you.

Home to the the Royal Bengal Tiger, Sunderbans National park is the home of animal species such as the dolphin, spotted deer, wild bear and many more.

Sundarbans National Park
Image source : http://bit.ly/1VLSlU9

Although, this site is known as the home of the royal bengal tiger, it is very rare to see them.

PS: It is always a positive point if you know about your own country.

I hope you liked the list of 32 UNESCO recognised world heritage sites in India.

Do write us if you feel any doubt.

 

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About Author

Naval Gupta, an entrepreneur who runs faster than the clock and has very less time to spare for himself, somehow finds time to write! Ask him why, he says ' writing is that fun time activity with which I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Travelling and trekking being one of his favorite activities, he cant stop his hands when he starts writing on travel. His articles hit the bulls eye and are to the point as he believes in ' seedi baat- no bakwaas'. With lots of information written in simple English, his articles will definetly inspire you to pack your bags and start travelling.

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