India UNESCO World Heritage Cultural and Naturals Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Committee a specialized body of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is dedicated to the Prevention and Promotion of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. 30 heritage sites in India are recognized by the World Heritage Committee of which 24 are Cultural Heritage Sites and 6 are Natural Heritage Sites. India UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites are – Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Keoladeo National Park, Sundarban National Park, Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, and Western Ghats. India UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites are - Mahabodhi Bodh Gaya, Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi ; Qutub Minar ; Red Fort Complex ; Churches and Convents of Goa; Monuments at Hampi; Monuments at Pattadakal ; Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi ; Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka ;Champaner-Pavagadh Archeological Park, Gujarat ; Khajuraho Group of Temples ; Ajanta Caves ;Ellora Caves; Elephanta Caves;Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus; Sun Temple, Konark; Jantar Mantar, Jaipur; Great Living Chola Temples; Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram; Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh; Fatehpur Sikri;Taj Mahal Agra; Mountain Railways of India; Hill Forts of Rajasthan

UNESCO World Heritage Natural Sites are:


Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary – located in the north eastern state of Assam at the banks of river Brahmaputra in the state of Assam this wild life sanctuary in the natural habitat of the world’s largest population of one horned rhinoceros.


Manas Wildlife Sanctuary - in the plains on Manas River in Assam Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is home to numerous species of plants, 55 species of mammals of which 21 are endangered, 36 species of reptiles and 350 species of birds.


Keoladeo National Park once a famous hunting ground for the royals of Bharatpur this national park is famous for more than 360 species of birds which visit here in winters from as far as Siberia, Turkmenistan, China and Afghanistan every year.


Sundarbans National Park – one of the largest reserves for Bengal Tiger Sundarbans is the world’s largest delta [80,000 km2] and most densely covered mangrove forests spread in an area of 10,000 km2.


Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks – nestled between rugged Himalayan mountains both these national parks are renowned for their picturesque landscapes. These are also home rare species of Asiatic Black Bear, Snow Leopard, Brown Bear and Blue Sheep.


Western Ghats – also known as a Sahyadri Mountain Ranges these are a group of 39 properties spread over in four Indian States of Tamil Nadu [five], Kerala [20], Maharashtra [4] and Karnataka [10].

UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Sites are:


Mahabodhi Bodh Gaya – build by emperor Ashok in 3rd century B.C this temple is situated in Bihar and has both cultural and archeological significance. A very significant religious structure for the followers of Buddhist sect. it at this place where Buddha attained enlightment. More structures were added to this temple complex in 5th and 6th centuries A.D and 19th century A.D.


Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi build in 1569 and 1570 this funerary of Mughal emperor Humayun by his widow Hajji Begum. Apart from the tomb of emperor Humayun this double domed structure has 150 tombs of other members of royalty.


Qutub Minar build in late 12th century by Qutub-din-Aibak this red sandstone tower is located in the south of Delhi. Other than the main minar the monument comprises, the Alai Darwaza Gate, the Qubbat-al-Islam Mosque, the tomb of Iltumish and a shining iron pillar of 7.02 meters height with inscriptions in Sanskrit from Gupta dynasty.


Red Fort Complex build in 17th century by mughal emperor Shahjahan is also caleed Lal Qila. This structure was build at the peak of mughal reign and is considered as a architectural masterpiece showing the mughal’s prowess in art and architecture.


Churches and Convents of Goa are monuments build between 16th to 18th centuries A.D by the then rules of Goa, the Portugese. Most significant of these churches include Basilica of Bom Jesus which contains the relics of Saint Francis Xavier others include Saint Catherine’s Chapel, Church and convent of Saint Francis of Assisi, Church of our lady of the Rosary, church and cemetery of Saint Cajetan.


Monuments at Hampi – these ruins of once mighty Vijayanagram Empire and located in Karnataka in the form of grandiose Hampi Town. Hampi is religiously significant for Hindus because of ancient Dravidian Temple buildings and palaces placed there.


Monuments at Pattadakal group of nine Hindu Temples and a Jain sanctuary these structures are believed to be constructed in 7th century. Amongst these temple of Virupaksha erected to celebrate the victory of king Vikramaditya II over his rivals the Pallava kings in considered as a symbol of aesthetic architectural monument.


Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi created in 3rd century B.C by Mauryan king Emperor Ashoka these were active Buddhist sanctuaries till 12th century A.D. Main stupa building was erected in 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.


Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka are archives of rock paintings in group of five rock shelters dated from Mesolithic period [100,000] B.C.


Champaner-Pavagadh Archeological Park, Gujarat this is a Natural Heritage Site located in Panchmahal, Gujarat. This site includes forts, palaces, relics of a 16th century capital city, remains of an early Hindu fortress, religious buildings, water and agricultural installations from 8th – 16th century A.D.


Khajuraho Group of Temples situated in Madhya Pradesh and build by Chandela kings between 950 A.D-1050A.D these building structures are famous for their erotic carvings and are the most popular tourist destinations in India.


Ajanta Caves are richly painted Buddhist caves build in 2nd and 5th and 6th centuries.


Ellora Caves are an amalgamation of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain art forms in the form of 34 monasteries and temple edifices carved on rock walls dated back from 600-1000 AD.


Elephanta Caves these caves are located in an island in Arabia Sea and consists of Hindu caves dedicated to lord Shiva and Buddhist Caves constructed between 5th – 8th centuries.


Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus designed by Frederick William Stevens in honour of empress Victoria this Gothic style building created as headquarter of Peninsular Railway in 1887-88 is the busiest Railway Stations in India.


Sun Temple, Konark build in 13th century in Orissa this temple was constructed in the form of a chariot and depicts the sun god riding that chariot with 24 wheels driven by six horses.


Jantar Mantar, Jaipur built during 1727-1734 by Maharaja Jay Singh II of Jaipur. Jantar Mantar is a set of 20 architecturally build astronomical instruments.


Great Living Chola Temples – these include three temples of Brihadeeswarar Temples of Cholapuram and Thanjavur. Airavateshwarar Temple at Darasuram all in TamilNadu. All these temples were build between 11th and 12th century.


Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram - these temples consists of forty temple and cave monuments build in the form of chariots and mandapas including the world’s largest open air bas relief.


Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh – Agra fort was originally built in 1080 AD by Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs and was later modified and renovated by Mughal Emperors from Akbar to Aurangzeb between 16th and 18th centuries.


Fatehpur Sikri – build in second half of 16th century Fatehpur Sikri was once for a short period of 14 years capital of Mughal court. The group of buildings and temples include the world famous mosque of Jama Masjid, Buland Dawraza, Panch Mahal and funerary of Saint Salim Chishti.


Taj Mahal, Agra – build by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorabilia of his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal Taj Mahal is considered the ultimate symbol of love and is amongst seven wonders of world.


Mountain Railways of India – Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Darjeeling; Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Ooty and Kalka Shimla Railway Himachal Pradesh collectively comes under World Heritage Sites. All the railway lines were laid by British during 19th and 20th centuries and are acknowledged as an ingenious engineering piece of rail lines through tough and rugged mountains.


Hill Forts of Rajasthan – spread in the hills of Aravalli these architectural walled properties were build primarily for defense [from foreign invasion] purposes by Rajput kings. Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore, Amber, Jaisalmer, Gagron forts collectively comes under as this one Heritage Site.

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