The UNESCO heritage site of India has presently  38 heritage sites in India in which 29 sites are related to the cultural heritage, 7 sites related to natural heritage, and one mixed of both. 
    The united nation's educational, scientific, and cultural organization(UNESCOwas established in 1972 under the aegis of the United Nations. This institution recognized cultural and natural importance sites all around the world. 
India has rich in cultural and natural diversity. India's first heritage site recognized in 1983 which are the Agra Fort and the Ajanta Caves. The latest declared heritage site is Jaipur city in October 2019. The heritage sites are categorized into three different categories in India.

(A)Cultural heritage: These heritage sites details as follows:   

Agra Fort:

Unesco heritage site of India
Agra Fort

·        Location: Agra district, Uttar Pradesh

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1983 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in 16th century by Akbar Mughal emperor alongside the Yamuna river

                  2. Also known as Red Fort of Agra or Lal Quilla due to made from red sandstone.

                  3. This fort comprises the Khas Mahal, Jahangir Palace, Diwan-i-Khas, etc.
                  4.  The Agra fort has four gates in which two are notable such as the Delhi Gate and the Lahore gate.

Ajanta caves:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Aurangabad district, Maharashtra.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1983 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. First Buddhist cave built in the 2nd and 1st century BC. and added other caves during Gupta period, and carved out of flood basalt rocks of a cliff.

                         2. Famous for its sculptures and painting which represents masterpieces of Buddhist religious art.

                3. 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which includes painting and rock-cut sculptures.

               4. Paintings depict the past lives and rebirth of the Buddha, pictorial tales of Aryasura jatakandmala , Jatakas tales, and are dry fresco.

               5. These caves served as a monsoon retreat for monks and resting site for the merchants and pilgrims.

               6. Caves 01,02,16,17 form the largest corpus of surviving ancient Indian wall paintings.
                   

Archaeological site of Nalanda Mahavir:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Nalanda, Bihar

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2016 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. It comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from 3rd century BCE to 13th century CE.

                  2. It includes stupas, shrines, vihars, and important artworks in stucco, stone, and metals.
                 3. Nalanda stands out most ancient university in the Indian subcontinent.
                 4. A devotee to Buddhism and Jainism.

Buddhist monuments at Sanchi:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1989 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in the 2nd and 1st century.

                  2. Oldest Buddhist century in existence.

                  3. Comprise a group of Buddhist monuments, famous for its Great Stupa.
                  4. Great Stupa: one of the oldest stone structure, originally built by Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BC, a single hemisphere brick structure built on the relics of the Buddha.

                  5. Ashoka Pillar: a pillar of finely polished sandstone, capitol count four lions, the pillar has Ashoka inscription and engrave in Brahmi script.

                  4.  Major Buddhist center in India till 12th century AD.

Champanagar and Pavagadh archaeological park:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Panchmahal district, Gujarat.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2004 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Prehistoric (chalcolithic) site.

                  2.  A hill fortress of early Hindu capital and remains of the 16th century capital of the state of Gujarat.

                   3. Kalikamata temple in Pavagadh hill.

Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2004 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Formally known as Victoria terminus.

                   2. An outstanding example of victoria gothic revival architecture in India and designed by F.W. Stevens.

                    3.  It became a symbol of Bombay as the “Gothic city”.

Church’s and convents of Goa:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image Source: Wikimedia Commmons

·        Location: North Goa district, Goa.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1986 under cultural heritage.

·        Features:1. The historical city also is known as Velha Goa.

                  2. Particularly the church of Bom Jesus which contains the tomb of St. Xavier- illustrates the evangelization of Asia.
                  

Elephanta cave:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Colaba district (island of an elephant), Maharashtra.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1987 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1.Constructed in 5th to 6th century AD. and dedicated to the Shiva cult.

                   2. Has a collection of the cave of rock-cut stone sculptures.

                   3. Count of the five Hindu cave and few Buddhist mounds.
                 
                  4. Famous architecture: Trimurti Sadashiva ( three 
faced Shiva) monolithic rock-cut sculpture.

Ellora cave:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Aurangabad district, Maharashtra.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1983 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built from 6th to 10th century AD. on excavated from basalt cliff in Chanderi hills.

                  2. 34 Monumental temples, an uninterrupted sequence of monuments.
                   
                   3. Its sanctuaries devotee Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism which illustrates the spirit of tolerance that is characteristic of ancient India.  
                    4. Buddhist caves: total no of caves is 01 to 12, built during the Rastrakuta dynasty, 11 caves are vihars and one is a shrine, cave 10 is chaitya worship also known as carpenter cave or Vishwakarma cave have 15 feet Buddha statue.

                     5. Hindu caves: total no of caves is 13 to 29, built during the Rastrakuta dynasty, cave 16 is the largest single monolithic cave complex in the world, and Kailashnath temple present dedicated to Lord Shiva, and Hindu caves are dedicated to Lord Shiva.

                      6. Jain caves: total no of caves is 30 to 34, built during Yadava dynasty, dedicated to the Digambar sect, cave 30(Chottakailash), cave 32(Indra Sabha)

·        Location: Agra district, Uttar Pradesh

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1986 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built by Akbar Mughal emperor in the 16th century.

                   2. Capital of Mughal from 1571-1585.

                   3. The complex of monuments and temples, also in uniform architectural style, include the largest mosque in India- Jama masjid and red sandstone used.

                    4. Famous architecture: a) Buland Darwaza: to commemorate Akbar's successful Gujarat campaign in 1576-77. b) Diwan-i-Aam: hall of the public audience. C) Diwan-i-Khas: hall of private audience, d) Panchmahal, e) Hiran Minar.

Great living Chola temples:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Tamilnadu

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1987,2004 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in 11th to 12th century by Cholas empire.

                   2.  The complex of the temples include Brihadishivara temple in Tanjavur, Brihadishivara temple in Gangaikonda built by Rajendra 1 and Airavaterara temple at Darasuram built by Raja raja II.

                    3. Temples testify the Cholas in bronze casting, sculpture, and painting.

Group of monuments at Hampi:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Bellary district, Karnataka.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1986 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in 14th to 16th century by the Vijaynagar Empire.

                                       2. last capital of the last great Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar.

                                       3. The Dravidian style temples and palaces near the Tungabhadra river.
                                       4. 2nd the largest city after Beijing in the world during medieval times and probably the richest city of India.
                                        
                                      5. Battle of Talikota , a coalition of Muslim sultanate ruined Hampi.

Group of monuments at Mahabalipuram:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Chingleput district, Tamilnadu.

·         Unesco heritage tag year: 1984 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1.  Built by Pallava king in 7th to the 8th century.

                  2. Named Pallava king Narsimhavarman I, also known as Mahamalla.

                  3.  Carved out of rock along the coromandel coast.

                  4. Temples are especially Ratahs (temples in chariot form) and Mandapam (core sanctum).

                  5. Temples dedicated to Shiva.

                  6. Famous architecture: A) Descent of Ganga or Arjuns penance: one of the largest open-air rock relief in the world. B) Panchraths: five monolithic pyramids structures named after Pandavs and Drupati. C) Shore temple         

Group of monuments at Pattadakal:

·        Location: Bijapur district, Karnataka.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1987 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in the 7th to 8th century by the Chalukyas dynasty.

                   2. A blended mixture of northern and southern India.

                   3.  Have Hindu temples and Jain sanctuaries.

                   4. Temple of Viruprakash (the largest temple in the complex) built by queen the Lokamahadevi to her husband's victory to the south.

                    5. Temples are mainly dedicated to Lord Shiva but also to represent Shakti and Vaishnism.

                     6. Total ten major temples in which nine dedicated to Hinduism and one for Jainism.

                     7. Four Hindu temples have Dravidian architecture, another four temple have Nagar style architecture and one i.e. Papanath temple has a fusion of both architectures.

Hillforts of Rajasthan:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image Source: Wikimedia Commmons

·        Location: Rajasthan

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2013 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in 8th to 18th century by Rajput kings.

                  2. Six majestic forts include fort of Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jalawar, Jaisalmer, and Jaipur.

  1. The historic city of Ahmedabad:

·        Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2017 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in the 15th century by Sultan Ahmad Shah.

                  2. Built on the eastern bank of Sabarmati river covered the city with a fortified wall and inside has comprised palace, temples, mosque, trade center, etc. for example Bhadra citadel.

Humayun tomb:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Delhi, India.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1993 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in 1570 by Haji Begum wife of Humayun.

                  2. First garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent.

                  3. Designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiras and Persian architecture, the first use of red sandstone.

                  4. Charbagh garden, a typical Persian garden.

Jaipur city:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2019 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. The walled city of Jaipur, found by Sawai Jai Singh.

Khajuraho group of monuments:

Unesco heritage site of India

·         Location: Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1986 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built by the Chandela dynasty in 950 AD to 1050 AD.

                   2.  Nagar style architecture symbolism and their erotic sculptures.

                   3. 20 temples complex with two distinct groups and belong to Hinduism and Jainism.

                   4. Temple of kandariya: a great piece of Indian art, the largest temple and dedicated to Lord Shiva built by king Vidyadhara.

Mahabodhi temple complex:

Unesco heritage site of India

·         Location: Bodhgaya, Bihar.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2002 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. The first temple built by Ashoka the king in the 3rd century BC. And completed built by Bricks.

                   2. Extension of temples during Gupta period.

                   3. Famous for attaining the enlightenment of the Buddha under the banyan tree.

Mountain railways of India:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Tamilnadu 

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1999, 2005, and 2008 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Darjeeling Himalayan railway: started in 1888 under British time in west Bengal.

                  2. Nilgiri mountain railway: started in 1891 under British time in Tamilnadu.

                  3. Kalka Shimla railway: started in early 19th century under British time in Himachal Pradesh.

Qutab-Minar and its monuments:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Delhi, India.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1993 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in the 13th century, a masterpiece of Indo –Muslim art.

                  2. Named on Sufi saint Khawja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki.

                  3. Began by Qutbuddin Aibak, later Illutmish and completed by Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

                 4. Made by red sandstone and, alternative angular and rounded flutings.

                 5. Alai-Darwaza gate present in it.

                 6. Iron pillar: Present inside the complex, built by Chandragupta-II originally present in Udayagiri and shifted here by Anangpal in 1012AD.

Rani-Ki-vav:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Patan district, Gujarat.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2014 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built on the bank of the river Sarasvati river at 11th century AD. on the memorial to the king by the Solanki dynasty.

                  2. A distinct form of subterranean water resources and storage systems.

Redfort complex:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Delhi, India.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2007 under cultural heritage.

·        Features:  1. Built by Mughal emperor Saha Jahan, known as the new capital of the Mughal empire.

                   2. Formally known as the palace fort of the Shahjahanabad. Made from the red sandstone.

                  3. Fort complex shows the infusion of the Hindu, Persian, and Timurid architecture.

Rock shelters of Bhimbetka:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

·        LocationRaisen district, Madhya Pradesh.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2003 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Present in the foothills of the Vindhyan mountain.

                  2. Five clusters of the natural rock shelter.

                  3. Rock cave paintings Mesolithic period and the oldest rock art in the Indian Subcontinent.

                  4. It shows evidence of early dancing and hunting, also the changed hunter-gathering to agriculture which shows the evidence of the Human settlement.

Sun temple Konark:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Puri district, Orissa.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1984 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Temple built in 13th century by Kalinga dynasty and is dedicated to god, the Sun or Surya.

                  2. Temple made in the chariot form i.e. chariot has 24 wheels and pulled with six horses.

                  3. Also known as Black Pagoda because it built-in black granite during the reign of Narsimhavarma.

Taj mahal:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Agra district, Uttar Pradesh.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1983 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in 1631 to 1948 by Shah Jahan on the bank of Yamuna river on the memory of his queen Mumtaz mahal.

                  2. known as Jewel of the Mughal empire and a great masterpiece of Muslim architecture.

                  3. Made from white marble.

The Jantar Mantar:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: Jaipur, Rajasthan.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2010 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Built-in the 18th century.

                  2. Famous for astronomical and observation site.

Victorian gothic and art deco ensembles:

Unesco heritage site of India

Image source: wikipedia.org

·        Location:   Mumbai, Maharashtra.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2018 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. The collection of 19th century Victoria gothic public buildings. Example: Bombay High Court, University of Mumbai, etc.

                  2. The collection of 20th century art Deco public buildings. Example: Eros cinema.

The architectural work of Le-Corbusier:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

·        Location: Chandigarh, India.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2016 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. A great contribution to the modern work of architecture.

                   2. 17 sites in seven countries include Chandigarh for his work.
                   3. It comprises 100-acre areas in capitol complex which includes legislative assembly, Secretariat, High court, Open hand monument and Tower of Shadow.

(B) Natural heritage: These heritage sites details as follows:   


The Great Himalayan National Park:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location:  in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2014 under natural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Famous for its Alpine peaks, Alpine meadows.

                   2. Endangered species found in as snow leopard etc.

Kaziranga National Park:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

·        Location: In the Brahmaputra river floodplains in Assam.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1985 under natural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Famous for one-horned rhino, Asiatic elephant, and Bengal tiger.

                  2. The two-third population of one-horned rhino presents here.

                  3. Home of the highest density of Tiger on protected areas.

                  4. Home of the largest wild water buffalo (51% of the world) and Swamp Deer.

                  5. Big five of Kaziranga: One-Horned Rhino, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild Water Buffalo, Asian Elephant, and Swamp Deer.

Keoladeo national park:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

·        Location: Rajasthan.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1985 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Important winter ground for migratory birds especially Siberian crane.

                   2. Migratory bird come from mostly central Asia.

                    3. First national park enclosed by 2m wall.

                    4. Formally known as Bharatpur bird sanctuary and has a Ramsar wetland site.

Manas wildlife sanctuary:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

·        Location: in the Manas river floodplains in Assam.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1985 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Famous for one-horned rhino, Asiatic elephant, and Bengal tiger.

                  2.  Have the largest population of endangered Bengal Florican.

                  3. Have endemic species such as Assam roofed turtle, Hispid hore, Golden Langur.

Nanda Devi and valley of flowers:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

·        Location: Uttrakhand.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1988,2005 under cultural heritage.

·        Features: 1. A transition zone between Zanskar and the great Himalaya.

                   2. Renowned meadows of endemic alpine flowers and endangered species such as Asiatic bear, snow leopard.

Sundarbans national park:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

·        Location: mangrove areas in the delta of the Ganga river, the Brahmaputra River and Meghna river in West Bengal.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 1987 under natural heritage.

·        Features: 1.Four protected areas in UNESCO heritage site i.e. Sundarbans national park, Sundarbans West, Sundarbans east and Sundarbans south wildlife sanctuaries.

                  2. Famous for the Bengal tiger and world the largest mangrove forest.

                  3. The single largest population of the Bengal tiger present here and famous for its amphibious life.

                  4. The most abundant flora is the Sundari tree and the Gewa tree.

                  5. Endangered species: Royal Bengal Tiger, Gangetic Dolphin, Java Rhino, Estuarine Crocodile, and Water Buffalo.

                   6. It includes Ramsar wetlands sites, has two ecoregions a) Sundarbans freshwater swamps forest and b) Sundarbans mangroves swamps forest.

Western Ghats:

Unesco heritage site of India

·        Location: from Gujarat to Tamilnadu via Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, and Kerala 1600km stretch.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2012 under natural heritage.

·        Features: 1. Older than Himalayan mountain and influence in the Indian monsoon system.

                   2.Montane forest system and one of eight the hottest hotspot in the world.

(C) Mixed heritage: These heritage sites details as follows:   


Khangchendzonga national park:

Unesco heritage site of India
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

·        Location: Sikkim.

·        Unesco heritage tag year: 2016 under a mix of natural and cultural heritage.

·        Features:  world third largest peak.


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