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After the latest edition of World Heritage Sites in India, India has now 36 World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO. It makes India among one of the top countries globally in terms of a number of world heritage sites. UNESCO identifies World Heritage Sites as places that belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located. Have a look and find out what the world appreciates the most about your country.
World Heritage Sites In India
1. Taj Mahal
It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is a White Marble Mughal Architecture. The Taj Mahal was built by emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaj Mahal. It is located at the bank of river Jamuna in Agra. The structure built in 1653 with the estimated cost of 32 million Indian rupees which would today stand up to 58 billion Indian rupees.
This is usually considered as the symbol of beauty and it is an amazingly stunning construction.
2. Agra Fort
Agra Fort is a historical fort in the city of Agra in India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638 when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. The Agra fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal.
3. Kaziranga National Park
Next one in our list of world heritage sites in India is the Kaziranga National park. Famed for its great one-horned rhinoceros and its abundance of biodiversity spots, Kaziranga National Park is perhaps the best chance for wild game in the country. In fact, the Assam Government has made herculean efforts to preserve the range of flora and fauna here, helped, of course by the designation of this park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Ajanta Caves
The Ajanta Caves are 30 (approximately) rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments. They date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state of India. The caves include paintings and rock-cut sculptures described as among the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art, particularly expressive paintings that present emotion through gesture, pose and form.
According to UNESCO, these are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art that influenced the Indian art that followed. And the site is a protected monument in the care of the Archaeological Survey of India and since 1983. The Ajanta Caves have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Ellora Caves
Ellora (\e-ˈlȯr-ə\, IAST: Vērūḷ), located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, India, is one of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, featuring Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain monuments, and artwork, dating from the 600-1000 CE period. Cave 16, particularly, features the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world, the Kailasha temple, a chariot shaped monument dedicated to Shiva.
6. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
The Temples are situated in the town of Mahabalipuram which is approximately 58 kilometers from Chennai in the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal. Pallava rulers built these temples. The striking feature of these temples is the fact that they are all carved out of rock and important in terms of ratha architecture in India. Furthermore, the group of monument includes 40 sanctuaries including largest open-air-bas-relief, eg, Ganga’s Descent.
7. Sundarbans National Park
Famous for the Royal Bengal Tigers, the Sunderban National Park is a known Tiger reserve and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Indian State of West Bengal. It’s the world’s largest mangrove forest reserve. Home to the critically endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, there are also other animal species such as the Gangetic dolphin, spotted deer, wild boar, and other mammal and amphibian species.
8. Humayun’s Tomb
This World Heritage Site in India was built by Begum Bega, the first wife of Humayun between 1565-1572. It is the only monument which has gone several restoration works and is complete. It’s a tomb complex consisting of several smaller monuments including the tombs of Isa Khan Niyazi.
9. Jantar Mantar
The Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory. Jantar Mantar was built in 18th century Rajasthan. It is an astronomical observatory which was built by the Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh of Rajasthan in 1738 CE. It is a collection of 19 astronomical instruments including the world’s largest stone Sundial. All these instruments are man-made.
This is one of the brilliantly constructed structures recognized by UNESCO.
10. Fatehpur Sikri
The name of the city itself denotes the victory (Fateh) of Akhbar over Chittor and Ranthambore, Fatehpur Sikri constitutes of four main Monuments. The Jama Masjid, The Buland Darwaza which is the greatest door of Asia made of a specific wood imported from Australia which would sink in water.
11. Mahabodhi Temple Complex
The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the most revered sites of Buddhism across the world. It has got the Bodhi tree where Buddha enlightened. The complex comprises seven different Buddhist spiritual sites, including the Bodhi Tree and the 50-meter-tall Mahabodhi Temple.
12. Qutub Minar
Qutubuddin Aibak and Iltutmish’s legacy of the Delhi Sultanate to posterity. The Eiffel tower is synonymous with the Paris landscape and skyline as we all know really well. In the same way, the Qutub Minar is to New Delhi.
13. Red Fort
Firstly is famous for its Persian, Timuri and Indian architectural influences, the Red Fort (distinctive for its red sandstone) was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to commemorate the move of the royal court from Agra to Delhi, and his founding of the city of Shahjahanabad. Known as the centerpiece of historic Old Delhi, the stage for many celebrations as well.
14. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
The next one in the list comes to the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Par. Firstly it is located in the Panchmahal district, the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is centered upon the medieval city of Muhammadabad. Secondly, it was built by Sultan Mahmud Begada in the 16th century. Most importantly the Park contains 11 different types of heritage monuments. The truly fascinating element here is that a majority of Champaner-Pavagadh remains unexcavated.
Perhaps one of the most famous Hindu monuments in the country, the Khajuraho Monuments depict Nagara erotic symbolism with stone carvings in sensuous poses. It consists of 85 temples built in Chandella architectural style.
These are some of the amazingly proud UNESCO recognized world heritage sites in India that are worth your attention. Try planning and visiting these.