The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or in short UNESCO was founded on 16 November 1945 and came into force in 4 November 1946 .The main moto of setting this organization is to preserve world heritage sites all over the world . In India , there are 38 world heritage sites . These include 30 culture sites, 7 natural sites and 1mixed criteria site .
Heritage sites are those sites that have culture heritage value , the site may be any landscape, structure or building that have local , regional and national significance. And the world heritage site is the site that is choosen or marked by UNESCO.
There are 38 main World Heritage Sites in India below given are the sites:
1) Nalanda University (2016) :
It is located in Bihar state. It is also known as Nalanda Mahavihara. It was the center of learning and a Buddhist monastery. One can witness the remains of stupas, shrines, and viharas here. In this University scholars from all over the world come here for learning. Buddha was himself a teacher in this University. It is the Second UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bihar.
2) Great Himalayan National Park (2014) :
It is located in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh. It is home to 375 fauna species and several floral species like blue sheep, snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan tahr, musk deer spruces, horse chestnuts and huge alpine meadows. It is one of the new addition in the list of World Heritage Sites.
3) Capitol Complex (2016) :
It is located in Chandigarh. This Complex is also one of the architectural work of Le Corbusier and is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in Sector 1 of Chandigarh. It also hosts the legislative assembly of both the states of Haryana and Punjab, High Court and Secretariat.
4) Rani Ki Vav (2014) :
It is located in Patan, Gujarat. Local People say that it was built in the honor and memory of Bhimdev 1, and his widowed queen Udayamati. It has an outstanding architectural marvel and splendor making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5) Khangchendzonga National Park (2016) :
It is located in Sikkim. It is located at a height of 1829 m to 8500 m above sea level. This park includes the highest peak in Sikkim and the third highest peak of the world. This Park is famous for its fauna and flora.
6) Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986) :
Located in Hampi, Karnataka is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These monuments show the fine Dravidian style of art and Architecture. Virupaksha Temple is the most important heritage monument on this site.
7) Group of Monument at Pattadakal (1987) :
It is located in Tamil Nadu. It is a World Heritage Site and is famous for its Chalukya Style of Architecture that is originated in Aihole blended with Nagara and Dravidian style of Architecture. This place includes 8 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Jain and Shaivite sanctuaries.
8) Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986) :
It is located in Madhya Pradesh. This site is famous for its group of Jain and Hindu temples. These temples are famous for its erotic figures and sculptures and also depicts the Nagara Style. It consists of 85 temples.
9) Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013) :
This place is famous for its unique Rajput Military Defense Architecture. This heritage site includes six beautiful forts in Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amber Fort and Jaisalmer Fort.
10) Mahabodhi Temple Complex (2002) :
It is located in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. This place is a World Heritage Site as this is the place where Mahatma Buddha attained enlightenment. It is an important religious center for the Buddhists.
11) Churches and Convent of Goa (1986) :
These churches have been included in UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its different and beautiful architectural forms.
12) Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989) :
It is located in Madhya Pradesh. The monuments here are the oldest stone structure in India. Sanchi stupa is one of the most important monuments on this site which was built by King Ashoka. This structure is built over the relics of Buddha. This site also includes monolithic pillars, temples, palaces and monasteries.
13) Great Living Chola Temples (1987) :
It is located in Tamil Nadu. Brihadisvara Temple, Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple are the most important temples in this site. The architectural splendor and beauty of Chola art, architecture and sculpture make this place a UNESCO world heritage site.
14) Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984) :
It is located in Tamil Nadu. These temples were made under the rule of Pallava rulers. All the temples here are carved out of rock and is important in terms of Ratha Architecture. The cave temples of Mahabalipuram also consist of more than half a dozen caves.
15) Rock Shelter of Bhimbetka (2003) :
It was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. It is located in Madhya Pradesh. It is the place where the earliest traces of human life on Indian subcontinent were found.
16) Ajanta Caves (1983) :
It is located in Maharashtra. It is first World Heritage Site of India. This place includes rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments, paintings and sculpture. The carvings and sculpture depict the life of Buddha.
17) Ellora Caves (1983) :
It is located in Maharashtra. It is an important UNESCO World Heritage Site and an archaeological site because of its rock-cut architecture. There is 34 rock-cut temples and caves. One can find Hindu, Buddhist and Jain Temple in these caves.
18) Elephant Caves (1987) :
It is situated in Maharashtra. It is also known as Gharapuri. There is a number of archaeological remains which offers us a glimpse into the rich, cultural past of Indian Civilization.
19) Kaziranga National Park (1985) :
It is located in Assam and is one of the untouched natural areas in India. Sanctuary contains 15 endangered Indian faunal species and One-Horned Rhino is the most endangered.
20) Manas Wild Life Sanctuary (1985) :
It is located in Assam. The lush green forested hills and dense vegetation of the surrounding areas provide a comfortable environment to the several endangered species like Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.
21) Keoladeo National Park (1985) :
It is located in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. It is also known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. It is home to about 366 different species of birds. This place has a rich biological heritage of India.
22) Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988,2005) :
It is situated in Uttarakhand. Nanda Devi is the highest peak of Uttarakhand. It is located at a height of 6400 m above sea level. The Valley of Flowers is a National Park which is famous for its astonishing variety of flowers. This World Heritage Site is home to 600 species of Flora and over 520 species of Fauna.
23) Sunderbans National Park (1987) :
It is located in West Bengal and is famous for its Royal Bengal Tigers. It has the world’s largest mangrove forest reserve. One can find saltwater crocodile here which is the main attraction among tourist.
24) Western Ghats (2012) :
It constitutes severe national parks, reserve forests and wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. It has a high biodiversity and is the top 8 in World’s Biological Hot Spot Locations
25) Humayun’s Tomb (1993) :
It is located in New Delhi. This World Heritage Sites in India was built by Begum Bega. It’s a complex of Tomb consisting of several smaller mountains including the tombs of Isa Khan Niyazi.
26) Red Fort (2007) :
It is located in the center of the historic city of Delhi. This fort was built by Emperor Shah Jahan. One can find a perfect mixture of Indo-Islamic, Timurid, Hindu and Persian Forms of architecture. It is one of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and is managed by Archaeological Survey of India.
27) Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (2004) :
Also known as Victoria Terminus is located in Maharashtra. It is the headquarters of Central Railway in Mumbai.
28) Sun Temple (1984) :
It is located in Konark, Odisha. Visit to this temple will include shape of a gigantic chariot with carved stone wheel, pillars and walls and 6 enormously carved horses.
29) Jantar Mantar (2010) :
Located in Jaipur, Rajasthan. It was built by Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh. This place is a perfect example of the scientific as well as the cultural heritage of India.
30) Agra Fort (1983) :
It is located in Uttar Pradesh. This fort is the fusion of Persian Art of Timurid and the Indian Forms of architecture.
31) Fatehpur Sikri (1986) :
Located in Uttar Pradesh. It constitutes of four main monuments. The Buland Darwaza which is the greatest door of Asia.
32) Taj Mahal (1983) :
It is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It is also one of the Seven Wonders of the World and was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is also known as the “Jewel of Muslim Art in India.”
33) Mountain Railways of India (1999,2005,2008) :
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, The Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway are a part of the World Heritage Sites in India.
34) Qutub Minar (1993) :
It is located in New Delhi. It was built by first muslin ruler of Delhi, Qutub-ud-din Aibak of the Mamluk Dynasty. It is the most common example of Islamic architecture in India and is also famous for its brick minarets.
35) Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004) :
Located in Gujarat. It was built by Sultan Mahmud Bagada. It include 11 different types of Heritage Monuments that are- Mosques, Temples, Tombs, Gateways, Fortresses and Walls, Palaces and Pavilion, Helical Wells, Custom House and Greeneries all belonging to 16th century.
36) Historic city of Ahmedabad (2017) :
Ahmedabad is a walled city on the banks of Sabarmati where communities following Hinduism, Islam and Jainism have co-existed since centuries.
37) Jaipur the Pink City (2019) :
Jaipur is a historic city in India with two famous nicknames, ‘Paris of India’ and the more popular one ‘Pink City’.
38) The Victorian and art deco ensemble of Mumbai (2018) :
In a wonderful piece on news, the city’s rich cluster of Victorian and Art Deco buildings in the Fort precinct and Marine Drive has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.