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World Heritage Sites in India – Indian is a land of rich cultural heritage and glorious past. It also has some early civilizations in the world like Indus Valley civilization that dates back to 3000 BCE. Ruled by various kingdoms or rulers, the entire country famous for its unique imprints and rich legacy. Further, in terms of the World Heritage Sites India has its own significance like all other countries in the World.
Besides that, some of the heritage sites also included in the list of monuments in India that provides you with a glimpse of its rich heritage and culture. According to the latest update, there are about 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Hence it is a great site to behold for all archaeologists, historians, and art lovers. Check the list of all world famous heritage sites to visit in India with detailed information.
15 Most Famous World Heritage Sites in India Recognised By UNESCO –
1. Taj Mahal, Agra –
Built around the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his loving wife Mumtaz, Taj Mahal is one of the most famous World Heritage Sites in India. Made up of white marble, it is an excellent example of Mughal architecture hence also referred to Jewel of Muslim Art in India. The site also listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World due to its brilliant architecture. Located on the bank of river Yamuna in Agra, it is the most famous Indian Heritage Sites and visited by a lot of number tourist every year.
2. Hampi, Karnataka –
Hampi is a famous group of monuments in India and it is located in the Northern part of Karnataka. Having a large collection of heritage sites, it is one of the best places to visit in India for history buffs and archaeological enthusiast. Lies in the ruins of the ancient kingdom of Vijayanagar, it is considered to be one of the perfect places for archaeological study in India. Further, all these historical monuments depicting the Dravidian style of architecture and art. The heritage sites present here in forms of numerous ancient temples, palaces, statues and market places. Some of the most popular heritage monument that you can witness here such as Virupaksha Temple, Ganesha temple, Narasimha temple, Krishna temple complex and Lotus Mahal complex etc.
3. Konark Sun Temple, Odisha –
Dates back to the 13th century, Konark Sun Temple titled as World Heritage Sites in India by UNESCO in the year 1984. Constructed by the King Narasimhadeva I, this popular heritage site famous for its unique architectural style that represents the chariot of the sun. Further, the chariot consisting of twelve pair of wheels that are pulled by a set of seven horses which represents all Brahmin sanctuaries in India. Dedicated to Sun God, it is a popular pilgrimage destination in India too thus it attracts both history buffs as well as spiritual travellers.
4. Red Fort, Delhi –
Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan when he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi. The historical monument is famous for its red sandstone architecture and it is a perfect mix of Persian, Islamic and Hindu style of architecture. Further, the fort complex comprises of an audience hall, courtyards, gardens, mosques and a museum. Besides that, other attractions inside Red Fort are Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Mumtaz Mahal and Moti Masjid. At the evening time, one can also enjoy the light & sound show here.
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5. Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Maharashtra –
Ajanta and Ellora Caves date back to around 2nd century BCE to 650 CE thus it is known to be one of the Oldest UNESCO World Heritage sites in India. These Buddhist caves still stand as proof of rock-cut architecture and also carved with beautiful paintings and sculpture. Today, Ajanta caves have a collection of 31 caves that shows the different phase of Indian Classical Art.
In spite, Ellora Caves is a group of 34 rock-cut monuments that dated back to 600 AD to 1000 AD. By exploring this site one can trace the presence of various religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism. There are many ancient temples in Ellora Caves that are related to the main religion of India. Further, all these heritage sites boast of a magnificent style of architecture hence it is a great site to behold for all history buffs.
6. Khajuraho Groups of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh –
Located in Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a significant place to explore rich culture and tradition of India. The heritage site is famous for its group of ancient Hindu and Jain temples that were built between 950 AD to 1050 AD. Further, all these temples are known for their Nagara style symbolism, erotic figures and sculptures. At present, there are about 85 temples in Khajuraho that spread an area of 22 sq km. One can also see the erotic poses of human and animals depicting ancient Indian values and symbolic art. Moreover, a must visit World Heritage sites in India by UNESCO that offers an excellent opportunity to photographers.
7. Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh –
Constructed by erstwhile King Akbar after a victory over Chittor and Ranthambore to create new capital. The well-planned city dotted with numerous historical monuments in terms of magnificent palaces and mosques. But the entire city much famed for its four main monuments namely Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaza, Panch Mahal and Diwan-e-Aam or Diwan-e-Khas. Whereas the Buland Darwaza made up of Australian Wood and the Panch Mahal considered as the origin place of Navaratnas like Birbal and Tansen. A tomb of Salim Chishti is another popular tourist attraction here.
8. Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra –
Located on a small Island in the Arabian Sea near the city of Mumbai, Elephanta Caves is a must visit tourist place in India for the archaeological enthusiast. Also known as Elephanta Island or Gharapuri, this heritage site has a large collection of Buddhist caves and Hindu rock temples. Most of the temple dedicated to Hindu God Shiva and also famous for its rock-cut sculptures and carvings that depicting Lord Shiva as a Creator, Preserver and Destroyer. Further, these popular rock-cut caves will offer you a beautiful insight of history, culture and civilization of India. So whenever you want to explore rich Indian Heritage and culture then must visit this famous World Heritage Sites in India.
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9. Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh –
Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh is a group of Buddhist monuments and considered to be the oldest stone structures in India. All these stone structures built by great Emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BC that gives you a glimpse of excellent Mauryan architecture. The heritage monument presents here in various forms like palaces, temples, monolithic pillars, monasteries and inscriptions. Among all these monuments Sanchi Stupa is the most famous one that built over the relics of Buddha and it was vandalized during 2nd BCE and later renovated during the Satavahana period. Apart from that, this popular World Heritage Sites in India also remained a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists.
10. Kaziranga National Park, Assam –
Boasting a unique range of flora & fauna and rich biodiversity, Kaziranga National Park in Assam also listed as World Heritage Sites in India recognised by UNESCO. Home to two-thirds one horn rhinoceroses in the World, the park is an important tourist destination in North-East India. It is said that the park was established by Lord Curzon during the time of British Rule when his wife failed to see a single Rhinoceros in this region.
Today, the park is home to 15 different endangered species such as rhino, capped langur, hoolock gibbon, tiger, leopard, Water Buffalo, swamp deer and sloth bear etc. Further, the park lies on the flood plains of river Brahmaputra thus it comprises of lush green grasslands, dense forest and gushing streams. It is also listed as one of the most famous national parks in India and a great place for Wildlife enthusiast.
11. Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi –
The resemblance of this historical monument looks like World famous wonder Taj Mahal. Located in Delhi, Humayun’s Tomb is one of the most significant heritage sites in India and visited by lots of visitors every year. Built by Begum Bega who was the wife of Mughal emperor Humayun, the monument famous for its brilliant Mughal architecture. Further, it also houses several other small monuments such as Isa Khan tomb, Sher Shah Suri’s court along with a water channel and pavilion. Due to its rich heritage and architectural importance, it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1993.
12. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat –
Located in Panchmahal district of Gujarat, Champaner-Pavagadh is a famous archaeological site as well as one of the most visited World Heritage Sites in India. Built by Sultan Mahmud Begada, the site has different types of heritage monuments such as temples, mosques, tombs, and fortresses. Further, all these monuments belonging to the 16th century AD that gives you a glimpse of India rich heritage and culture. There are around 114 monuments in this area out of which 39 currently managed by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). In Addition, it is a great place to do an archaeological study in India thus it attracts students and history buffs alike. Further, all these World Heritage sites in India attracts spiritual travellers as well as historians.
13. Jantar-Mantar, Jaipur –
Built around the 18th century by the king of Sawai Jai Singh as an astronomical observatory to trace the movement of the sun and predict the time. All these astronomical instruments made up of sandstone and plaster of Paris. Therefore, it is considered to be the world’s largest stone Sundial. Further, these instruments still in working condition that helps you to find out the exact location of the moon, sun and other celestial bodies within the given time.
14. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu –
Located in the state of Tamil Nadu, Mahabalipuram has a large complex of temples in India. Situated near the coast of the Bay of Bengal and approximately 60 kilometres from Chennai. The temple complex built by Pallava rulers during 7th-century CE. In ancient times it was an important port of Southern India and hence visited by various Merchants from all over the World. Today, there are around 400 temples that carved out of the rock and it also depicts the ratha architecture of India.
It also includes the world’s largest open-air rock relief in terms of cave temples, sculptures and stone carvings. Some of the most striking tourist attraction at Mahabalipuram are Pancha Rathas temples, Arjuna Ratha temple, Shore Temple, Olakkannesvara Temple etc.
15. Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand –
Located in the proximity to Nanda Devi National Park, the Valley of Flowers declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India in the year 2005. The park spread an area of 8 sq km which is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Famous for its astonishing variety of flowers, the entire valley looks like a bed sheet of flowers. The park is also an integral part of the ecosystem in India which protecting many species of Flora and Fauna. At present, the park boasts around 600 species of Flora and about 550 species of fauna.
So these are the most visited World Heritage Sites in India that clearly display its rich culture and heritage. Having one of the oldest civilization in the World it attracts lots of archaeologists, historians, and art lovers. So want to explore this famous cultural land in true sense then must explore all these heritage monuments of India.