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UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

Netting again, came across the list of World Heritage Sites in India … didn’t know we had more then two dozen of them in our country!

Now ‘A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is listed by UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance. The list is maintained by the international World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 state parties which are elected by their General Assembly for a four-year term.’ As per the wikipedia. 

India currently has 27 World Heritage Sites –  

  1. Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh (1983)
  2. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra (1983)
  3. Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh (1986)
  4. Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh (1983)
  5. Churches and Convents of Goa, Goa (1986)
  6. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh (1989)
  7. Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh (1986)
  8. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh (2003)
  9. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat (2004)
  10. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai, Maharashtra (2004)
  11. Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, Maharashtra (1987)
  12. Ellora Caves, Maharashtra (1983)
  13. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
  14. Great Living Chola Temples,Tanjore/Thanjavur Tamil Nadu (1987)
  15. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu (1984)
  16. Group of Monuments at Hampi, Karnataka (1986)
  17. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka (1987)
  18. Kaziranga National Park, Assam (1985)
  19. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam (1985)
  20. Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan (1985)
  21. Konark Sun Temple, Konark, Orissa (1984)
  22. Mahabodhi Temple Complex, Bodh Gaya, Bihar (2002)
  23. Mountain Railways of India, including Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Kalka-Shimla Railway, and Nilgiri Mountain Railway (1999)
  24. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttaranchal (1988)
  25. Red Fort, Delhi (2007)
  26. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal (1987)
  27. Qutub Minar and its monuments, Delhi (1993)

 Out of the 27, I have seen Seven in totality and Two partially. Partially because though I saw these two from a distance but couldn’t check them out for some reasons!

Coming back to the list, we have 27 such sites in our country! This sounds good … but for a country of our size, with our historical and cultural background … we should be topping the list. The reason I guess is that we have been very unsuccessful in identifying such sites, getting them notified and finally in preserving them. Almost every few month’s, local newspaper carries the tale of some monument which is getting dusted and busted simply because there is no one to take care of it or someone has been callous or ignorant. If only we would take care of our heritage and understand the importance of history, India can be one of the richest heritage countries, along with generating huge foreign exchange in tourism!


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