UNESCO WHS in India

Home / UNESCO WHS in India

Cultural Sites

1. Agra Fort
First Red sandstone fort of North India was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in the year 1565. Its royal audience halls, immense stone courtyards, marble mosque and the private royal chambers give us a glimpse of the grandeur and talent for combining defensive architecture with beauty and design of the Mughal Empire.
2. Ajanta Caves
Caves at Ajanta are over 2000 years old hewn out of a solid rock. The wall paintings and frescoes of these caves have a beautiful flow of line and a wealth of colour. 30 caves at Ajanta are decorated with remarkable murals that universally regarded as some of India's finest artistic treasures. These historical manmade caves comprise of beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings that depict the life of the Buddha.
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
Inspiring peace with its very name, Sanchi lies to the north east of Bhopal, UNESCO declared "the oldest Buddhist Sanctuary in the existence and a major Buddhist centre. Sanchi is an unmatched repository of Buddhist art and architecture.
4. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
The Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park holds a largely unexcavated city which has been built in the late 15th / early 16th century as the capital of Gujarat. It is an early Islamic, pre-Mughal city and its architecture shows the transition between the Hindu and Muslim traditions.
5. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)
An architectural splendor, built in year 1888, after nearly 10 years of construction, as the rail terminus based on the model of St Pancras Station in London and is designed by English architect Frederick William Stevens. Presently VT station or CST is the headquarters of Central Railways.
Churches and Convents of Goa
7. Elephanta Caves
The rock cut architecture of the caves has been dated to between the 5th and 8th centuries. No wonder this place resonates with the spiritual energy of India. The cave complex is a collection of shrines, courtyards, inner cells, grand halls and porticos arranged in the splendid symmetry of Indian rock-cut architecture and filled with exquisite stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. At the entrance to the caves is the famous Trimurti, the celebrated trinity of Elephanta: there's Lord Brahma the Creator, Lord Vishnu, the preserver and Lord Shiva the Destroyer. Nothing has disturbed the sublime beauty of this place for centuries.
8. Ellora Caves
The Ellora Caves are an impressive complex of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples built between the 6th and 10th centuries AD.
9. Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is an ancient city in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This city was built by Akbar, the Mughal emperor in the year 1571. It was constructed mainly as a tribute to the great Sufi Saint Shaikh Salim Chisti who had blessed Akbar with a son. His son was named after the Saint as Salim and he succeeded the Emperor Akbar and was known as Emperor Jehangir. Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of Mughal empire for a short period as the city was abandoned in the year 1585 due to insufficient supply of water. Although this city was deserted, but the city has still preserved the old structures with the help of the archaeological unit. Fatehpur Sikri is a blend of both Muslim and Hindu architecture.
10. Great Living Chola Temples :
a) Brihadeeswarar Temple in Gangaikondcholapuram
Shiva Temple built between 1012 AD and 1044 AD by King Rajendra I.

b) Airavateshwarar Temple in Darasuram
Located at Darasuram to the west of Kumbakonam. Airavat is the holy White Elephant and the temple is dedicated to the Lord of Airavat. The temple was constructed in the 12th century by Rajaraja Chola II and is an exquisite symbol of the supremacy of Chola architectural style.

c) Brihadeeswarar temple in Tanjore
Built by King Raja Rajan from the year 985 AD - 1010 AD. It is also regarded as the Chola dynasty's finest contribution to the Dravidian temple architecture. Listed as a World Heritage site, the temple is visited by a large number of people for the regular worship here. The temple is characterized by its unique structure. Unlike the usual South Indian temples, the Brihadeeswara temple has a soaring vimana and a stunted gopuram. A huge Nandi, about 6 m long and 3.7 m high, faces the inner sanctum. The statue of Nandi was created from a single rock piece and weighs 25 tonnes. It is in fact one of the largest statues of Nandi bulls in India.
11. Group of Monuments at Hampi
Hampi is magical place and is one of the most beautiful towns in Karnataka. Huge boulders are scattered across the land where ruins of the old Vijayanagar capital stand as poignant reminders of the passage of history.
12. Group of Monuments Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram is an ancient port town known for its stone carvings and stone temples. Built largely between the 7th and the 9th centuries, the port city of Pallavas has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site, the town was known to ancient mariners as "Seven Pagodas" alluding to the Seven Pagodas of Mahabalipuram.
13. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
Pattadakal is an World Heritage site which lies on the banks of Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district. It is 22 Kms from Badami and about 10 Kms from Aihole. Pattadakal represents the high point of an eclectic art which, in the 7th and 8th centuries under the Chalukya dynasty, achieved a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India. An impressive series of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary, can be seen there.
14. Hill Forts of Rajasthan : a) Chittorgarh, b) Kumbhalgarh, c) Ranthambore, d) Amber Fort, e) Jaisalmer & f) Gagron Fort
15. Humayun's Tomb
16. Khajuraho Group of Monuments
Western Group of temples represent some of the finest examples of Chandela art at its peak. Eastern Group Situated near the village of Khajuraho, the Eastern Group of temples consists of the well–known temples like Brahma, Vamana and Javari.
17. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya
Bodhgaya is the most important Buddhist pilgrimage place in the world. It is situated near the Niranjana river in the state of Bihar, it's here that Lord Buddha became enlightened during intense meditation under a Bodhi tree. The exact spot is now marked by the sprawling Mahabodhi Temple complex.
18. Mountain Railways of India : a) Darjeeling Himalayan Railways, b) Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Ooty & c) Kalka – Shimla Railway Himachal Pradesh.
19. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi
20. Rani-ki-Vav - Patan
21. Red Fort Complex, Delhi
Most opulent Red sandstone fort and palace of the Moghul Empire. Built by Shah Jahan the 5th Mughal Emperor of India in 1639-1648.
22. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
23. Sun Temple – Konark
13th-century Sun Temple at Konark, in Orissa, was supposedly built by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty around 1250.[2] It has been built in the shape of a gigantic chariot with elaborately carved stone wheels, pillars and walls.
24. Taj Mahal
Seven Wonders of the World, little needs to be said about this architectural wonder. It was constructed of White marble inlaid with masterfully cut colored stones and some semi-precious by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is a memorial to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument took 22 years to be completed and was designed, and planned by Persian architect Ustad Isa. Apart from its stunning design balance and perfect symmetry, the Taj is also noted particularly for its elegant domes, intricately carved screens and some of the best inlay work ever seen. The Taj has continued to be a mark of love since ever.
25. The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
A solar observatory - It is the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh-I, the founder ruler of Jaipur.