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List of 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

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List of 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India
20 Apr 2022


Recently in 2021, Dholavira (Gujarat) and Ramappa Temple (Telangana) were added to the list under the ‘Cultural’ category of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. At present, there are 40 UNESCO World Heritage sites. 

The World Heritage Sites list is decided by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. This decision of including Dholavira and Ramappa Temple into the list of World Heritage Sites was taken at the 44th session held in China.


About UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences, and culture.

Focussing on the world culture and science, it aims to secure the world heritage sites of cultural and natural importance. Thus, it has given world heritage designation for places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

However, not every heritage can become a part of the World Heritage Sites network. It has to meet the following criteria laid down by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee:


Criteria for UNESCO World Heritage Sites:


  1. Human creative genius.
  2. Interchange of values.
  3. Testimony to cultural tradition.
  4. Significance in human history.
  5. Traditional human settlement.
  6. Heritage associated with events of universal significance.
  7. Natural phenomena or beauty.
  8. Major stages of Earth’s history.
  9. Significant ecological and biological processes.
  10. The significant natural habitat for biodiversity.


Benefits of being World Heritage Sites:

There are a few benefits to being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site:


  • Increased Tourism. The first benefit, however, is all about tourism. Once a site has been recognized, it becomes more attractive to travelers and therefore travel writers and other news organizations will help spread the word. The site suddenly has a certain status that it didn’t have before, and for many countries, this could help bring new economic benefits.
  • Funds for Protection. The site is eligible to receive funds for its protection and conservation. Since it is declared something of historical significance, it is understood worldwide that it needs to be preserved. The site will also have access to global project management resources if a repair is needed or if more options for tourism is needed to ensure the site’s protection.
  • Protection during a war. Once declared, the site becomes protected under Geneva convention against destruction during a war. It cannot be used for military purposes.
  • Protection from encroachment: Again, each world heritage site receives not only recognition, but protection from encroaching industrialization, mistreatment, or misuse. 


List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India:

S.No

Name of Sites

Year

Location

1

Ajanta Caves

1983

Maharashtra

2

Ellora Caves

1983

Maharashtra

3

Agra Fort

1983

Agra

4

Taj Mahal

1983

Agra

5

Sun Temple

1984

Orissa

6

Mahabalipuram Monuments

1984

Tamil Nadu

7

Kaziranga National Park

1985

Assam

8

Keoladeo

National Park

1985

Rajasthan

9

Manas

Wildlife Sanctuary

1985

Assam

10

Churches and

Convents of Goa

1986

Goa

11

Monuments

of Khajuraho

1986

Madhya

Pradesh

12

Monuments

of Hampi

1986

Karnataka

13

Fatehpur Sikri

1986

Agra

14

Elephanta Caves

1987

Maharashtra

15

Great Living

Chola Temples

1987

Tamil Nadu

16

Pattadakal

Monuments

1987

Karnataka

17

Sundarbans

National Park

1987

West Bengal

18

Nanda Devi &

Valley of Flowers

National Park

1988

Uttarakhand

19

Monuments of

Buddha

1989

Sanchi,

Madhya

Pradesh

20

Humayun’s Tomb

1993

Delhi

21

Qutub Minar and

its Monuments

1993

Delhi

22

Mountain

Railways

of Darjeeling,

Kalka

Shimla & Nilgiri

1999

Darjeeling

23

Mahabodhi

Temple

2002

Bihar

24

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters

2003

Madhya Pradesh

25

Chhatrapati

Shivaji Terminus

2004

Maharashtra

26

ChampanerPavagadh

Archaeological

Park

2004

Gujarat

27

Red Fort

2007

Delhi

28

Jantar Mantar

2010

Delhi

29

Western Ghats

2012

Karnataka,

Kerala,

Tamil Nadu,

Maharashtra

30

Hill Forts

2013

Rajasthan

31

Rani Ki Vav

(The Queen’s

Stepwell)

2014

Gujarat

32

Great Himalayan

National Park

2014

Himachal

Pradesh

33

Nalanda

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