Top UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

Updated: Mar 12

The cultural heritage of a country is a splendid memorandum of its magnificent past. It is that precious legacy that should be maintained to be transmitted from generation to generation. There might be several architectural miracles in a country but only a few of them hold universal significance. These are the cultural heritages that are so extraordinary that the safety of these sites becomes the consideration of the entire humankind. Such incarnations of history have been classified as the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and their conservation is of utmost prominence to these global societies.


After the latest increase to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list, India has now 38 World Heritage Sites, and that makes India the 6th biggest count of World Heritage Sites in the world. UNESCO World Heritage Convention which was accepted in 1972, acknowledged various sites of cultural and natural significance around the world.


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Here you will find out the elite UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India that are a wonderful tourist attraction and a wonder to see at least once in your life


Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage site situated in the Northern region of Karnataka. It lies inside the ruins of the ancient, affluent kingdom of Vijayanagar. The remains at Hampi are a collection of heritage sites portraying the great Dravidian style of art and architecture. The most substantial heritage monument on this site is the Virupaksha Temple, which remains to be a major religious center for the Hindus. Various other monuments are a part of this heritage scene; Together, they’re mutually recognized as the ‘Group of Monuments at Hampi’.


Ellora Caves, Maharashtra

The Ellora Caves are a well-known World Heritage site in India and an archaeological site, spanning 29 kilometers Northwest of the town of Aurangabad. The Ellora Caves are well recognized for their Indian-rock-cut architecture. There are around 34 rock-cut temples and caves which can be antiquated to about 600 to 1000 AD, which are crucial in terms of knowledge about the lives of the people living in this period. The existence of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples and statues portray the patience which was prolonged towards diverse faiths and beliefs in Ancient Indian History.


Bodh Gaya, Bihar

Bodh Gaya is situated nearly 96 kilometers away from Patna, Bihar, and is one of the Indian heritage sites acknowledged by UNESCO. It’s an essential religious center for the Buddhists as this was the location where Mahatma Buddha achieved wisdom. The holy Bodhi Tree is the place where Siddhartha achieved Enlightenment and became Gautam Buddha. The famous Mahabodhi Temple was conventional in the rule of Ashoka the Great in about roughly 250 BCE. It’s one of the primeval Buddhist temples. Currently, the Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya includes the 50 m tall Mahabodhi Temple, the Vajrasana, divine Bodhi Tree, and other six sacred areas of Buddha’s wisdom, surrounded by several ancient Votive stupas.


Sun Temple, Orissa

The Sun Temple is a 13th-century temple sited in Konark, Odisha. It was constructed by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in about AD 1250. The Sun Temple is in the form of an enormous carriage with an engraved stone wheel, pillars, and walls and is led by six hugely engraved horses. It’s also deemed to be one of the largest brahmin shelters in India. The temple is initially said to be constructed at the mouth of river Chandrabhaga but the watermark has decreased since then. This World Heritage Site in India reflected the magnificence of the traditional type of Kalinga Architecture, which was widespread then.



Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan when he moved his capital from Agra to Delhi, or what was recognized as Shahjahanabad at that time. The fort has become the political focus of the Mughals. Under Shah Jahan, Mughal art and architecture reached their peak, and the Red Fort is a complete example of that. One can see the mixing of Indo-Islamic, Timurid, Hindu, and Persian types of architecture in several aspects of the Red Fort. It’s created of red sandstone and houses numerous other smaller buildings such as the private pavilions, the Diwan-i-aam, the Diwan-i-Khas. The Red Fort is one of the most renowned UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and is administered directly by the Archaeological Survey of India.


Sunderban National Park, West Bengal

Famous for the Royal Bengal Tigers, the Sunderban National Park is a well-known Tiger reserve and a Biosphere Reserve situated in the state of West Bengal. It is located on the Sunderban Deltas developed by the river Ganges in the Bay of Bengal. It is one of the biggest reserves in India wrapped mostly by heavy Mangrove forests. It’s the world’s biggest mangrove forest reserve. Home to the seriously endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, there is also diverse animal breed such as the Gangetic dolphin, spotted deer, wild boar, and other mammal and amphibian family. The unique saltwater crocodile is another appeal of this reserve. The tiger population of India is the highest in this place. For all these bases this is one of the most crucial Indian heritage sites.


Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

The Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observation post constructed in 18th century Rajasthan. It is an astronomical observatory that was established by the Rajput Emperor Sawai Jai Singh of Rajasthan in 1738 CE. It is an assortment of 19 pieces of astronomical equipment including the world’s biggest stone Sundial. All these types of equipment are man-made. The observatory includes tools that were used to estimate celestial coordinate methods, the horizon-peak local system, the tropical system, and the orbit system. One of India’s best-maintained observatories, this monument is an outstanding example of the analytical as well as the cultural heritage of India.


Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh

Fatehpur Sikri represents four major Monuments. The Jama Masjid, The Buland Darwaza, which is the most important door of Asia, is created of a special wood imported from Australia which would submerge in water. Panch Mahal of Jada Baai ka Mahal, which is also deemed as the root place of the Navaratnas (Birbal, Tansen, etc.). It also enclosed the Diwan-e-Khas and Diwan-e-aam. Inside the Buland Darwaza is found the Tomb of Salim Chishti. All these Mughal buildings are remarkable Indian heritage sites.


Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra

The Elephanta caves are situated on an island in the Arabian City, not very far from the urban area of Mumbai. The chain of sculptured caves located on Elephanta Island is also recognized as Gharapuri. Several archaeological remains offer us a glance into the rich, cultural history of Indian civilization. These caves are well-known for their rock-cut carvings and sculptures portraying Shiva as the Creator and the Destroyer of the Universe. The most significant of all the caves here is Cave 1, where one can notice the Sadashiva at the entry of the cave, which portrays three sides of Shiva: the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer.


If you're one of those who enjoy the past and live by remembrance, if historical tales fascinate you sufficiently, then the list of some World Heritage Sites in India will certainly push you to understand more about them by being there. We must examine them to know the prominence of their presence.

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