25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India| Top World Heritage Sites in India

25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in IndiaIndia, land of diversity is well known for its Architectural Style, Sculpture and arts. Finding 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India is a prime destination of many Hindus all over the World. Due to the addition of 3 World Heritage sites by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), at present there are total 35 World Heritage Sites having cultural, historical and scientific significance which attracts sightseers from different parts of the world. From entirety top 35 sites, 27 sites are of cultural immense while 8 are of natural significance.

Owing to the historical structure like monuments, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, forts, caves and stunning temples designed by architects, they constitute to the cultural heritage of the Nation with leaving a remarkable footprint on incredible human Endeavour. With the latest arrival of Nalanda Mahavihara, Kanchenjunga National Park and Capitol Complex of Chandigarh, India comes under one of the top countries globally in terms of cultural heritage sites. Pilgrims as well as sightseers visit every year to view the historical monuments, Architectural Style, Sculptures and Heritage Sites as listed by UNESCO. It’s the right time to put your eyes on best World Heritage Sites in India.

25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

  1. Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University), Bihar
  2. Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim
  3. Capitol Complex, Chandigarh
  4. Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
  5. Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat
  6. Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh
  7. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka
  8. Hill Forts of Rajasthan
  9. Group of Monuments at Hampi, Karnataka
  10. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, Bihar
  11. Churches and Convents of Goa
  12. Great Living Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu
  13.  Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
  14. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh
  15. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
  16. Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary, Assam
  17. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
  18. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), Maharashtra
  19. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
  20. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Uttarakhand
  21. 21 Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
  22. Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi
  23. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur, Rajasthan
  24. Red Fort Complex, Delhi
  25. Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha

Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

  1. Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University), Bihar

Nalanda Mahavihara in Bihar is ranked on number one among the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. From the ancient times 800 years ago, till now it is considered centre for imparting acquaintance as well as knowledge. Here, it marked as the centre for buddhist monastery widely known for flourishing of monastic and enlightening traditions. One can view stupas, shrines and viharas which are beautifully designed by the architects and acknowledged worldwide for their magnificence appearance. Even scholars from Tibet, China, Korea, and Central Asia approach here for vedic learning and sight for sculptures.

Famous for: Buddhist monastery, formalised Vedic learning, stupas, shrines, and viharas


  1. Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim

In 2016, Khangchendzonga is affirmed as the world heritage site among the 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Being situated in the Himalayan Ranges part of North and West Sikkim, it is popularly recognized as Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve which broadens over 850 sq. km with altitude of 1,829 m to 8,500 m above sea level. The world’s third highest peak Mount Khangchendzonga is also among the World Heritage Sites which is situated near to it. One may view this beautiful national park for its stunning flora and fauna along with snow leopard which is sporadically prospected. Due to its scenic beauty, it has become a source of attraction for tourists as well.

Famous for: Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve, Kanchenjunga Peak, fauna and flora, with snow leopard and trekking routes


  1. Capitol Complex, Chandigarh

Among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, Capitol Complex built by Le Corbusier is the preeminent Sites which encompass three buildings, three monuments and a beautiful lake. From the first half of 20th century, Le Corbusier is well renowned for his architectural work along with stupendous contribution to Modern Movement. Being widened to around 100 acres, it is documented as a World Heritage Site for hosting legislative assembly in Haryana and Punjab states along with High Court, Secretariat and Geometric Hill and Tower of Shadows.

Famous for: Architectural work, hosting legislative assembly, Secretariat and Geometric Hill and Tower of Shadows


  1. Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh

Situated in the Kullu region of Northern Himachal Pradesh, every tourist has an inner spirit to visit Great Himalayan National Park during life time. This world heritage site is embraced so marvelously with upper peak snow melt as well as rising glacier with freeze snow melting sights. For the ones, who love flora and fauna, it is the overwhelming world heritage site which offers habitant to around 375 fauna species with quite a few floral species. Being located around an area of 754.4 square kilometers, you may view wildlife sanctuaries like Himalayan brown bear, musk deer spruces, horse chesnuts and enormous alpine meadows. Keep in mind, the government has put strict ban on the hunting of these animals as well as species.

Famous for: Snow and glacial water melts with diverse species of flora and fauna like blue sheep, snow leopard and Himalayan Brown Bear, wildlife conservation site


  1. Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat

Being situated on the banks of River Saraswati, Rani Ki Vav, Patan is a cultural world heritage site which has been added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites on 22 June 2014. Besides this, it is eminent intricately constructed stepwell which is built in the memory of king Bhimdev of 11th century AD by his widowed queen Udayamati. Many tourists visit every year to sight the sculptural Stone Carvings and architectural beauty of these monuments. Everyone who visits here gets stunned by its architectural style with an inverted shaped temple with around seven levels of stairs holding supplementary sculptures.

Famous for: Fine Ancient Indian architecture, Stepped Corridors, Sculptures and Stone Carvings


  1. Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh

 Recognized as a group of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is a unique UNESCO World Heritage site located around 175 km in south east of Jhansi. Viewers get stunned by its Nagara style which symbolizes erotic figures and sculptures in the Indian History. With around 85 Temples widespread across an area of 20 square kilometers, it marks the rich cultural heritage in religious aspects. Among the most prominent temple in the world heritage, Kandariya temple is acknowledged for beautiful architecture design and stone carvings sculptures built by Chandela dynasty.

Famous for: Group of Hindu and Jain Temples, Nagara style with erotic figures, stone carvings and sculptures


  1. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka

Here is another UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India widely renowned for Chalukya style of architecture from ancient times. From all the temples built by the Chalukya rulers, around 8 temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Jain along with Shaivite sactuaries. Monuments like Virupaksha Temple, Sangameshwara Temple, Chandrashekhara Temple; Mallikarju Temple along with Kashivishwanaath Temple attracts many pilgrims every year. Located on the bank of the Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district, it is around 10 km from Aihole blended with the Nagara and Dravidian styles of architecture sculptures.

Famous for: Chalukya style of architecture, Nagara and Dravidian style, Virupaksha Temple, Sangameshwara Temple, Chandrashekhara Temple, Mallikarju Temple


  1. Hill Forts of Rajasthan

Moving next in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, we find the Hill Forts of Rajasthan in the northern part of India. Everyone is familiar with “Rajput Military Defense Architecture” styles and forts which were built between the 5th and 17th-18th centuries AD in the Indian History. This renowned fort is embraced with six majestic forts like Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ramthambore, Gagron Fort, Amber Fort and Jaisalmer Fort which are situated on the rocky Aravalli Mountain Range in Rajasthan. You will be amazed to know the unique water storage and harvesting structures in these heritage forts which in fact utilized today also. “The Dark Knight Rises” movie was also shooted here.

Famous for: Rajput Military Defense Architecture, six majestic forts, shooting location of movie, The Dark Knight Rises


  1. Group of Monuments at Hampi, Karnataka

One of the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Hampi is among the mostly searched historical place located in the Northern part of Karnataka. Being situated within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, it is the crucial religious centre forming the heritage for the world. Apart of this, Virupaksha Temple with its ancient designing built in Dravidian style of art and Architecture is attracting many tourists as well as pilgrims across the globe. Earlier, hampi was recognized as a village but now it has become a town under the kingdom of Vijayanagar. As there are diverse monuments built which are cooperatively acknowledged as the ‘Group of Monuments at Hampi’.

Famous for: Fine Dravidian style of art and Architecture, Krishna temple complex, Narasimha, Ganesa, Hemakuta group of temples


  1. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, Bihar

Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, Bihar is another UNESCO World Heritage sites in India which attracts many pilgrims from different parts of the country. Especially known for Buddhists monks, it marks as the holy place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment under Bodhi tree. This heritage site is situated nearly 96 kilometers away from Patna, Bihar and popularized for Mahabodhi Temple Complex among the pilgrims. Being located by the bank of river Neranjana the place was then known as Uruwela. Besides this, around six other sacred sites of Buddha’s enlightenment are alleged here. Due to this reason, it has become the most holy pilgrimage spot for the Buddhists.

Famous for:  Mahabodhi Temple, the Vajrasana, sacred Bodhi Tree, Votive stupas with Buddhist temples


  1. Churches and Convents of Goa

Moving next in the list of best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, we find Churches and Convents of Goa which are admired too much by the tourists and visitors every year. In 1986, it comes under the World Heritage Site famous for its nice architecture, sculpture and attractive paintings which turn out to be a source of attraction. Due to the arrival of Portuguese in Goa during 15th and 16th centuries, there marks a beginning of Christianity in Indian heritage. The paintings of Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque mark the beginning of arts in the Indian culture which led to the emergence of Catholic community. Mostly visited churches of goa include Francisco Xavier, Church of Saint Cajetan, Saint Catherine’s Chapel, Church of Saint Augustine and many more.

Famous for:  Rome of the Orient, First Latin Rite Mass in Asia, Basilica do Bom Jesus, architecture, sculpture and paintings


  1. Great Living Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu

Eminent for Chola Architecture, Paintings and Bronze Casting, in 1987, Chola temples are affirmed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. As they are located in Southern Part of India, visitors especially approaches here for sighting most beautiful temples like Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram which are engraved with beautiful designing on stones by trained architectures of that period. Later on, in 2004 Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram also occupy eminent place in World Heritage Site. Being dedicated to Lord Shiva, pilgrims visit Gangaikondacholapuram temple which is well known for its Architectural Style, Sculpture and arts.

Famous for: Chola Architecture, Sculpture, Bronze Casting and Painting


  1.  Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Among the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi are extensively acknowledged for Monolithic Pillars and Mauryan Architecture design. Being located around 46 kilometer north-east of Bhopal, in Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh, Sanchi stupas are the foremost pilgrimage heritage sites for the Buddhists. These monuments are built by emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BCE and are among the oldest stone structures in Indian heritage. Apart of this, many monolithic pillars, temples, palaces and monasteries are renowned from the ancient times, some of which are structured over the ruins of the Buddha.

Famous for: Monolithic Pillars, Temples, Monasteries, Mauryan Architecture, Ye Dharma Hetu Inscriptions


  1. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh

In 2003, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka affirmed as Unesco World Heritage Site widely known for Rock Paintings within Natural Rock Shelters along with Stone Age Inscriptions. Being situated in the Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh, it is among the place where on Indian subcontinent, ancient traces of human life were exposed. They also show the commencement of South Asian Stone Age as they are situated near the Deccan Plateau at the foothills of the Vindhaya Mountains. Besides this, tourists visits here to sight the beautiful paintings as well as carvings of Mesolithic era. These beautiful painting predict some events regarding life and activities of the hunter gatherers in the world heritage sites.

Famous for: Stone Age Inscriptions, Rock Paintings within Natural Rock Shelters


  1. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Widely acknowledged for Largest Open Air Rock Relief, Pallava Dynasty Architecture as well marvelously designed Chariot Temples, Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram is among the best world heritage sites determined by UNESCO. Being situated around 58 kilometers from Chennai in the Coromandal Coast of Bay of Bengal, these stunning temples attracts many pilgrims every year. Built many years ago under the reign of the Pallava rulers, these heritage sites are widely eminent for the Cave temples of Mahabalipuram along with ratha architecture which is carved out of rocks.

Famous for: Chariot Temples, Largest Open Air Rock Relief and Pallava Dynasty Architecture


  1. Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary, Assam

Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary, AssamHere is another World Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO which is widely familiar for Great One-Horned Rhinoceroses, Elephants, and Swamp Deer along with utmost compactness of Tigers in World. Sightseers from various parts of India visit to sight the wildlife sanctuaries. Being situated in Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam, it provides home to almost huge breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo along with swamp deer. Lord Curzon, in order to shelter endangered species instigated this work with full keenness and determination. Besides this, it encompasses 1,651 adult rhinos (663 male, 802 are females, 186 unsexed); 294 sub-adults (90 males, 114 females, 90 unsexed) with 205 cubs and many more species of flora and fauna.

Famous for: One-Horned Rhinoceroses, utmost Density of Tigers in World, Swamp Deer, Wild Water Buffalo and species of Birds


  1. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal

Situated in West Bengal, everyone is familiar with Sundarbans National Park which approaches under World Heritage Sites as declared by UNESCO. Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve, Bengal Tiger and Salt-Water Crocodile along with Largest Estuarine Mangrove Forest are among the best heritage sites visited every year by sightseers. Sundarbans National Park is a part of Sunderban Deltas which are formed due to river Ganges. Besides it, this heritage site is bestowing dwelling to a variety of bird, reptiles along with invertebrate species. In 1973, this park asserted as Sundarban Tiger Reserve in addition to wildlife sanctuary in 1977. With a dense of mangrove forests, the salt-water crocodile, gangetic dolphin, spotted dear are among the esteemed species of this site.

Famous for: Biosphere Reserve, Bengal Tiger, and Salt-Water Crocodile Along With Chief Estuarine Mangrove Forest


  1. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), Maharashtra

Extensively known as Victoria Terminus, it stands among the best World Heritage Sites as declared by UNESCO. By inspiring from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus has been built by Frederick William Stevens which is now acknowledged as heritage site of the world. Mumbai, prevalently known as “city of Gothic architecture” as Victoria Terminus is as well the headquarters of Central Railway in Mumbai. In 1878-1888, this heritage site is built during the ancient period of Mughals and renowned for magnificent style of buildings made up of marvelous stones. Besides it, this heritage also strikes a chord of traditional Indian palace along with western style of art.

Famous for:  Central Railways Headquarter, Gothic Style Architecture along with Terror Attacks on Mumbai in 2008


  1. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra

Ajanta Caves, MaharashtraEveryone is familiar with Ajanta Caves of Maharashtra which reclined in the World Heritage Sites as affirmed by UNESCO. Being situated in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, its beautifully decorated paintings leave the footprints on sightseers’ heart. Along with this, it depicts carvings and rock cut sculptures associated to the life of Buddha which leaves the footprints on the heart of pilgrims who visit Ajanta caves site every year.  Around 2nd century BC, the first period of building of Ajanta caves heritage began while in around 400–650 AD, second phase of Ajanta sites instigated. This reveals the beginning of Indian Classical Art in the Indian history.

Famous for:  Buddhist Rock-cut Cave Monuments, Splendidly ornamented paintings and sculpture


  1.  Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Uttarakhand

Here is another World Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO which is none other than Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks located in Uttarakhand. Being set up in 1982, Nanda Devi is the utmost mountain peak of Uttarakhand which in 1988 affirmed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. With around 8 kilometers in length and 2 kilometers in width, Valley of Flowers subsisted as a national park close to Nanda Devi peak. Besides it, Kanchenjunga is acknowledged to split its border with Nepal. One can view 600 wide varieties of flora species with around 520 species of fauna, extensive sheet of striking flowers in this beautiful heritage site.

Famous for:   Snow Leopard, Asiatic Black Bear, Himalayan Monal, Blue Ship with Network of Biosphere Reserves


  1.  Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

One of the unsurpassed World Heritage Sites affirmed by UNESCO is none other than Taj Mahal of Agra. “Seven Wonders of the World” built by Emperor Shah Jahan literally stands for “Crown of the Palace.” It is on almost everyone’s lips Shah Jahan architected this stunning palace in the remembrance of his wife Mumtaj Mahal. Merely situated at the bank of river Jamuna in Agra, this marvelous white marbled budgeted around 32 million Indian rupees which would today set upto 58 billion Indian rupees. Famous from the mughal ancient times, this heritage is bounded by ceremonial gardens on three sides by a crenellated wall. Accomplished in 1653, Taj Mahal acts as a legendary “Jewel of Muslim Art in India” in its heritage site.

Famous for:   White Marble Mughal Architecture, Seven Wonders of the World, built in the memory of Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaj Mahal


  1. Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi

Here is another UNESCO World Heritage Sites (1993) in India built by First wife of Mughal Emperor Humayun, Begum Bega which is documented as the Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi. Apart of it, this heritage site has undergone all-embracing restoration exertion with red sandstone architecture structure designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. Apart of it, this heritage site is predecessor to white marbled Mughal Architecture Taj Mahal. Even this ancient designed tomb was custom-built by son of Humayun, Akbar. Tombs of Isa Khan Niyazi, of Suri dynasty, are an additional minor monument accredited under heritage site.

Famous for:   Antecedent to Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb, Mughal Architecture along with Many Water Channels


  1.  Jantar Mantar, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Another best heritage site of the world which is on everyone’s lips is none other than Jantar Mantar of Jaipur, Rajasthan. A wide compilation of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments is praised by sightseers across the country. The monument is made up of masonry, world’s largest stone sundial and brass instruments which have a wide recognition in the world history. Built by Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh, this heritage site sets an instance in scientific as well as the cultural components with Hindu Sanskrit texts, setting model of   Ptolemaic positional astronomy in its site.

Famous for: Maharaja Jai Singh II, Architectural exorbitant Instruments


  1. Red Fort Complex, Delhi

Red Fort built by Emperor Shah Jahan due to his change in capital from Agra to Delhi, is a well known heritage site which is affirmed by UNESCO. Being the political hub of the Mughals during the ancient times, its red sandstone wall, museums, sculptures etc. are so memorable in the history of India. Even private pavallions, the Diwan-i-aam, and the Diwan-i-khas are also acknowledged with Shahjahanbad, Persian, Timuri and Indian Architectural Style. Red Fort of Delhi is a prime destination of many visitors from various parts of the world.

Famous for: Red Sandstone Architecture, Shahjahanbad, Moti Masjid, Persian and Indian Architectural Styles


  1. Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha

Sun Temple, Konark, OdishaLast but not the least among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India is the Sun Temple of Konark, Odisha. Built by king Narasimhadeva, of Eastern Ganga Dynasty, this site is around 65 km from Bhubaneswar, having striking huge chariots, carved stone wheels along with pillars. Beautifully designed with 6 extremely carved horses, this site is well scheduled among the Seven Wonders of India. Somewhere, this heritage also replicates the sumptuousness of the traditional style of Kalinga Architecture in the Indian History.

Famous for:  Chariot of the Sun, Kalinga Architecture and Black Pagoda


Finally, you grab all the facts related to 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Due to their Architectural Style, Sculpture and arts, these World Heritage Sites in India are having immense cultural and natural importance all over the world. To know more about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, stick to our site coolexample.in

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