The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designates World Heritage Sites of outstanding universal value to cultural or natural heritage which have been nominated by countries which are signatories to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.[1] Cultural heritage consists of monuments (such as architectural works, monumental sculptures, or inscriptions), groups of buildings, and sites (including archaeological sites). Natural features (consisting of physical and biological formations), geological and physiographical formations (including habitats of threatened species of animals and plants), and natural sites which are important from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty, are defined as natural heritage.[2] India accepted the convention on 14 November 1977, making its sites eligible for inclusion on the list.[3]

As of 2022, there are 40 World Heritage Sites located in India. Out of these, 32 are cultural, 7 are natural, and one, the Khangchendzonga National Park, is of mixed type. India has the sixth largest number of sites in the world. The first sites to be listed were the Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Agra Fort, and Taj Mahal, all of which were inscribed in the 1983 session of the World Heritage Committee. The most recent site listed was Dholavira, in 2021.[4] At different times, two sites were listed as endangered: the Manas Wildlife Sanctuary was listed between 1992 and 2011 due to poaching and activities of the Bodo militias,[5] and the monuments at Hampi were listed between 1999 and 2006 due to risks from increased traffic and new constructions in surroundings.[6] One site is transnational, The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier is shared with six other countries.[7] In addition, India has 49 sites on its tentative list.[3]

Shivil

World Heritage Sites

UNESCO lists sites under ten criteria; each entry must meet at least one of the criteria. Criteria i through vi are cultural, whereas vii through x are natural.[8]

* Transnational site
World Heritage Sites
Site Image Location (state) Year listed UNESCO data Description
Ajanta Caves
Cave with carved columns and a shrine in the middle
Maharashtra 1983 242; i, ii, iii, vi (cultural) The caves at Ajanta represent a collection of Buddhist art from two periods. First monuments date to 2nd and 1st centuries BCE and were created by the followers of Theravada Buddhism. Further monuments were added in the 5th and 6th centuries CE, during the Vakataka dynasty, by the followers of Mahayana Buddhism. The monuments are masterpieces of Buddhist art and exhibited strong influence in India and in the broader region, especially in Java.[9]
Ellora Caves
Tourists visiting a temple cut in rock
Maharashtra 1983 243; i, iii, vi (cultural) Ellora Caves comprise 34 temples and monasteries that were cut into a 2 km (1.2 mi) long basalt cliff between the 7th and 11th centuries. As they were built by followers of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism, they illustrate religious tolerance of the period when they were constructed. The largest temple is the Kailasa Temple (pictured), that is elaborately decorated with sculptures and paintings.[10]
Agra Fort
Building in red stone with decorations
Uttar Pradesh 1983 251; iii (cultural) Agra Fort is a 16th-century Mughal imperial fortress in Agra. It got its present layout under the Emperor Akbar. The complex contains several palaces (Jahangiri Mahal pictured), audience halls, and two mosques. Stylistically, it is one of the high points of the Indo-Islamic architecture, with influences of Persian and Timurid architecture.[11][12]
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal, a domed building in white marble with four surrounding minarets
Uttar Pradesh 1983 252; i (cultural) Taj Mahal is the finest example of the Indo-Islamic architecture. It was built in Agra on the bank of the Yamuna river as a mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal, the Persian wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, between 1631 and 1648. It was designed by Ustad Ahmad Lahori and built in white marble with inlay with precious and semi precious stones. The tomb is surrounded by four free-standing minarets. The complex also includes the main gate, a mosque, a guesthouse, and surrounding gardens.[13]
Sun Temple, Konârak
A large Hindu temple in stone
Odisha 1984 246; i, iii, vi (cultural) The Hindu temple was built in the 13th century and is one of the finest examples of the Kalinga architecture. It represents the chariot of the solar deity Surya: on the outer sides, it has 24 wheels, carved of stone and richly decorated, and it is pulled by six horses. Other decorative motifs include lions, musicians, dancers, and erotic scenes.[14]
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
A Hindu temple in stone
Tamil Nadu 1984 249; i, ii, iii, vi (cultural) The monuments around the town of Mamallapuram were built in the 7th and 8th centuries, under the Pallava dynasty. There are different types of monuments: the rathas, which are chariot-shaped temples (Dharmaraja Ratha pictured), the mandapas (rock-cut temples), rock reliefs, including the giant Descent of the Ganges, and other temples and archaeological remains. The artistic expression of the monuments was influential in the broader region, including Cambodia, Vietnam, and Java.[15]
Kaziranga National Park
A rhino at a water edge
Assam 1985 337; ix, x (natural) Kaziranga is located in the floodplains of the Brahmaputra River. It is one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in the world, home to world's largest population of the Indian rhinoceros (pictured), as well as tiger, Asian elephant, wild water buffalo, and the Ganges river dolphin. The wetlands are important for migratory bird species.[16]
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
Herd of Wild Indian Elephants
Assam 1985 338; vii, ix, x (natural) The sanctuary along the Manas River covers grasslands on floodplains and forests, both in lowlands and in hills. The area is a biodiversity hotspot and home to several endangered species, including the Indian rhinoceros, Asian elephants (Pictured), Wild water buffaloes, tiger, sloth bear, pygmy hog, Gee's golden langur, and the Bengal florican. The forests are constantly being renewed after floods and changes of the river courses. Between 1992 and 2011, the site was listed as endangered due to poaching and activities of the Bodo militias.[17][5]
Keoladeo National Park
A group of Bar Headed Geese and Demoiselle cranes flying together in the Sanctuary
Rajasthan 1985 340; x (natural) Initially a duck-hunting reserve for Maharajas, Keoladeo is a man-made and man-maintained wetland. It is important both for migratory and resident birds, especially waterbirds. Over 350 species of birds have been recorded, including 15 species of herons, Siberian crane, and greater spotted eagle. Pictured here is a group of Bar-headed goose and Demoiselle cranes flying together in the Park. The Park is also protected under the Ramsar Convention.[18]
Churches and Convents of Goa
A church in red brick and an adjacent building in white
Goa 1986 234; ii, iv, vi (cultural) Old Goa was the capital of Portuguese India, a colony that lasted for 450 years until 1961. The site comprises seven churches and convents that were built in the 16th and 17th centuries in Gothic, Manueline, Mannerist, and Baroque styles, but were also adapted to suit the local techniques and resources. They were influential in spreading of architectural influences to countries in Asia where Catholic missions were being established. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, where Saint Francis Xavier is buried, is pictured.[19]
Khajuraho Group of Monuments
Stone carvings representing people in different situations
Madhya Pradesh 1986 240; i, iii (cultural) This site comprises 23 temples, both Hindu and Jain, that were built in the 10th and 11th centuries, during the Chandela dynasty. The temples are built in the Nagara style. They are richly decorated with stone carvings and sculptures that depict sacred and secular motifs, including depictions of domestic life, musicians, dancers, and amorous couples. A detail from the Lakshmana Temple is pictured.[20]
Group of Monuments at Hampi
A stone chariot in Dravidian style in Hampi
Karnataka 1986 241bis; i, iii, iv (cultural) Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire until the abandonment after the sacking and pillaging by the Deccan sultanates in 1565. For about 200 years, it was a prosperous multi-cultural city that left several monuments in the Dravidian as well in the Indo-Islamic style. The remains include religious and secular buildings and defensive structures. The Virupaksha Temple is pictured. A minor boundary modification of the site took place in 2012. Between 1999 and 2006, the site was listed as endangered due to risks posed by increased traffic and new constructions.[21][6]
Fatehpur Sikri
A large gate in red stone in Mughal style
Uttar Pradesh 1986 255; ii, iii, iv (cultural) For about a decade in the second half of the 16th century, Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire under Emperor Akbar, until the capital was moved to Lahore in 1585 and the city was mostly abandoned. The site comprises a large collection of monuments and temples in the Mughal style, such as the Jama Masjid (the gate to the mosque, the Buland Darwaza, pictured), the Panch Mahal palace, and the Tomb of Salim Chishti.[22]
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
A Hindu temple in light-coloured stone
Karnataka 1987 239rev; iii, iv (cultural) This site comprises nine Hindu and one Jain temple that were built in the 7th and 8th centuries under the Chalukya dynasty. They were constructed in the Badami Chalukya style that blends influences from northern and southern India. The Temple of Virupaksha is pictured.[23]
Elephanta Caves
Stone carvings representing Shiva and religious scenes
Maharashtra 1987 244rev; i, iii (cultural) The cave complex, located on the Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour, was constructed mainly in the 5th and 6th centuries, with remains of human occupation dating back to the 2nd century BCE. The temples are dedicated to Shiva. The caves are decorated with stone carvings, some of them colossal. A statue of Trimurti Shiva, flanked by the dvarapalas, is pictured.[24]
Great Living Chola Temples
A highly decorated stone Hindu temple
Tamil Nadu 1987 250bis; ii, iii (cultural) This site comprises three Hindu temples built in the 11th and 12th centuries under the Chola dynasty. They represent some of the best examples of Dravidian architecture of the Chola period. They are made of stone and decorated with stone and bronze sculptures. Initially, only the Brihadisvara Temple (picture) was listed as a World Heritage Site, two other temples, the Brihadisvara Temple and the Airavatesvara Temple were added in 2004 and the site was renamed to the current name.[25][26]
Sundarbans National Park
A tiger at the water margin
West Bengal 1987 452; ix, x (natural) The national park covers the Indian part of the Sundarbans, the delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. It is the world's largest and richest mangrove forest, with about 78 recorded mangrove species. It is a biodiversity hotspot, home to a large population of Bengal tigers (one pictured), as well as an important habitat for the Irrawaddy dolphin and Ganges river dolphin, several species of birds and sea turtles. In Bangladesh, the Sundarbans is listed as a separate World Heritage Site.[27][28]
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
Flowers in a mountain valley
Uttarakhand 1988 335bis; viii, x (natural) This site comprises two properties in West Himalayas, the Valley of Flowers National Park (pictured) and the Nanda Devi National Park. There are different types of high-altitude habitats, from high mountain peaks (Nanda Devi, at 7,817 m (25,646 ft) is India's second highest mountain) to alpine meadows. In addition to numerous mountain plant species, the area is home to the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear, and bharal. Nanda Devi NP was originally listed alone in 1988, the Valley of Flowers NP was added in 2005.[29][30]
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
A large stupa in stone with an elaborate gate in front
Madhya Pradesh 1989 524; i, ii, iii, iv, vi (cultural) Sanchi is one of the oldest extant Buddhist sanctuaries and was instrumental in the spread of the religion through the Indian subcontinent. It became important under Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Empire in the 3rd century BCE. The remains of a pillar from the period are preserved. Stupas (Stupa 1 pictured), palaces, temples, and monasteries are preserved in different states of conservation, mostly dating to the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE. The city declined in importance in the 12th century.[31]
Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
Look at a mausoleum in white and red stone through a gate
Delhi 1993 232bis; ii, iv (cultural) The tomb of the Mughal emperor Humayun was constructed in the 1560s and represents the first example of a garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, introducing the elements of Persian gardens. The monumental double-domed mausoleum represents a leap in Mughal architecture and is an architectural predecessor of the Taj Mahal. The complex includes several smaller tombs from the period. A minor boundary modification took place in 2016.[32]
Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi
A tall minaret and a mausoleum, both in red and white stone
Delhi 1993 233; iv (cultural) The complex comprises several early Islamic India monuments from the 13th and 14th centuries, when the Delhi Sultanate established power in the country. They include the Qutb Minar, a 72.5 m (238 ft)-high minaret (pictured), the Alai Darwaza gateway, the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque where several stone pillars from previous Hindu temples were repurposed, the Iron pillar, and several tombs and other monuments.[33]
Mountain Railways of India
A train crossing a bridge with several arches
West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh 1999 944ter; ii, iv (cultural) This site comprises three mountain railways that were built in the late 19th and early 20th century to provide access to towns in highlands. They represent a technology transfer in a colonial setting, the construction involved building bridges and tunnels in order to cross difficult terrains. The railways provided support for further human settlement of the areas they linked to and are still fully operational. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was initially listed alone in 1999. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway was added in 2005 and the Kalka–Shimla railway (pictured) in 2008.[34]
Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya
A large stone Buddhist temple
Bihar 2002 1056rev; i, ii, iii, iv, vi (cultural) The Buddhist temple complex marks the site where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree. The present temple dates to the 5th and 6th centuries CE (during the Gupta period) and was built upon a previous structure commissioned by emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE. The temple is 50 m (160 ft) high and made of brick. It had substantial influence on the development of architecture in the following centuries. After centuries of abandonment and neglect, the temple was extensively restored in the 19th century.[35]
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
Rock paintings depicting people and animals
Madhya Pradesh 2003 925; iii, v (cultural) This site comprises five clusters of rock shelters in the foothills of the Vindhya Range. They contain rock paintings from the hunter-gatherer societies of the Mesolithic to the historical period. The nearby villages still maintain some cultural practices similar to those depicted in the paintings.[36]
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)
A large heavily decorated railway station building
Maharashtra 2004 945rev; ii, iv (cultural) The historic terminal train station in Mumbai was built in the late 19th century. It was designed by Frederick William Stevens in the Victorian Gothic style, drawing influences from Italian Gothic architecture and combining them with influences from Indian traditional buildings. It symbolized the wealth of Mumbai as a major commercial port within the British Commonwealth.[37]
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
A mosque in brown stone
Gujarat 2004 1101; ii, iv, v, vi (cultural) The site contains remains from several periods, from the Chalcolithic to the remains of Champaner, a short-lived capital of the Gujarat Sultanate in the 16th century. Important buildings include the Hindu temple Kalika Mata, Jain temples, and Jama Mosque (pictured) which features both Hindu and Muslim architectural elements, and the remains of water-managing systems, fortifications, and 14th-century temples.[38]
Red Fort Complex
Fortress walls and a gate in red stone
Delhi 2007 231rev; ii, iii, vi (cultural) The Red Fort was built under Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the mid-17th century. It represents the zenith of Mughal architecture, it blends the elements of the Indo-Persian culture with Timurid elements. Its architecture had strong influence on later palaces and gardens in the region. The Red Fort was also the setting of historical events, it was sacked and partially repurposed by the British, and it was the site where the independence of India was first celebrated. The Delhi Gate is pictured.[39]
The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
A collection of buildings for astronomical purposes
Rajasthan 2010 1338; iii, vi (cultural) The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is India's most significant historic astronomical observatory. It dates from the early 18th century, from the late Mughal period. There are about 20 astronomical instruments that were designed and built for naked eye observations of positions of stars and planets. It also served as a meeting point of different scientific cultures.[40]
Western Ghats
A scenic view of Pampadumshola Mountains
Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu 2012 1342rev; ix, x (natural) The Western Ghats is a mountain range that runs along the eastern coast of the Indian subcontinent. They are covered with montane forests. The area is a biodiversity hotspot and home to endangered species such as the Bengal Tiger, Dhole lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri tahr, and Nilgiri langur. In the terms of evolutionary history, the area is important in view of the breakup of Gondwana in the early Jurassic period, after which India was an isolated landmass until the collision with the Eurasian Plate. The World Heritage Site comprises 39 individual properties.[41]
Hill Forts of Rajasthan
A fortress in light-coloured stone above a river
Rajasthan 2013 247rev; ii, iii (cultural) This site comprises six forts, the Chittor Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amber Fort (pictured), and the Jaisalmer Fort, that were constructed between the 8th and 18th centuries by Rajput kingdoms. They are eclectic in style, with elements of the Sultanate and Mughal architecture, and were influential on the later styles of the Maratha Empire. They are situated in different settings, for example, Ranthambore is in a forest and Jaisalmer in a desert.[42]
Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen's Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat
A view of the stepwell with several decorated pillars
Gujarat 2014 922; i, iv (cultural) Rani-ki-Vav is one of the finest examples of a stepwell, an elaborate type of well where ground water is accessed through several levels of stairs. It was constructed in the 11th century, during the Chaulukya dynasty, on the banks of the Saraswati River in the city of Patan. It consists of seven levels, each of which is decorated with stone carvings and sculptures, depicting religious and secular themes and literary works. After the change in the river course in the 13th century, it was no longer in use and got covered with silt, which allowed for its preservation.[43]
Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area
Snow-covered mountains and trees
Himachal Pradesh 2014 1406rev; x (natural) The national park covers habitats from alpine peaks of the Himalayas above 6,000 m (20,000 ft) to alpine meadows and riverine forests below 2,000 m (6,600 ft). In total, there are 25 types of forests recorded, and they have rich floral and faunal assemblies, including numerous species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects. It is home to endangeres species such as the western tragopan and musk deer.[44]
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar
Ruins of brick buildings
Bihar 2016 1502; iv, vi (cultural) Nalanda Mahavihara was a Buddhist ancient higher-learning institution established in the 5th century and lasting until the sacking in the 13th century, though some archaeological remains also date back to the 3rd century BCE. The remains include shrines and stupas, viharas (residential and educational buildings), and art works in different materials. Both the architectural solutions and educational approaches were influential in other similar institutions in the broader region.[45]
Khangchendzonga National Park
Snow-covered mountains and a lake in front
Sikkim 2016 1513; iii, vi, vii, x (mixed) The national park is located around Mount Khangchendzonga, the world's third highest mountain (8,586 m (28,169 ft)). It is a sacred mountain in Tibetan Buddhism, where the area is considered a beyul, a sacred hidden land. It is home to ethnically very diverse Sikkimese communities. From the natural perspective, the area comprises various habitats, from high mountains with glaciers to old-growth forests, and is rich both in animal and plant species.[46]
The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement*
A modernist concrete building, a pond in front
Chandigarh 2016 1321rev; i, ii, vi (cultural) This transnational site (shared with Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan) encompasses 17 works of Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier was an important representative of the 20th-century Modernist movement, which introduced new architectural techniques to meet the needs of the changing society. The Chandigarh Capitol Complex is listed in India. It is the central part of the city of Chandigarh and is designed in line with the principles of a radiant city. The Palace of Assembly is pictured.[7]
Historic City of Ahmadabad
An intricately carved Jali Design on Sidi Saiyyed Mosque
Gujarat 2017 1551; ii, v (cultural) The city of Ahmedabad was founded by Ahmad Shah I in 1411, to serve as the capital of the Gujarat Sultanate. It was the meeting place of many religions (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism), which resulted in a unique urban fabric. The architecture is based on timber, and the typical neighbourhoods are called pols, densely packed traditional houses with gated streets. Important buildings form the Sultanate period include the Bhadra Fort city walls, Sidi Saiyyed Mosque (Pictured) and numerous mosques, tombs, and shrines.[47]
Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai
A brick building in neo-gothic style
Maharashtra 2018 1480; ii, iv (cultural) This site comprises two assemblies of buildings in Mumbai from the British Empire era. Public buildings in the Victorian Gothic style from the second half of the 19th century adapted Gothic Revival elements for Indian climate, introducing features such as balconies and verandas. The Bombay High Court building is pictured. The Art Deco buildings date to the early 20th century and include cinema halls and apartment buildings. See also Art Deco in Mumbai.[48]
Jaipur City, Rajasthan
A large palace in red and pink sandstone with many windows
Rajasthan 2019 1605; ii, iv, vi (cultural) Jaipur was funded by the Rajput ruler Jai Singh II in 1727. The city was built with a grid plan, which was inspired both by ancient Hindu and Western ideals, in a departure from the medieval architecture of the region. It was a strong trade centre and home to craftsmen and artists. Important buildings and sites include the Hawa Mahal palace (pictured), Govind Dev Ji Temple, City Palace, and Jantar Mantar, which is listed as a separate World Heritage Site.[49]
Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana
A Hindu temple in red stone
Telangana 2021 1570; i, iii (cultural) The Hindu temple, dedicated to Shiva, was constructed in the first half of the 13th century under the Kakatiya dynasty. It is decorated with stone carvings and sculptures in granite and dolerite that depict regional dance customs. In line with Hindu practices, the temple is constructed in a way that it blends harmonically with the environment.[50]
Dholavira: a Harappan City
Archaeological site with some brick and stone walls
Gujarat 2021 1645; iii, iv (cultural) Dholavira was one of the centres of the Harappan Civilisation from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE, in the Bronze Age. The remains include a walled city and a cemetery, and there are remains of buildings and of water management systems. The location of the city was chosen because of nearby sources of precious minerals. The city had trade connections with other cities in the region and as far as Mesopotamia. The site was rediscovered in 1968.[51]

Tentative list

In addition to sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, member states can maintain a list of tentative sites that they may consider for nomination. Nominations for the World Heritage List are only accepted if the site was previously listed on the tentative list.[52] As of 2022, India lists 49 properties on its tentative list.[3]

Tentative sites
Site Image Location (state) Year listed UNESCO criteria Description
Temples at Bishnupur, West Bengal
A brick temple with a domed roof
West Bengal 1988 (cultural) The temples date to the 17th century. They were built in brick and laterite stone. They have characteristic sloping roofs. The Jor Bangle temple, from 1655, is pictured.[53]
Mattancherry Palace, Ernakulam, Kerala
A building with cars parked in front
Kerala 1988 (cultural) The palace was built by the Portuguese for the local rulers around 1555. It is a two-storey building with several halls, and features a ceiling decorated with carvings in the coronation hall.[54]
Group of Monuments at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
A building in Indo-Islamic style above a pond
Madhya Pradesh 1988 (cultural) This nomination comprises monuments dating from the 11th to the 16th centuries. They include rock-cut tombs and temples, mosques, palaces, and pavilions. The Jahaz Mahal palace is pictured.[55]
Ancient Buddhist Site, Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
A brick Buddhist stupa
Uttar Pradesh 1988 (cultural) This nomination comprises two groups of monuments. The first group includes Buddhist temples, stupas (Dhamek Stupa pictured), and monasteries, as well as the remains of a pillar of Ashoka. They date from the 3rd century BCE to the 12th century CE. The second group is represented by the Chaukhandi Stupa, built in 1588.[56]
Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab
A temple in golden colour with a pool in front
Punjab 2004 iii, iv, vi (cultural) Sri Harimandir Sahib, also known as the Golden Temple, is the spiritual centre of Sikhism. The temple complex was rebuilt several times. The architectural layout of the complex reflects the spiritual concepts of the religion. The main temple building is richly decorated with floral patterns, either painted or as marble inlay.[57]
River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam
Two men on a boat on a river
Assam 2004 ii, iii, v, vi (cultural) Majuli is a large river island in the Brahmaputra River. There are over 200 villages in the island, inhabited by people from various ethnic origins. A characteristic concept of the region are the satras, institutional centres for cultural activities that also serve as democratic mediators for dispute resolution.[58]
Namdapha National Park
Forest and snow-covered mountains in the background
Arunachal Pradesh 2006 vii, ix, x (natural) The national park covers an extensive wilderness area which is mostly covered in forests and sparsely explored. It is located in the Eastern Himalayas. The highest peak is Dapha Bum, at 4,571 m (14,997 ft).[59]
Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch
Two wild asses
Gujarat 2006 x (natural) Little Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh with sparse vegetation, mostly with xerophytic species. It is home to the last wild population of the Indian wild ass (two specimens pictured). It is also an important nesting area for birds.[60]
Neora Valley National Park
Forest scenery
West Bengal 2009 vii, x (natural) The area is covered by virgin forest and is a biodiversity hotspot. The valley spans from lowlands to altitudes around 3,200 m (10,500 ft), which results in a variety of habitats. It is home to several bird species and mammals, including the red panda and two species of pangolin.[61]
Desert National Park
Sand dunes and some shrubs
Rajasthan 2009 vii, viii, x (natural) The national park covers a part of the Thar Desert. It is home to several endemic species, such as the Indian hairy-footed gerbil and the Rajasthan toad-headed lizard. It is also home to two endangered species of vultures. There are fossil beds in the park, dating to the Jurassic period.[62]
Silk Road Sites in India
Archaeological remains of a stupa
Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh 2010 ii, iii, vi (cultural) This nomination comprises 12 sites connected to the ancient Silk Road, a network of trade routes connecting China with the west. There were at least three corridors in India. In addition to the movement of goods, they were important in spreading of Buddhism and Greco-Buddhist culture. Sites in the nomination include the Roman trade port at Arikamedu and the early Buddhist site of Vaishali (the Relic Stupa pictured).[63]
Santiniketan
A building with elaborate facade behind a metal fence
West Bengal 2010 ii, iii, vi (cultural) Santiniketan was founded as an ashram by Debendranath Tagore in the second half of the 19th century and then developed into a university town of Visva-Bharati University. It is connected to the life and philosophy of Debendranath's son Rabindranath Tagore, the leading figure of the Bengali Renaissance. The prayer hall is pictured.[64]
The Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs, Charminar
Two Islamic tombs at sunset
Telangana 2010 i, ii, iii, iv (cultural) This nomination comprises the monuments of the Qutb Shahi dynasty, a sultanate that ruled in the 16th and 17th century, in Hyderabad and its surroundings. The Golconda Fort is a citadel and early capital, Qutb Shahi tombs (two pictured) are mosques and burial places of the sultans, and Charminar, built in 1591, is a monumental gateway with four minarets. These sites illustrate the cosmopolitan nature of the region in that period.[65]
Mughal Gardens in Kashmir
A pavilion in the middle of a pond
Jammu and Kashmir 2010 i, ii, iv (cultural) Mughal gardens are gardens built by the Mughals. This style was influenced by the Persian gardens, particularly by the Charbagh layout, with terraces and fountains arranged around a central water channel, reflecting the Islamic concept of paradise. Six gardens are listed in the nomination, Chashme Shahi, Shalimar Bagh (pavilion pictured), Pari Mahal, Verinag, Achabal Gardens, and Nishat Bagh.[66]
Delhi - A Heritage City
Two Islamic tombs with white domes and several people around
Delhi 2012 ii, v, vi (cultural) Delhi, as Lal Kot, was founded in 1060 as a capital of the Tomara dynasty. Later rulers built subsequent cities on the site, Delhi was the capital of the Delhi Sultanate and an intermittent capital of the Mughal Empire. During the British rule, the capital was moved from Calcutta to the newly constructed New Delhi in 1911. The nomination lists the following areas of historical and architectural importance: Mehrauli, Nizamuddin Dargah (the tomb of the Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya pictured), Shahjahanabad, and New Delhi.[67]
Monuments and Forts of the Deccan Sultanate
Fortress gate in red brick
Karnataka, Telangana, Andra Pradesh 2014 ii, iii (cultural) This nomination comprises the monuments of Deccan sultanates, dating between the 14th and 17th centuries, in four cities: Gulbarga, Bidar, Bijapur, and Hyderabad. The architecture of the Deccan sultanates represents interactions between Islamic and Hindu influences. Some of the monuments in the nomination include the Bidar Fort (pictured), Jama Mosque in Gulbarga, and the Qutb Shahi tombs.[68]
Cellular Jail, Andaman Islands
One of the jail wings with three rows of cells
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 2014 iv, vi (cultural) The jail was constructed in 1906 by the British, primarily to exile political prisoners to the remote archipelago. The architecture was based on the panopticon system, with radiating wings that were easy to monitor by a single guard. Jail cells were intended for individuals for confinement. The jail was infamous for brutal treatment of inmates and is important in the history of the Indian independence movement.[69]
Iconic Saree Weaving Clusters of India
Picture of different types of saris
Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Assam 2014 iii, v (cultural) Sari, or saree, is a traditional attire of Indian women. Sari weaving required particular adjustments of the weavers' houses to accommodate looms and other devices for silk processing, resulting in a specific vernacular architecture. This nomination comprises eight clusters where sari weaving was and still is a major profession of the villagers. Different styles of saris are pictured.[70]
Apatani Cultural Landscape
A hill covered with forest, a village and rice paddies
Arunachal Pradesh 2014 iii, v (cultural) Apatani people live in the Ziro Valley that is surrounded by high mountains of the Himalayas. They have a distinct culture from other tribes in the region with traditional crafts and festivals. They practice wet rice cultivation and are careful in land management, which allowed sustainable agriculture for several centuries. The resulting cultural landscape reflects the ability of the tribe to make the adverse environment habitable.[71]
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Two gopuram of a temple, decorated with figures
Tamil Nadu 2014 i, ii, iii, v (cultural) The Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple is dedicated to Ranganatha. It is the world's largest operating Hindu temple and is in fact a temple town, with inner enclosures constituting the temple and outer ones being used for settlements. There have been temples at the site for over two millennia, however, the key buildings standing today date to the time of the Vijayanagara Empire, from the 14th to the 16th century. The temple has 21 gopurams which are richly decorated with paintings and sculptures.[72]
Monuments of Srirangapatna Island Town
A white Islamic mausoleum in a garden
Karnataka 2014 i, ii, iii, iv (cultural) Srirangapatna, the river island in the Kaveri river, is an important pilgrimage site in South India. It has been continuously inhabited since the 12th century. The monuments in the island date to different historical periods, including the periods of the Hoysala Empire, Vijayanagara Empire, Kingdom of Mysore, and the British Raj. Most of the monuments date from the 16th to the 19th centuries and have elements of Hindu, Indo-Islamic, and British styles. The Gumbaz mausoleum is pictured.[73]
Chilika Lake
A group of Flamingos flying over Chilika Lake
Odisha 2014 ix, x (natural) Chilika Lake is a large brackish water lagoon, fed by over 50 rivers and streams. It is and ephemeral formation, with the river sediments being deposited to the Bay of Bengal. Different parts of the lake are freshwater, brackish, and marine ecosystems, and are an important habitat for birds and mammals, including the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin. The lake is rich in fish species that support the local fishermen population.[74]
Padmanabhapuram Palace
A large building with white walls, red roof, and wooden beams
Tamil Nadu 2014 iii, iv (cultural) The palace in Padmanabhapuram was constructed in the 16th century, with later additions continuing into the early 19th century, to serve as the seat of the Travancore royal family. It is a masterpiece of traditional timber architecture and is decorated with murals and carvings. Murals depict both the themes from Hindu mythology and secular themes.[75]
Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala
Hindu temple in Dravidian style
Karnataka 2014 ii, iii, vi (cultural) This nomination comprises two clusters of monuments (in Belur and Halebidu) dating to the time of the Hoysala Empire, between the 11th and 14th centuries. Hoysala architecture combined the elements of the Dravidian architecture with influences from northern India. The temples were built by the followers of Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Jainism, and they are richly decorated with stone sculptures and carvings. The Chennakeshava Temple in Belur (pictured) is still an important pilgrimage site.[76]
Sites of Saytagrah, India's non-violent freedom movement
People in front of an ashram building
several sites 2014 iv, vi (cultural) Satyagraha, a form of nonviolent resistance or civil resistance, was developed by Mahatma Gandhi in the first half of the 20th century, as a part of the Indian independence movement. The nomination comprises 22 sites across India related to the movement. Several sites are ashrams (Sabarmati Ashram pictured), founded by Gandhi to teach his philosophy. Other sites are related to the independence movement. Satyagraha theory was influential in the Civil rights movement in the United States and in the fight against apartheid in South Africa.[77]
Thembang Fortified Village
Stone gate to the village
Arunachal Pradesh 2014 ii, iii, v (cultural) The village of Thembang is located in the Eastern Himalayas at an altitude above 2,000 m (6,600 ft). It is built as a dzong, a type of fortified monastery also found in the neighbouring Bhutan and Tibet. It is inhabited by the Monpas and was constructed before the 12th century.[78]
Narcondam Island
A bird, hornbill, sitting on a tree branch
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 2014 viii, ix, x (natural) Narcondam Island is a volcanic island off the main chain of the Andaman Islands. It is composed mostly of andesite, dacite, and amphibole, types of volcanic rocks and minerals. The island is important in view of evolution of species on isolated islands. It is the only place where the endangered Narcondam hornbill (pictured) is found, and it is also home to several endemic species of the Andaman Islands.[79]
Moidams – the Mound-Burial system of the Ahom Dynasty
Several tumuli in a forest, tourists walking around
Assam 2014 v (cultural) This nomination comprises the tumuli in the town of Charaideo and its surroundings. The town was the capital of the Ahom kingdom (1228–1826), and the tumuli are the burial sites of the royals and of nobility. The tumuli create an undulating landscape, reminiscent of hills, in line with the spiritual beliefs of the Tai-Ahom people.[80]
Ekamra Kshetra – The Temple City, Bhubaneswar
A Hindu temple in stone
Odisha 2014 i, ii, iii (cultural) Ekamra Kshetra is the name for the old part of the city of Bhubaneswar. It is a holy city and has earned the nickname of "Temple City" due to about 700 temples that once stood here. The temples were built between the 3rd century BCE and 15th century CE. They are built in the Kalinga style, and belong to Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religions. The Lingaraja Temple is pictured. In addition to the temples, there are also Udayagiri and Khandagiri Caves built by Jain worshipers.[81]
The Neolithic Settlement of Burzahom
A clay pot with an animal with horns painted
Jammu and Kashmir 2014 ii, iii, v (cultural) The archaeological site at Burzahom has provided information about different stages of societal development from the 4th to the 2nd millennium BCE. People initially lived in pit-houses and later built houses of mud and brick. There are also remains of megalithic structures. Material remains at the site hint at the interactions with other cultures in the region. A painted pot from 2700 BCE is pictured.[82]
Archaeological remains of a Harappa Port-Town, Lothal
Archaeological site with remains of drainage channels
Gujarat 2014 v (cultural) Lothal is the only explored port-town of the Indus Valley civilisation, or Harappan Civilization, from the Bronze Age. It was occupied from around 2400 BCE to 1600 BCE, when it was likely damaged by tidal flooding. The fortified consisted of a citadel with wide streets and a warehouse, and a port area along the river. Remains found at the site demonstrate trade links with the Persian Gulf region. The remains of drainage channels are pictured.[83]
Mountain Railways of India (Extension)
Train on a hilly railway
Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh 2014 ii, iv (cultural) This is a proposed extension of the existing World Heritage Site. It includes the Matheran Hill Railway (pictured) and the Kangra Valley Railway. They were built in the early 20th century, construction involved technical innovation to overcome difficult mountainous terrain.[84]
Chettinad, Village Clusters of the Tamil Merchants
A large two-storey building with white decorated facade
Tamil Nadu 2014 ii, v, vi (cultural) This nomination comprises 11 villages in three clusters. They were built by wealthy merchants in second half of 19th and early 20th century. The villages mix urban and rural influences, both Tamil and those from a broader region, as a results of travels of the merchants in Southeast Asia. Thousands of palatial houses were built using local and imported materials. The most recent ones, built in the 1930s and 1940s, are in the Art Deco style. An example of a palatial house is pictured.[85]
Bahá'í House of Worship at New Delhi
A temple in the shape of a lotus flower
Delhi 2014 i, v, vi (cultural) The Lotus Temple is the main Baháʼí House of Worship in India. It was inaugurated in 1986. It has a shape of a lotus flower, with petals made of concrete and covered by marble.[86]
Evolution of Temple Architecture – Aihole-Badami-Pattadakal
A Hindu temple in red stone
Karnataka 2015 iii, iv (cultural) This nomination comprises several temples in Aihole, Badami, and Pattadakal, that were built between the 6th and 8th centuries under the Chalukya dynasty. They demonstrate the evolution of Hindu temple architecture with rock-cut and free-standing temples and were influential in temples from later periods. The temples at Pattadakal are already listed as a World Heritage Site. The Durga Temple in Aihole is pictured.[87]
Cold Desert Cultural Landscape of India
A monastery in a mountain valley covered by snow
Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh 2015 iii, v, vi, x (mixed) The landscapes in the Himalayas are characterized by high altitudes, between 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and 5,000 m (16,000 ft), with harsh dry weather and temperatures ranging from above 30 °C (86 °F) in summer to below −30 °C (−22 °F) in winter. Two areas are inhabited, the Ladakh and the Spiti Valley. The culture is a mixture of Indian and Tibetan cultures. Several settlements are linked to Buddhist monasteries (Key Monastery pictured). From the natural perspective, the area is home to endangered species such as the snow leopard, Tibetan antelope, and the Himalayan wolf.[88]
Sites along the Uttarapath, Badshahi Sadak, Sadak-e-Azam, Grand Trunk Road
A stone pillar close to a road
several sites 2015 ii, iv, vi (cultural) The Grand Trunk Road is one of Asia's oldest and longest roads. It connects Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. The road has been used at least since the times of the Maurya Empire in the 4th century BCE, has been reconstructed several times in different periods, and has been upgraded to modern traffic in the 20th century. In addition to trade, the road has been instrumential in the spread of ideas, religions, and culture. Several historical sites have been preserved along the road. The Kos Minar, a milestone, in Ambala is pictured.[89]
Keibul Lamjao Conservation Area
Lake with some floating plants
Manipur 2016 v, vii, ix, x (mixed) Loktak Lake is a large freshwater lake that features a unique type of ecosystem called phumdi, floating islands consisting of soil and vegetation. The area is a mixture of aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial habitats, and is home to sangai, an endangered deer species. There are several villages on the shores of the lake, as well some settlements on the phumdis.[90]
Garo Hills Conservation Area (GHCA)
A couple in traditional dresses
Meghalaya 2018 v, vi, viii, x (mixed) Garo Hills are inhabited by the Garo people (a couple pictured), a tribe that speak a language from the Tibeto-Burman family. They practice slash-and-burn agriculture that is regulated by community rules to ensure sustainable land use. The area is interesting from geological perspective, with the terrain being shaped by the India–Asia collision system. It is also home to several animal and plant species.[91]
The historic ensemble of Orchha
A palace overlooking a forest and a river
Madhya Pradesh 2019 ii, iv (cultural) The town of Orchha was founded in the 16th century by the Bundela clan to serve as their capital. In the following century, it came under the Mughal influence. The architecture of the Fort complex, palaces, temples, and gardens, represent a mixture of styles from Rajput and Mughal architecture. The Jahangir Mahal is pictured.[92]
Iconic Riverfront of the Historic City of Varanasi
Ganges riverfront with steps, temples, people, and boats
Uttar Pradesh 2021 iii, iv, vi (cultural) Varanasi is a holy city of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. More than 80 ghats (steps to the river bank) are located along the Ganges, the holy river, and serve as a place for rituals and festivals. Varanasi has been continuously inhabited since at least 1200 BCE, while the earliest stone ghats date to the 14th century. Palatial buildings, temples, ashrams, and rest houses for pilgrims date to the 18th and later centuries. The Ahilya Ghat is pictured.[93]
Temples of Kanchipuram
A Hindu temple in Tamil style
Tamil Nadu 2021 iv, vi (cultural) Kanchipuram was the capital of the Pallava dynasty from the 6th to 9th century. It is a holy Hindu city which used to have hundreds of temples. The architecture marks the shift from rock-cut temples to free-standing structures. Eleven temples are listed in the nomination. The Ekambareswarar Temple is pictured.[94]
Hire Benakal, Megalithic Site
Several prehistoric dolmens
Karnataka 2021 iii, iv (cultural) Hire Benakal is the largest megalithic site in India. The dolmens and rock paintings date to the 1st millennium BCE, to the Iron Age, and provide information about the culture that constructed India's first large-scale monuments.[95]
Bhedaghat-Lametaghat in Narmada Valley
River flowing through a gorge with white marble stones
Madhya Pradesh 2021 vii, viii (natural) At Bhedaghat, Narmada River has carved a canyon through a mountain of white marble (pictured), creating a landscape that is both popular with tourists for its perceived beauty and of special interest for geologists. The Lameta Formation contains several fossils, including those of dinosaurs and crocodilians.[96]
Satpura Tiger Reserve
River, forest, and hills scenery
Madhya Pradesh 2021 vii, ix, x (natural) The forests in the Satpura Range hills are proteced as a habitat of a large population of tiger. The area acts as a faunal bridge between the Western Ghats and the Himalayas and is also home to several endangered plant species.[97]
Serial Nomination of Maratha Military Architecture in Maharashtra
Two fortress towers, partially in ruin
Maharashtra 2021 ii, iii, iv (cultural) This nomination comprises 14 forts in Maharashtra. They are typically constructed of basalt rocks, typically on the hills, and were used for defensive purposes in different historic periods. The forts are connected to the Marathi ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji who commissioned several of them in the 17th century. The Raigad Fort is pictured.[98]
Geoglyphs of Konkan Region of India
Geoglyphs depicting human, animal, and abstract shapes
Maharashtra, Goa 2022 i, iii, iv (cultural) This nomination comprises ten sites with geoglyphs in the Konkan coast. They date from the Mesolithic period about 10 millennia BCE to the second millennium BCE. They depict animals, human figures, and abstract art, and are related to the transition from hunter-gatherer societies to settled ones.[99]
Jingkieng jri: Living Root Bridge Cultural Landscapes
Two bridges, consisting of tree roots, crossing a river
Meghalaya 2022 i, iii, vi (cultural) A living root bridge is a type of simple suspension bridge formed of living plant roots by tree shaping. They are handmade from the aerial roots of rubber fig trees (Ficus elastica) over several generations and are common in the communities of the Khasi people. The bridges reflect a harmonious relationship between people and nature. An example of such bridge in the Nongriat village is pictured.[100]
Sri Veerabhadra Temple and Monolithic Bull (Nandi), Lepakshi (The Vijayanagara Sculpture and Painting Art Tradition)
A Hindu temple in stone
Andhra Pradesh 2022 i, ii, vi (cultural) The Hindu temple is located in the Lepakshi village. The construction of the temple started around 1100, while the major development took place during the period of the Vijayanagara Empire, from 1350 to 1600, when a large complex was built. The temple contains important examples of Vijayanagara art, including the only surviving frescoes from that period. A large monolithic bull (Nandi) is located on the temple grounds.[101]

See also

References

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