World Heritage Sites in India
Ajanta Caves ( 1983 ) : Declared in 1983 as UNESCO heritage site, the 29 Buddhist Caves carved in second century B.C. are in Aurangabad District of Maharashtra. They were abandoned in 650 A.D. in favour of Ellora Caves. It surfaced into prominence again in 1819 when it was re – discovered by a British tiger – hunter.
Ellora Caves ( 1983 ) : Situated in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra, the 34 rock – cut Ellora Caves are of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples. They might have been built between 5th and 10th century AD. There are 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain Caves.
Agra Fort ( 1983 ) : It is known as Lai Qila. This Red Fort of Agra was built in 1565 AD by Akbar, the Great. All the great Mughals from Babur to Aurangazeb lived here. It was originally a brick fort built by Rajputs. It houses Pearl Mosque. Jahangir Palace inside the fort was built by Shah Jahan.
Taj Mahal ( 1983 ) : A tear drop on the check of eternity was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaj between 1631 and 1648 AD. It has been built of white marbles.
Monuments of Mahabalipuram ( 1984 ) : The rock – cut monuments of Pallava Kings of Tamil Nadu were built by them in 7th & 8th century AD. The shore temple, the five Rathas, Arjuna’s Penance are noteworthy. It was about 40 kms away from Chennai.
Sun Temple of Konarak ( 1984 ) : Dedicated to Sun god and built in 13th century ( 1278 CE ) by the Ganga King Narasimha Deva, it is referred to as Black Pagodas. The temple was built in the form of a chariot.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park ( 1985 ) : Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, this park in Rajasthan is famous avifauna sanctuary. It was created about 250 years ago after a Keoladeo ( Shiva ) temple. The park attracts ornithologists to study birds that migrate in winter from Afghanistan, Siberia, China. About 364 species of birds have been spotted here.
Kaziranga National Park ( 1985 ) : The abode of Indian one – homed rhinos, it is in Assam. It covers an area of 430 sq. kms.
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary ( 1985 ) : It is not only a tiger and elephant reserve but a bio – reserve also. Located in Himalayan foothills in Assam, it houses rare Assam Roofed turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Largur and Pygmy Hog.
Fatehpur Sikri ( 1986 ) : Built by Akbar in 1570, it served as the capital between 1571 and 1585. The capital was later abandoned. Fateh means victory – It is believed that Akbar built this city to commemorate his victory over Rana Sanga of Mewar. Buland Darwaza, the tallest gate is here. It houses Salim Chisti’s tomb, Jama Masjid, Ranch Mahal etc.
Khajuraho Temples ( 1986 ) : They comprise largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, well – known for erotic sculptures. It is in Madhya Pradesh. The temples were built by Chandela rulers of Bundelkhand between 950 – 1150 AD.
Monuments of Hampi ( 1986 ) : The ruins represent the grandeur of Vijayanagara Empire. Once it was capital of the empire between 1336 and 1565. The history of Hampi dates back to Ramayana period. It is situated 353 kms from Bangalore on the banks of the river Tungabhadra.
Churches and convents of Goa ( 1986 ) : The Portuguese style architecture embedded in Portuguese churches with many different religious denominations are perfect examples of evangelization of Asia.
Monuments at Pattadakal ( 1987 ) : The group of 8th century monuments at this place represent the culmination of experiments of vesara style in Hindu temple architecture. The monuments are situated on the banks of Malaprabha river, 22 kms. away from Badami. The temples at Pattadakal were built by Chalukyas of Badami in 7th and 8th century AD. They are fusion of Hindu and Jain religions. There are 10 temples; 4 are in Nagara style and 6 in Chalukya style.
Brahadeeswarar Temple ( 1987 ) : Built by Raja Raja Chola, who ruled Tanjore between 985 and 1012 AD. it exhibits the peak of Temple Architecture of Tamil Kings. It has been built in such a way that the shadow of the tower never falls on the earth.
Sundarbans National Park ( 1987 ) : Thickly covered by mangrove forests, it is one of the biggest Tiger reserves in India. The famous Bengal Tiger is found here. It stretches to about 266 kms. from the mouth of Hoogli river to the mouth of Meghna. On 4th may 1984, it was declared as a National Park which covers an area of 2585 sq. kms.
Nanda Devi National Park ( 1988 ) : Situated in Uttarkhand, it is surrounded by Himalayan peaks. It is known for its rare diverse fauna and flora.
Buddhist Monastery at Sanchi ( 1989 ) : The earliest monuments established between 272 and 273 BC. under Ashoka, the building activities, continued until 12th Century AO. The great stupa built by Ashoka is a semi – sphere brick structure on Buddhist relics.
Humayun’s Tomb ( 1993 ) : Built by Humayun’s wife, Haji Begum in 1562 AD. It was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian architect. The Tomb complex contains the Tombs of Haji Begum and Humayun’s Barber also. Later many Kings were buried here.
Qutab Minar ( 1993 ) : 72.5 metre high tower the world’s tallest brick minaret built between 1193 and 1386 AD. stands tall in Delhi. It represents the fusion of Indo – Islamic architecture. The construction was started by Qutab – ud – din Aibak and completed by Firuz Shah Tughluq,
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway ( 1999 ) : The narrow gauge railway track that runs between Siligun and Darjeeling in West Bengal was built between 1879 and 1881. It is 86 km long with elevation level from 328 ft. to 7218 ft. In 2005, UNESCO added the Nilgiri Mountain Railway also into its list.
Mahabodhi Temple Complex ( 2002 ) : It is an important Buddhist pilgrimage centre in Bihar. The Lord Buddha got his enlightenment under Bodhi tree here. The first temple was built by Ashoka in 3rd century BC.
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka ( 2003 ) : The caves 600 in number are believed to be 9000 years old. Bhimbetka means ‘where Bhima Sat down’. Situated just 46 kms. from Bhopal, the caves are surrounded by Vindhya mountain ranges.
Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminal, Mumbai ( 2004 ) : Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, the Railway Station in Mumbai was opened in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The style is Venetian Gothic popular in England, and mixed with Indian architecture. Personification of Progress – a 13 ft. high symbol tops the dome.
Champaner – Pavagadh Archaeological Park ( 2004 ) : A largely unexcavated pre – historic, this park lies in Panchmahal district of Gujarat. It was an Hindu capital in 16th century. The Kalikamata temple on top of the Pavagadh Hill is a sacred shrine. This is the only site which is unchanged Islamic pre – mughal city.
Red Fort ( 2007 ) : It is a 17th century Fort built by Shahjahan in the walled city of old Delhi. It remained as the capital of the Moghuls until 1857, when the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shar Zafar was exiled to Burma. The Prime Minister of India makes Independence Day address from this Fort.
Jantar Mantar ( 2010 ) : Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. The observatory includes 20 astronomical instruments.
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