UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India: Historical, Cultural, and Natural Wonders l List of 42 Sites with Facts

UNESCO World Heritage Site  is a status given to a place that has remarkably unique cultural, physical and natural wonders. UNESCO World Heritage Site  is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and is considered to have an outstanding value to humans and humanity. UNESCO always encourages worldwide dialogue, maintenance and identification of heritage sites. This was symbolised by the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which UNESCO adopted in 1972. The total number of World Heritage Sites in India   is 42.  India is home to 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, renowned for their historical, cultural and natural impact. Some of the famous  UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India include the Taj Mahal (which is an iconic symbol of love and one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world), Ajanta and Ellora Caves. (a group of ancient rock-cut temples and monasteries showcasing India’s rich religious and artistic heritage) and the Red Fort Complex, a wonderful palace complex in the heart of Old Delhi that was once the centre of Mughal power. The list of World Heritage Sites in India is as follows:

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

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UNESCO Natural World Heritage Sites

Natural World Heritage Site State Year of Notification
Kaziranga National Park Assam 1985
Keoladeo Ghana National Park Rajasthan 1985
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary Assam 1985
Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand 1988, 2005
Sundarbans National Park West Bengal 1987
Western Ghats Maharashtra,



Tamil Nadu and


Great Himalayan National Park Himachal Pradesh 2014




UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites

Cultural World Heritage Site State Year of Notification
Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas Karnataka 2023
Santiniketan West Bengal 2023
Dholavira Gujarat 2021
Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple Telangana 2021
The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement Chandigarh 2016
Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai Maharashtra 2018
Historic City of Ahmedabad Gujarat 2017
Jaipur City Rajasthan 2020
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) Bihar 2016
Rani-Ki-Van Gujarat 2014
Hill Forts of Rajasthan Rajasthan 2013
The Jantar Mantar Rajasthan 2010
Red Fort Complex Delhi 2007
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park Gujarat 2004
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Maharashtra 2004
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka Madhya Pradesh 2003
Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya Bihar 2002
Mountain Railways of India Tamil Nadu 1999
Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi Delhi 1993
Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi Delhi 1993
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi Madhya Pradesh 1989
Elephanta Caves Maharashtra 1987
Great Living Chola Temples Tamil Nadu 1987
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal Karnataka 1987
Churches and Convents of Goa Goa 1986
Fatehpur Sikri Uttar Pradesh 1986
Group of Monuments at Hampi Karnataka 1986
Khajuraho Group of Monuments Madhya Pradesh 1986
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram Tamil Nadu 1984
Sun Temple, Konarak Orissa 1984
Agra Fort Uttar Pradesh 1983
Ajanta Caves Maharashtra 1983
Ellora Caves Maharashtra 1983
Taj Mahal Uttar Pradesh 1983



UNESCO Mixed World Heritage Sites

Mixed World Heritage Site State Year of Notification
Khangchendzonga National Park Sikkim 2016




Important Facts about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

1. Agra Fort:
– It is a 16th-century Mughal Monument known as the Red Fort of Agra.
– Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal built by Shah Jahan are part of Agra Fort.

2. Ajanta Caves:
– These are rock-cut caves.
– There are a total of 29 caves.

3. Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda:
– Nalanda is the most ancient university in India.
– The archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE are found here.

4. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi:
– Monolithic pillars, palaces, temples, and monasteries are part of it.
– It is considered the oldest Buddhist Sanctuary in existence.

5. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park:
– Unexcavated archaeological, historic, and living cultural heritage properties are part of it.
– Structures built between the 8th and 14th centuries like fortifications, palaces, religious buildings, residential precincts, agricultural structures, and water installations are found here.

6. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus:
– The former name of CST was Victoria Terminus.
– It represents the Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India.

7. Churches and Convents of Goa:
– These churches signify the evangelization of Asia.
– They were built during the Portuguese colonial period.

8. Elephanta Caves:
– Gharapuri Caves is the local name of Elephanta Caves.
– There are seven caves.

9. Ellora Caves:
– There are 34 monasteries and temples carved out of the solid rock.

10. Fatehpur Sikri:
– Mughal Emperor Akbar built it.
– Jama Masjid is a part of it.

11. Great Living Chola Temples:
– It includes temples like the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram, and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.

12. Group of Monuments at Hampi:
– Hampi served as the last capital of the Vijayanagar Empire.

13. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram:
– The group is best known for Rathas, Mandapas, Giant open-air reliefs, etc.

14. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal:
– The monuments represent the Chalukyan art.
– Hindu temples and Jain sanctuary are part of it.

15. Hill Forts of Rajasthan:
– Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Sawai Madhopur, Jhalawar, Jaipur, and Jaisalmer forts are part of these hill forts.

16. Historic City of Ahmadabad:
– Sultan Ahmad Shah founded the walled city in the 15th Century.
– It showcases the fusion of Hindu, Islamic, and Jain influences in architecture.

17. Humayun’s Tomb:
– It was built in 1570.
– It stands as the first garden tomb in the Indian subcontinent.

18. Jaipur City:
– Sawai Jai Singh-II founded the city in 1727.
– It is known for its planned architecture and vibrant culture.

19. Khajuraho Group of Monuments:
– It contains Chandela Dynasty-built temples.
– Hinduism and Jainism are two religions to which temples are dedicated.

20. Mahabodhi Temple Complex:
– It is one of the four holy sites related to the Buddha’s life.
– The temple complex includes the famous Bodhi Tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment.

21. Mountain Railways of India:
– Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, and Kalka Shimla Railway are part of this site.
– These railways are known for their scenic routes and engineering marvels.

22. Qutb Minar and its Monuments:
– Qutb Minar was built in the 13th century.
– It is the tallest brick minaret in the world.

23. Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell):
– It stands on the banks of Saraswati River.
– It is an intricately constructed stepwell dating back to the 11th century CE.

24. Red Fort Complex:
– It was built as the palace fort of Shah Jahan’s capital Shah Jahanabad.
– Salimgarh Fort is a part of this complex.

25. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka:
– Discovered by archaeologist Dr. V. S. Wakankar in 1957-58.
– The site showcases prehistoric rock art and shelters dating back to the Paleolithic period.

26. Sun Temple:
– King Narasimhadeva I built this in the 13th Century.
– It represents the Kalinga architecture.

27. Taj Mahal:
– Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
– It stands as an iconic symbol of love and Mughal architecture.

28. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement:
– There are 17 sites on three continents.
– Complexe du Capitole in Chandigarh, India is a part of this.

29. The Jantar Mantar:
– Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh II built the astronomical observatories.
– These observatories are renowned for their architectural and astronomical significance.

30. Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai:
– These ensembles represent the 19th and 20th-century architectural styles in Mumbai.
– The collection includes public buildings and private residences.

31. Great Himalayan National Park-Conservation Area:
– Located in Himachal Pradesh, it is known for its biodiversity and scenic landscapes.
– It is home to rare and endangered species like the Snow Leopard and Western Tragopan.

32. Kaziranga National Park:
– Located in Assam, it is famous for its population of Indian Rhinoceros.
– It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Danger due to threats from poaching and habitat loss.

33. Keoladeo National Park:
– Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, it is a haven for migratory birds.
– It is one of the most important bird breeding and feeding grounds in the world.

34. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary:
– It is located in Assam and is known for its biodiversity.
– It is a Tiger Reserve and Biosphere Reserve.

35. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks:
– Nanda Devi West is the second-highest mountain in India.
– The Valley of Flowers is known for its diverse flora and fauna.

36. Sundarbans National Park:
– It forms part of the world’s largest delta formed by the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers.
– It is home to the Bengal Tiger and other endangered species.

37. Western Ghats:
– These mountain ranges are one of the world’s eight hottest biodiversity hotspots.
– They are home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including many endemic species.

38. Khangchendzonga National Park:
– Mount Khangchendzonga is the world’s third-highest peak.
– The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.

39. Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple:
– Built in the 13th century CE, the temple is a Kakatiyan marvel made of sandstone.
– It is known for its intricate carvings and distinctive architectural style.

40. Dholavira:
– Discovered by archaeologist Jagat Pati Joshi in 1968, Dholavira is an ancient city in the Kutch district of Gujarat.
– It was one of the largest cities of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization.

41. Santiniketan:
– Founded by Rabindranath Tagore, Santiniketan is located in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
– It is known for its emphasis on education, arts, and culture.

42. Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas:
– These temples are located in Belur, Halebidu, and Somanathapura in Karnataka.
– They are known for their intricate carvings and architectural grandeur.

These UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India represent the rich cultural, historical, and natural heritage of the country. Each site has its own unique significance and contributes to India’s diverse cultural landscape.

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