World Heritage Sites in India




UNESCO World Heritage Site:

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This is exemplified by the Convention regarding the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, accepted by UNESCO in 1972.
  • The list of World Heritage Sites is maintained by the 'International World Heritage Programme', administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. 

How is a World Heritage Site selected? 

  1. Nomination of a site by the respective government of a country. 
  2. The site should have an Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for a World Heritage nomination. 
  3. To determine the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for World Heritage nomination, there are ten enlisted criteria. 
  4. The proposed nomination must satisfy at least one of these ten criteria. 
  5. The Nomination File is then evaluated by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and the World Conservation Union. 
  6. These bodies then make their recommendations to the World Heritage Committee. 
  7. The Committee meets once per year to determine whether or not to inscribe each nominated property on the World Heritage List and sometimes defers the decision to request more information from the country which nominated the site.

World Cultural Heritage Sites in India:

  • India has the sixth-largest number of sites in the world. This vast heritage repository of India is recognized globally as a significant part of its unique cultural identity.
  • As on 31.8.2021, India has 40 world heritage sites that include 32 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties, and 1 Mixed site.
Year  World Cultural Heritage Sites - India 
1983 Agra Fort  
1983 Ajanta Caves
1983 Verul (Ellora) Caves 
1983 Taj Mahal  
1984 Temples at Mahabalipuram
1984 Sun Temple, Konark  
1986 Churches and Convents of Goa 
1986 Fatehpur Sikri
1986 Group of Monuments at Hampi 
1986 Khajuraho Temples
1987 Gharapuri (Elephanta) Caves 
1987 Brihadishwar temple of Tanjavur Great Living Chola Temples
2004 Gangaikondcholapuram, Brihadishwar and Airavateshwar at Darasuram  
1987 Group of Monuments at Pattadakal 
1989 Sanchi Stupa 1993: Humayun's Tomb, Delhi 
1993 Kutub Minar and its Monuments, Delhi  

Mountain Railways of India
(1) Darjeeling Himalayan Railway                                             
(2) Nilgiri Mountain Railway                                         
(3) The Kalka-Shimla Railway

2002 Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya
2003 Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
2004 Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park 
2004 Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai
2007 Red Fort Complex, Delhi
2010 The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
2013 Hill Forts of Rajasthan
2014 Rani-ki-Bav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat
2016  Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University)
at Nalanda, Bihar 
2016  The Capital Complex at Chandigarh
2017 Ahemadabad - Historical City


Year  Oral and Intangible heritage- India 
2001 Kootiyattam, Sanskrit Theatre, Kerala.
2003 The tradition of Vedic Chanting.
2005 Ramlila - the traditional performance of the Ramayana in North India.
2009 Ramman: religious festival and ritual theatre of the Garhwal Uttarakhand.
2010 Kalbelia: folk songs and dances of Rajasthan.
2010 Chhau dance: West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha.
2010 Mudiyett: a ritual theatre of Kerala.
2012 Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in the trans-Himalayan Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir.
2013 Sankirtana: ritual singing, drumming, and dancing of Manipur.
2014 Traditional craft of making utensils of brass and copper among the Thatheras of Punjab. 
2016 Yoga 


Year World Natural Heritage Sites
1985 Kaziranga National Park
1985 Keoladeo National Park 
1985 Manas Wildlife Sanctuary 
1987 Sundarbans National Park 
1988 Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers 
2005 National Parks
2012 Western Ghats  
2014 Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area


Year Mixed
 2016 Khangchendzonga National Park
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