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UNESCO World Heritage Sites: A Journey Through Cultural Treasures

Utkarsh Classes 07-08-2023
UNESCO World Heritage Sites: A Journey Through Cultural Treasures International news 6 min read

There are currently 1,154 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 167 countries globally. These sites can be divided into three categories: cultural sites (897), natural sites (218), and Mixed (39) sites that have both cultural and natural significance. There are 40 such special places in India, of which 32 are cultural, 7 are natural and 1 is a mixture of cultural and natural importance. These places are considered unique and important and they are protected to preserve their value for the future.

  • India has added two more sites to its prestigious list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites:

  • Dholavira, Harappan City in the Rann of Kutchh, was recognized as India's 40th UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • The Rudreswara Temple (Ramappa Temple) at Palampet, Warangal, Telangana, was inscribed on the World Heritage Sites list.

  • India has 46 sites on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

World Heritage Site:

  • A World Heritage Site is a special place recognized by UNESCO for its cultural or physical importance. These sites are part of the International 'World Heritage Programme' which is managed by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. This committee takes care of the list of World Heritage Sites, ensuring their protection and preservation for the benefit of future generations.

World Heritage Site Selection Criteria:

Cultural site

  • The masterpiece of human creative genius

  • Human values (Cultural area of the World and development architecture, technology, monumental arts, town-planning and landscape design)

  • Testimony and Cultural tradition (unique, extraordinary or extinct)

  • Important phases of human history (building, architectural or technical ensemble or landscape)

  • Traditional human settlement (land use or sea use and Human interaction with the environment)

  • Direct connection with artistic and literary works (events, traditions, ideas and beliefs)

  • Traditional human settlement, land use, or sea use represents a culture and human interaction with the environment.

Natural sites

  • Areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance

  • Major phases of Earth's history (record of life, Important geological processes, physical features)

  • Outstanding examples of ecological and biological processes (land, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems)

  • Important natural habitats for the in-situ conservation of biological diversity (includes threatened species of outstanding universal value from a science or conservation perspective).

About UNESCO:

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was established in 1945. Its headquarter is located in Paris, France. Its mission is to promote global cooperation in education, science, and culture to foster understanding among people and create lasting peace.

The list of UNESCO Natural World Heritage sites in India

Natural World Heritage Site

Year of Notification

Place

Kaziranga National Park

1985

Assam

Keoladeo Ghana National Park

1985

Rajasthan

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

1985

Assam

Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers

1988, 2005

Uttarakhand

Sundarbans National Park

1987

West Bengal

Western Ghats 

2012

Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka,

Tamil Nadu and

Kerala

Great Himalayan National Park

2014

Himachal Pradesh

The list of UNESCO Cultural World Heritage sites in India 

Cultural World Heritage Site

Year of Notification

Place

Dholavira

2021

Gujarat

Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple

2021

Telangana

The Architectural Work

2016

Chandigarh

Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai

2018

Maharashtra

Historic City of Ahmedabad

2017

Gujarat

Jaipur City

2020

Rajasthan

Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University)

2016

 

Bihar

Rani-Ki-Van

2014

Gujarat

Hill Forts of Rajasthan

2013

Rajasthan

The Jantar Mantar

2010

Rajasthan

Red Fort Complex

2007

Delhi

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

2004

Gujarat

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

2004

Maharashtra

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka

2003

Madhya Pradesh

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya

2002

Bihar

Mountain Railways of India

1999

Tamil Nadu

Humayun’s Tomb

1993

Delhi

Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi

1993

Delhi

Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi

1989

Madhya Pradesh

Elephanta Caves

1987

Maharashtra

Great Living Chola Temples

1987

Tamil Nadu

Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

1987

Karnataka

Churches and Convents of Goa

1986

Goa

Fatehpur Sikri

1986

Uttar Pradesh

Group of Monuments at Hampi

1986

Karnataka

Khajuraho Group of Monuments

1986

Madhya Pradesh

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

1984

Tamil Nadu

Sun Temple, Konarak

1984

Orissa

Agra Fort

1983

Uttar Pradesh

Ajanta Caves

1983

Maharashtra

Ellora Caves

1983

Maharashtra

Taj Mahal

1983

Uttar Pradesh

 

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