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35 World Heritage site in India as listed by UNESCO - Part 1

Posted by Think India

We all know India has always been a country full of heritage values and tourism destination. Indian have a rich culture and very rich traditional background. UNESCO which is United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has listed many world heritage site across the world. The heritage site are listed by UNESCO World Heritage Convention which was established in 1972.In India also UNESCO has been listing some of the most important tourism destination as the World Heritge Sites. First two sites in India which was declared as World Heritage site was Agra Fort and Ajanta Caves. As of now, a total of 35 sites has been listed as World Heritage Site in India by UNESCO. These sites are considered to be of cultural and natural importance in the world and thus drive attention of many travelers around the world. All of the heritge sites in India are as follows, in the ascending order. The recent addition to the World Heritage Site in India are "The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier" in Chandigarh and "Khangchendzonga National ParkSikkim" which have been added to the list this year in July. This can also be seen on the List of World Heritage Site Wikipedia. 

Agra Fort

This fort is situated not very far from Taj Mahal. This is one of the most important monumental structures built by the Mughal empire.Agra fort is a fusion of Persian art and the Indian forms of architecture.The present-day structure was built by the Mughals, though a fort had stood there since at least the 11th century. Agra Fort was originally a brick fort known as Badalgarh, held by Raja Badal Singh Hindu Sikarwar Rajput king (c. 1475). It was mentioned for the first time in 1080 AD when a Ghaznavide force captured it. Sikandar Lodi (1488–1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi who shifted to Agra and lived in the fort.The 380,000 m2 (94-acre) fort has a semicircular plan, its chord lies parallel to the river and its walls are seventy feet high. Double ramparts have massive circular bastions at intervals, with battlements, embrasures, machicolations and string courses. Four gates were provided on its four sides, one Khizri gate opening on to the river.

Ajanta Caves.

This is one of  the first World Heritage sites declared by UNESCO in India and is  very famous for its caves and scluptures. It consist of the finest masterpieces of 31 rock cut Buddhist cave monuments, paintings and sculpture. The caves also present paintings depicting the past lives and rebirths of the Buddha, pictorial tales from Aryasura'sJatakamala, as well as rock-cut sculptures of Buddhist deities in vogue between the 2nd century BCE and 5th century CE.Textual records suggest that these caves served as a monsoon retreat for monks, as well as a resting site for merchants and pilgrims in ancient India.While vivid colours and mural wall painting were abundant in Indian history as evidenced by historical records, Caves 16, 17, 1 and 2 of Ajanta form the largest corpus of surviving ancient Indian wall-painting

The Buddhist Monuments 

This is located in the famous Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh. These buddhist mounments are the oldest stone structures in India. Originally it was built by Ashoka in 3rd century BCE. The Great Stupa at Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India and was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Greatin the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure symbolising high rank, which was intended to honour and shelter the relics. The construction work of this stupa was overseen by Ashoka's wife, Devi herself, who was the daughter of a merchant of Vidisha.

Bodh Gaya

Bodh gaya is near to patna, located 96 kilometer away from the capital of Bihar, Patna. It’s one of the most important religious centre for the Buddhists. This place is famous for Mahatma Buddha attained enlightenment.Bodh Gaya is the most holy place for the followers of the Buddhist faith all over the world. Situated by the bank of river Neranjanathe place was then known as Uruwela. King Ashoka was the first to build a temple here

Capital Complex of Chandigarh

Architectural work of Le Corbusier in many other countries including the famous Capital Complex of Chandigarh was also recognized as a World Heritage Site. It is a part of outstanding contribution to Modern Movement.Chandigarh Capitol Complex, located in the sector-1 of Chandigarh city in India is a Le Corbusier-designed UNESCO World Heritage Site.It is spread over an area of around 100 acres and is a prime manifestation of Chandigarh's architecture. It comprises three buildings, three monuments and lake, including Palace of Assembly or Legislative Assembly, Secretariat, High Court, Open Hand Monument, Geometric Hill and Tower of Shadows.

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park 

Champaner-Pavagadh Park is a World Heritage Site located in the Panchmahal, Gujrat. This was built by Sultan Mahmud Begada of Gujarat. This  is very important due to its historical and culural importance. This  park also houses some of the ancient Chalcolithic Indian Sites, from the Stone Age. The heritage site is studded with forts with bastions starting from the hills of Pavagadh, and extending into the city of Champaner. The park's landscape includes archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage monuments such as chalcolithic sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat. There are palaces, entrance gates and arches, mosques, tombs and temples, residential complexes, agricultural structures and water installations such as stepwells and tanks, dating from the 8th to the 14th centuries.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus was formerly known as the Victoria Terminus or VT in short. This was built by Frederick William Stevens and was inspired  from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture. the station was built in 1887 in the Bori Bunder area of Mumbai to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The new railway station was built on the location of the Bori Bunder Station and is one of the busiest railway stations in India,[4] serving as a terminal for both long-distance trains and commuter trains of the Mumbai Suburban Railway. The station's name was changed to its present one in March 1996 and it is now known simply as CST (or CSTM).

Ellora Caves

These Ellora caves are an important heritage sites in india. Ranging 29 kilometers Northwest of Aurangabad, these caves are well known for their Indian-rock cut architecture. he site presents monuments and artwork of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism from the 600-1000 CE period. Cave 16 of Ellora features the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world, the Kailasha temple, a chariot shaped monument dedicated to Shiva. The Kailasha temple excavation also presents the gods, goddesses and mythologies found in Vaishnavism, Shaktism and relief panels summarizing the two major Hindu Epics.The site features over 100 caves, of which 34 caves are open to public.These were excavated out of the vertical basalt cliff in the Charanandri hills. These consist of 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves.Each group presents the respective deities and mythologies prevalent in 1st millennium CE, as well as the monasteries of that religion.

Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta caves is located in mumbai, maharastra and is on an island in the Arabian City. The chain of sculpted caves that are located here is also known as Gharapuri. The island, located on an arm of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves—the first is a large group of five Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves. The Hindu caves contain rock cut stone sculptures, representing the Shaiva Hindu sect, dedicated to the Lord Shiva. Since no inscriptions on any of the island have been discovered, the ancient history of the island is conjectural, at best. Pandavas, the heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, and Banasura, the demon devotee of Shiva, are both credited with building temples or cut caves to live. Local tradition holds that the caves are not man-made.The Elephanta caves are "of unknown date and attribution".

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur  Sikri constitutes of Jama Masjid and Buland Darwaza which is the greatest door of Asia and was made of wood imported from Australia which have the property that it can also sink in water. This fatehpur sikri has also two more mounments-  Panch Mahal and Jada Baai ka Mahal.Fatehpur Sikri sits on rocky ridge, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) in length and 1 km (0.62 mi) wide and palace city is surrounded by a 6 km (3.7 mi) wall on three sides with the fourth bordered by a lake. Its architects were Tuhir Das and Dhruv Chawla and was constructed using Indian principles.The building material used in all the buildings at Fatehpur Sikri, palace-city complex, is the locally quarried red sandstone, known as 'Sikri sandstone'. It is accessed through gates along the 5 miles (8.0 km) long fort wall, namely, Delhi Gate, the Lal Gate, the Agra Gate, Birbal's Gate, Chandanpal Gate, The Gwalior Gate, the Tehra Gate, the Chor Gate and the Ajmere Gate.

Great Himalayan National Park

It is one of the largest national park located in Kullu region of Northern Himachal Pradesh which spread over an area of 754.4 square kilometers.The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), is one of India's national parks, is located in Kullu region in the state of Himachal Pradesh. The park was established in 1984 and is spread over an area of 1,171 km2 at an altitude of between 1500 and 6000 m. The Great Himalayan National Park is a habitat to numerous flora and more than 375 fauna species, including approximately 31 mammals, 181 birds, 3 reptiles, 9 amphibians, 11 annelids, 17 mollusks and 127 insects. They are protected under the strict guidelines of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972; hence any sort of hunting is not permitted.

Group of Monuments

At Hampi, Karnataka there is another World heritage site located. It lies within ruins of the ancient and the very prosperous kingdom of  old Vijayanagar. The most important monument in this group of heritage  monument is the Virupaksha Temple which is still a very important religious center for the Hindus.It was one of the richest and largest cities in the world during its prime. It is located within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple and several other monuments belonging to the old city.The empire boasted a massive army comprising close to two million men. In around 1500 AD Vijaynagar had about 500,000 inhabitants (supporting 0.1% of the global population during 1440-1540), making it the second largest city in the world after Beijing and almost thrice the size of Paris

Great Living Chola Temples

This temples are located in Tamil nadu and were built during the rule of Chola empire.Brihadisvara Temple, Airavatesvara and the Gangaikonda Cholapuram Temple are the most important of all of these temples. These 3 temples are the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The Brihadisvara Temple was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1987; the Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram were added as extensions to the site in 2004. The site is now known as the "Great Living Chola Temples"

Group of Monuments

This monuments are locared at mahabalipuram.which is 58 kilometers from Chennai in the Coromandal Coast of Bay of Bengal. Temples here in the group of monuments were built under the reign of the Pallava rulers.With approximately 40 sanctuaries, including the largest open-air rock relief in the world, Mahabalipuram gained UNESCO World Heritage site distinction in 1984.[1] These Pallava Period sites include: the Pancha Rathas of Dharmaraja Ratha, Arjuna Ratha, Bhima Ratha, Draupadi Ratha, Nakula Sahadeva Ratha, and also Ganesha Ratha; several Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram including Varaha Cave Temple, Krishna Cave Temple, Mahishasuramardini Mandapa, Panchapandava Cave Temple; structural temples including the Shore Temple and the Olakkannesvara Temple; and the Descent of the Ganges, one of the largest open-air bas-reliefs in the world.[1][2] Mahabalipuram is known for its architectural grandeur.

Jantar Mantar 

This is one of the India's most famous heritage site and very well maintained monuments. The Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory built in 18th century by Jai Singh of Rajasthan in 1738 CE. The Jantar Mantar is an equinoctial sundial, consisting a gigantic triangular gnomon with the hypotenuse parallel to the Earth's axis. On either side of the gnomon is a quadrant of a circle, parallel to the plane of the equator. The instrument is intended to measure the time of day, correct to half a second and declination of the Sun and the other heavenly bodies.The name "Jantar Mantar" is at least 200 years old, finding a mention in an account from 1803.[4] However, the archives of Jaipur State, such as accounts from 1735 and 1737–1738, do not use this name, referring to it simply as Jantra, which in the spoken language is corrupted to Jantar.[4] The word Jantra is derived from yantra, instrument, while the suffix Mantar is derived from mantrana meaning consult or calculate.[4] The words jantar and 'mantar (or yantra and mantra) means calculation instrument.

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka 

This is located in Bhimbetka, Madhya pradesh. It was declared world heritage site by Unesco in 2003. These rock shelters are located at the foothills of the Vindhaya Mountains. The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site of the Paleolithic, exhibiting the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent, and thus the beginning of the South Asian Stone Age. It is located in the Raisen District in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, near Abdullaganj town and inside the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary. At least some of the shelters were inhabited by Homo erectus more than 100,000 years ago.[1][2] Some of the Stone Age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are approximately 30,000 years old.[3] The caves also deliver early evidence of dance. They were declared a World Heritage Site in 2003.

Red Fort

Apart from India gate, one more place is the synonym for New Delhi. The majestic Red Fort situated in Old Delhi area. Red Fort is also UNESCO World Heritage Site. Red fort is known for its red sandstone architecture. This iconic fort has lots of stories attached to it Red Fort built in 1638, symbolizes the Mughal era as it was made by mughals. There is a sound and light show conducted here in the evenings which is worth watching. 15th August, Indian Independence Day, the Prime Minister of India hoists the tricolor national flag at the main gate of the fort and delivers a  speech from its ramparts.

Reference Source : Wikipedia.org


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