Every year on 18th April is celebrated as World Heritage Day to raise awareness of the heritage sites across the globe and the necessity to conserve them.
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is in charge of declaring a place a heritage site after checking several determinants. Currently, there are 40 such UNESCO world heritage sites in India.
The latest additions to this list include ‘Ramappa Temple’ in Telengana and ‘Dholavira’ in Gujarat.
Following are some must-visit world heritage sites in India that you should not miss!
1. The Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is a beautiful world heritage site in India. Situated in Agra, the Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. It took almost 22 years to complete this tomb. In 1983, UNESCO declared the Taj Mahal a world heritage site.
The Emperor built this tomb for his beloved queen Mumtaz, and it is regarded as a symbol of love worldwide.
2. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
The Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra received the world heritage site tag in 1983. It is a collection of 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments, built around 200 BCE to 650 CE. This site is one of the finest examples of rock-cut architecture.
The main attractions of these caves are the Buddhist monasteries inside them.
3. Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh
The Khajuraho temples exhibit the ancient culture and traditions of India. These dated back to around 950 AD to 1050 AD and were built during the Chandela dynasty. The temples are primarily famous for the stone carvings of Nagara symbolism and erotic figures and sculptures on the walls.
4. Sun Temple, Odisha
An epitome of rich cultural history, the Sun Temple is one of the most beautiful world heritage sites in India. This temple depicts the Kalinga style of architecture and is built in a complex shape of a chariot.
The temple is believed to be built by the 13th-century king, Narasimhadeva.
5. Monuments in Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. It is located in northern Karnataka, and the monuments are situated in the ruins of the kingdom of Vijayanagar, an ancient city.
The site has many sacred temples, including Virupaksha temple, Hemakuta temple, Narasimha temple, etc.
6. Red Fort, Delhi
Red Fort was listed as a world heritage site in 2007. Located on the banks of Yamuna, this fort documents the history of the Mughal dynasty. The Red Fort houses several museums inside it.
The fort was built with red sandstone and thus called Red Fort.
7. Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar
A sacred place of Buddhists, king Ashoka built Mahabodhi Temple in 250 BC. Not only in India it is one of the earliest temples in the world. The site derived its name from the holy Bodhi tree under which Buddha sat.
You can visit this place to see and learn about Buddhist practices and teachings.
How many world heritage sites have you visited in India? Let us know in the comments below!