Bihar Study Notes: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

By Shubham Verma|Updated : October 2nd, 2020

UNESCO world heritage sites in India

World Heritage Sites

  • These Sites are the places which have been officially recognized by a specialized agency of the UN (United Nations), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) based on their natural, cultural, historical, and scientific importance.
    UNESCO is a specialized agency of the UN, whose objective is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms. Its headquarter is in Paris, France.
  • The list of World Heritage sites is maintained by World Heritage Programme which is administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
    UNESCO World Heritage Committee-
    It is composed of 21 UNESCO member states which are elected by the UN General Assembly.
  • These are areas of importance of cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, 1972.
  • Italy has the highest numbers of World Heritage Sites in the world.

Criteria for Selection of World Heritage Sites

  • These criteria are explained in the World Heritage Convention, 1972.
  • These criteria are regularly revised by the World Heritage Committee to reflect the evolution of the World Heritage concept itself.
  • Before the revised Operational Guidelines, World Heritage sites were selected based on six cultural and four natural criteria.
  • With the adoption of the revised Operational Guidelines, only one set of ten criteria.

Tentative lists of Heritage Sites

  • All countries are required to submit their Tentative Lists of places which they consider to be a cultural or natural heritage of outstanding universal value and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.
  • Tentative Lists is not considered exhaustive and need to submit one year prior to the submission of any nomination.
  • Countries are required to re-examine and re-submit their Tentative List at least every ten years.
  • If any site is listed in World Heritage Sites, then it must be removed from the tentative list.

World Heritage Sites in India

  • There are 38 (30 Cultural, 7 Natural and 1 Mixed) World Heritage Sites in India after the inclusion of Wall City of Jaipur in July 2019.
  • First time from India two sites Agra fort and Ajanta Caves were included in World Heritage Sites in 1983.
  • In 2016, the following three sites have been listed in World Heritage Sites-
    (i) Nalanda Mahavihara University, Bihar
    (ii) Capitol Building Complex– Chandigarh
    (iii) Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim
  • In July 2017, Ahmedabad became India’s first city to be listed in World Heritage Sites.
  • In July 2018, Victorian and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai listed as 37th World Heritage Sites from India.
  • In July 2019, Walled City of Jaipur listed as 38th World Heritage Sites from India.
  • Only one mixed-criteria site in India is Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim.
  • The Ministry of Culture recommends one property every year for nomination to UNESCO.

Cultural Heritage sites in India

S No.




Agra Fort

Uttar Pradesh


Ajanta Caves



Ellora Caves



Taj Mahal

Uttar Pradesh


Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

Tamil Nadu


Sun Temple, Konârak



Churches and Convents of Goa



Fatehpur Sikri

Uttar Pradesh


Group of Monuments at Hampi



Khajuraho Group of Monuments

Madhya Pradesh


Elephanta Caves



Great Living Chola Temples 12

Tamil Nadu


Group of Monuments at Pattadakal



Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi

Madhya Pradesh


Humayun's Tomb



Qutb Minar and its Monuments



Mountain Railways of India (Includes Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway)

Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tamilnadu


Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya



Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka

Madhya Pradesh


Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park



Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)



Red Fort Complex



The Jantar Mantar

Jaipur, Rajasthan


Hill Forts of Rajasthan (Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amber Fort and Jaisalmer Fort)



Rani-ki-Vav at Patan



Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University)



Capitol Building Complex - The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier



Historic City of Ahmadabad



Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles

Mumbai, Maharashtra


Walled City of Jaipur

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Natural Heritage sites in India-

S No.




Kaziranga National Park



Keoladeo National Park



Manas Wildlife Sanctuary



Sundarbans National Park

West Bengal


Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks



Western Ghats

Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra


Great Himalayan National Park-Conservation Area

Himachal Pradesh

Mixed Heritage site in India-

S No. 




Khangchendzonga National Park


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Posted by:

Shubham VermaShubham VermaMember since Jul 2020
Revenue Officer in Bihar Govt. []
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UdayOct 2, 2020

Medieval History of Bihar is commemorated with the foreign invasion and dynasty that ruined the glory Bihar. The invasion and war of succession made the darkest age of all times because invasion famed and defamed the great school of education in Bihar which could teach the students about greatness of their culture and people laden with high taxes.

Bihar and Turkish Invasion

Mohammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji was one of the Military Generals of Qutb-ud-din Aibak invaded some parts of eastern India at the end of the 12th Century and at the beginning of the 13th century. During his invasion many of the Viharas and universities were sacked and thousands of Buddhist monks were massacred.

1. His also named was Malik Ghazi Ikhtiyar 'l-Din Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji or Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji or Bakhtiyar Khilji,

2. He sacked universities of Nalanda, Vikramashila and Odantapuri.

3. He established town called as Bakhtiyarpur.

4. He was assassinated by Ali Mardan and his mausoleum is in Bihar Sharif.

Medieval Dynasties in Bihar

Bihar was ruled directly or indirectly by Slave Dynasty, Khilji Dynasty, Tughlaq Dynasty, Noohani Dynasty, Cher Dynasty, Bhojpur’s Ujjaini Dynasty, Sur Dynasty and Mughal Dynasty.

Slave Dynasty

During slave rule, the local ruler were independent but they gave taxes to the rulers because they had control over Maner-Bihar Sharif, Bhojpur, Gaya, Patna, Munger, Bhagalpur, Santhal Pargana, Nalanda, Lakhisari and Vikramashila.

Khilji Dynasty

When Allauddin Khilji ascended on the throne in 1296 AD. He sent Sheikh Mohammad Ismail to conquered Darbhanga. But Sheikh Mohammad Ismail was defeated by local ruler Raja Sakra Singh then again he invaded Darbhanga and made him allies. After war treaty, the local king participated in Ranthambore invasion. Later, Hatim Khan who was the son of Firozshah made governor of Bihar between 1315- 1321 AD.

Tughlaq Dynasty

The invasion of Gayasuddin Tughlaq created chaos in the region because some local king like Harisingh fled from the region, some rulers like Sunar Gaon King Gyasuddin Bahadur revolted and defeated, and some rulers showed friendly gesture. But after all chaotic situation created by invasion, Tughlaq Dynasty resurrects the ruling condition and made Ahmad Governor of Tirhut region.

Some Tughlag coins have been found from Tirhut that shows the ruling control over the region. It also provides valuable information on tax collection as land tax which was called Kharaj. During Tughlaq rule, Darbhanga was called as Tughlaqpur and also during this time, Bihar name was given. Malik Ibrahim was the most capable ruler of the Tughlag Dynasty in Bihar.

Noohani Dynasty

It came into existence after political changes in the Delhi when Sikandar Lodhi ascended on the throne. He made Dariya Khan Lohani as an administrator of Bihar who was an able administrator. Bahar Khan Lohani followed him and declared as independent ruler by adopting the title of ‘Sultan Mohammad’.

Jalal Khan, who was a son of Sultan Mohammad sworn as a ruler under the protection of Farid Khan or Sher Khan. Farid khan led the invasion in Bengal and successfully defeated and hence, he was given the title of ‘Hazrat-e-Ala’.

Cher Dynasty

This dynasty was emerged after the decline of Pala dynasty and established a powerful state in Bhojpur, Saran, Champaran, Muzaffarpur and Palamu district.

Bhojpur’s Ujjaini Dynasty

This dynasty was emerged when Bhojraj killed Sahasbal of Cher. He is known as Santan Singh in Bhojpur. After him, region was ruled by Somraj followed by Harraj and Sangram Dev who made Dhaba as his capital.

Raja Narayana regained the glory of the Ujjain Dynasty and made Buxar as his capital till British came here.

Sur Dynasty

The Golden era of Medieval Bihar was in zenith point during the rule of Sher Shah Suri. Before being called as Sher Shah, he was known as Farid Khan. He took the title of Sher Shah Sultan-e-Adil after the victory in the battle of Chausa.

Sher Shah’s Administration

Level of Administration
Central Administration
Diwane Wajarat
Revenue and finance, which was headed by wajir
Diwane Arj
Secretariat, head was Dabir
Diwane Insha
Diwane Rishalat
Diwane Kaja
Law Department, head by Kazi
Local Administration
Shikdare-Shikdarn was held of law & administration. Munsife-Munsifan was head as village head
Patwari and Kanungo for revenue collection
Mughal Dynasty

Bihar was ruled by this dynasty after the advent of Akbar the Great, the Mughal Empire. Munim Khanam was made Governor of Bihar and in 1780, Bihar was declared as a province of Mughal Empire.

Aurangzeb had made his grandson Azim as Subedar of Bihar who rebuilt Patliputra and renamed it Azimabad. Farrukshiyar was the first Mughal ruler who sworn in Patna.

With the decline of Mughal, Bihar was ruled by Nawab of Bengal who allowed trade to flourish. Some of the greatest fairs (Mela) of sub-continent like Sonepur Mela were allowed to continue because it invites traders from far and near that will helps in economic prosperity.

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