UP Study Notes: UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

By Abhishek Jain |Updated : August 12th, 2022

In almost all the competitive exams, many Static Arts and Cultures questions are asked. Here, we are providing you with UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India that can be asked in the upcoming UP State Exams. This will be really crucial for UP State exams like UPPSC, Lekhpal, RO/ARO

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

1Agra Fort (1983)Uttar Pradesh
2Ajanta Caves (1983)Maharashtra
3Ellora Caves (1983)Maharashtra
4Taj Mahal (1983)Uttar Pradesh
5Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)Tamil Nadu
6Sun Temple, Konarak (1984)Odisha
7Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)Goa
8Fatehpur Sikri (1986)Uttar Pradesh
9Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)Karnataka
10Khajuraho, Group of Temples (1986)Madhya Pradesh
11Elephanta Caves ( 1987)Maharashtra
12Great Living Chola Temples at Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram (1987 & 2004)Tamil Nadu
13Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)Karnataka
14Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)Madhya Pradesh
15Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)Delhi
16Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)Delhi
17Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)Madhya Pradesh
18Champaner-Pavagarh Archaeological Park (2004)Gujarat
19Red Fort Complex, Delhi (2007)Delhi
20Hill Forts of Rajasthan (Chittaurgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Jaisalmer and Ranthambhore, Amber and Gagron Forts) (2013) (Amber and Gagron Forts are under protection of Rajasthan State Archaeology and Museums)Rajasthan Rajasthan
21Rani-ki-Vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan (2014)Gujarat
22Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) at Nalanda (2016)a state in eastern India
23Mountain Railways of India ( Darjeeling,1999), Nilgiri (2005), Kalka- Shimla(2008)West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh
24Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)Maharashtra
25Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, (2002)a state in eastern India
26The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)Rajasthan Rajasthan
27The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016)Chandigarh
28Historic City of Ahmedabad (2017)Gujarat
29Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai (2018)Maharashtra
30Jaipur City, Rajasthan (2019)Rajasthan

Natural Heritage sites in India-

1Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)Himachal Pradesh
2Kaziranga National Park (1985)Assam
3Keoladeo National Park (1985)Rajasthan
4Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)Assam
5Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Park (1988,2005)Uttarakhand
6Sundarbans National Park (1987)West Bengal
7Western Ghats (2012)Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra

Mixed Heritage site in India-


Khangchendzonga National Park


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