UNESCO World Heritage sites in India worth traveling
India is among the top countries that have the maximum number of UNESCO Heritage Sites. Those places that belong to all the people of the world irrespective of their origin and territorial locations are declared as Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The rich Indian culture and traditions offer 35 such sites to the world that hold high importance. Here are a few of these sites you should definitely explore at least once.
Taj Mahal, Agra
Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Made of white marble the epic building was made by Shah Jahan in the memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. The building is estimated to cost around 32 million rupees and took 16 years to complete. A true representation of the Islamic and Mughal architecture, Taj Mahal witnesses lakhs of tourists every year. The beauty of this place accentuates in the moonlight and it is the best time to admire its glamor.
Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam
Located in the North East region of India, the Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary is the home to many endangered species of animal and plants, especially of Rhinoceros. The sanctuary is located in the plains of the Brahmaputra River and consists of grasslands, forests, and streams and lakes. The prime endangered species found in this sanctuary are Rhinoceros, hoolock gibbon, capped langur, tiger, sloth bear, leopard, Ganges dolphin, otter, wild boar, water buffalo, gaur, sambar, swamp deer, hog deer and Indian muntjac.
Ajanta Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
The Ajanta caves are dated back to 2nd century BCE to 650 CE and are some exquisite masterpieces of the era. They consist of 31 Buddhist rock-cut caves, monuments, and paintings. The place marks the inception of the Indian classical art which can be seen in the artistic illustration of the life of Buddha on the walls of the caves.
The Ellora caves are of great archaeological importance and are located in Aurangabad. The caves are dated back to 600 to 1000 AD and very beautifully represent the life of that time through the mesmerizing sculptures and the paintings on the walls. The paintings primarily relate to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Located on the Coromandel Coast of Bay of Bengal, the group of monuments includes The Pancha Rathas Temples, Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram, Ganesha Ratha, Structural Temples including the Shore Temple and the Descent of the Ganges and the Olakkannesvara Temple. The temples represent the Rath architecture of the Pallava rule which forms an integral part of Indian culture. It also comprises of the largest open-air-base-relief in the world.
Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh
The oldest stone structures of India, the Buddhist Monument at Sanchi are related to Emperor Ashoka. He commissioned the construction of this site in the 3rd century and thus the Sanchi Stupa came into existence. The stupa was renovated during the Satavahana Period. The stupa, monolithic pillars, tombs, and monasteries form the core of this monument and represent the great craftsmanship of ancient India.
Group of Monuments at Hampi, Karnataka
The Group of Monuments at Hampi, are the ruins of the kingdom of Vijayanagar which was renowned for its prosperity and splendor. The ruins are the exemplary art of the Dravidian Style and showcase the best architecture of the era. Narasimha, Ganesa, Hemakuta group of temples, Krishna temple complex, Achyutaraya temple complex, Vitthala temple complex, Pattabhirama temple complex, several puranas or bazaars surrounding the temple complex, and the living quarters and residential areas collectively form the Group of Monuments at Hampi.
Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
Located in the Kullu region of Himachal Pradesh, the Great Himalayan National Park is one of the most celebrated National Parks in India. It is spread over 754.4 Kilometers. The park owns the origin of many rivers from water melt or glacier melts to water. Blue sheep, snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan Tahr, musk deer spruces, horse chestnuts and huge alpine meadows are some of the rare species of animal and plants that are found in this park. The park homes more than 375 species of animals.
Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim
This national park was declared a World Heritage Site in 2016. It is located in the North-west region of the Himalayas in Sikkim, India. It is also known as Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve. The park has an elevation of 1829 m to 8500m from the sea level. It capacitates some of the best trekking routes in India and also Khangchendzonga peak which is the third highest peak in the world. The Flora and fauna of this park are mesmerizing. You can also spot the white snow leopard that is a very rare sight.
These are some of the rich heritage sites of India that represents the cultural, archeological and natural importance of our country. Which one of these have you been to?