India, one the most culturally and historically rich countries of the world has so much to see and explore. It has seen the earliest civilisations of the world and also been ruled by various dynasties time and again which sets it apart on the global map in terms of its architecture and heritage. It inculcates various architectural styles of utmost importance and with stunning work. UNESCO identifies and demarcates World Heritage sites on basis of its cultural, historical or scientific significance and preserves them. India now has 38 World Heritage Sites making it the sixth largest in the number of heritage sites in the world!

Here are 15 UNESCO heritage Cultural sites in India

1. Ellora Caves, Maharashtra

Listed Year: 1983

These caves are the finest examples of rock cut architecture in India. It is a blend of Hindu, Jain and

Buddhist arts. These are situate in Aurangabad , the city of 12 gates. The paintings inside the caves are ravishing and a source of inspiration and study for many. They date back to 600 to 1000 AD.

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Ellora Caves, Maharashtra ©Wikipedia
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Ellora Caves, Maharashtra ©Wikipedia
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Ellora Caves, Maharashtra ©Sree is Travelling

2. Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha

Listed Year: 1984

This temple in Konark is an ode to the sun god and is built in the shape of a chariot held by seven horses. The carvings on the temple structure are immensely intricate and detailed and the temple is a site to behold at especially for the heritage enthusiasts. It dates back to 13th century.

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Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha ©Wikipedia
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Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha ©Wikipedia

3. Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Listed Year: 1989

The Sanchi Stupa is one of the oldest and the most beautiful piece of Buddhist architecture. The group of Buddhist monuments at Sanchi consist of, monasteries, monolithic Ashokan pillar, Stupas, temples, sculptural wealth and other Buddhist monuments.

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Sanchi Stupa ©Wikipedia
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4. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Listed Year: 2010

It is described as one of the most significant and best-preserved historic observatories of India.It has a collection of different astronomical instruments and the largest stone sundial of the world.

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Jantar Mantar ©Dreamstime
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Jantar Mantar ©Pinterest
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Jantar Mantar ©Flickr

5. Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra

Listed Year: 1987

Situated near Mumbai, these are a set temple caves dedicated to lord Shiva. The exhibit an extraordinary blend of Hindu and Buddhist rock cuts architecture.

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Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra ©Medium
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Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra ©Pinterest
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Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra ©Flickr
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Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra ©Tripoto

6. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Maharashtra

Listed Year: 2004

It stands proudly as an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India blended with themes deriving from Indian Gothic architecture. It was formerly known as Victoria Terminus celebrates the Indian Railways.

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus ©Pinterest
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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus ©Pinterest
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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus ©Pinterest

7. The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai

Listed Year: 2018

It is collection of the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco buildings along the Oval ground. The site bears a testimony to the modernization witnessed by the city during the 19th and 20th centuries.The colours , balconies and verandahs are most striking features.

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The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai ©Pinterest
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The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai ©Pinterest
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The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai ©Pinterest

8. The Pink City – Jaipur

Listed Year: 2019

Built by Raja Jai Singh, the city has grid planning from Vedic architecture. It ensembles Forts, Monuments, Palaces, Art and Craft, Culture, Astrological significance and so much more depicting the Hindu and Mughal architectural styles in the most stunning way.

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The Pink City ©Pinterest
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The Pink City ©Pinterest

9. Taj Mahal, Agra

Listed Year: 1983

The most renowned heritage site of India, the Taj Mahal resides on the banks of heavenly Yamuna river. The structure exemplifies the beauty of the white marble, the most intricate and beautiful carvings and all the Islamic architecture elements holding it together. It was built by emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is a must visit monument to look for peace, tranquillity and elegance.

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Taj Mahal ©Pinterest
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10. Churches and Convents of Goa

Listed Year: 1986

These consist of the most famous churches and convents which include the Basilica of Bom Jesus,Sé Cathedral of Goa,Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Chapel of Santa Catarina, Ruins of the Church of St. Augustine, and Church of Divine Providence.

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11. Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat

Listed Year: 2014

It is a stepwell divided in seven levels and is a marvellous example of Maru-Gurjara architectural style. It is built as an inverted temple and has numerous mythological sculptures with utmost intricacy.

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Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat ©Twitter
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Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat ©Twitter
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Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat ©Travel Quest
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Rani Ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat ©Sahapedia

12. Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh

Listed Year: 1986

This city was built by emperor Akbar and houses various notable monuments like the Buland Darwaza, the largest gateway of India, Jama Masjid ,Diwan-e aam,Diwan-e-khas, Panch Mahal and many more. It was a properly planned settlement built in the Mughal architectural style.

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13. Hampi, Karnataka

Listed Year: 1986

The site preserves the ruins of the Vijaynagara empire of Karnataka, spread over an area of 4100 hectares and consist of sacred complexes, riverside features, forts, temples, mandapas, shrines, memorial structures, water structures, pillared halls, and many others of Hindu architectural style.

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Hampi ©Trip Advisor
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Hampi ©Trip Advisor
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Hampi ©Trip Advisor
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Hampi ©Trip Advisor

14. Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University), Bihar

Listed Year: 2016

It stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.

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Nalanda Mahavihara ©Pinterest
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Nalanda Mahavihara ©Pinterest
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15. Mountain Railways of India

Listed Year: 1999, 2005, 2008

The listed railways are Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, and the Kalka–Shimla Railway. They have been stated as for being “outstanding examples of bold, ingenious engineering solutions for the problem of establishing an effective rail link through a rugged, mountainous terrain”

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Sakshi Agrawal
Author

Sakshi Agrawal, a thorough enthusiast and an architecture student, she has a fascination for exploring the diverse Indian art, culture, food, people and places and their relationship with the architecture of a space. She is happy go lucky, fond of reading, sketching and a lot of coffee.

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