India was considered as one of the most advanced country in the world . The country has marvelous constructions, monuments and best example of advanced technology in the past. India has also preserved these monuments very well. UNESCO has also described and declared these monuments / historical places as “World Heritage Sites”.
There are currently 30 world heritage sites in India declared and identified by UNESCO. Government of India recently submitted other heritage sites to get identified by UNESCO. We have compiled here list of Top 10 World Heritage Sites in India with their images. Complete listing at UNESCO official website can be found here.
Top 10 World Heritage Sites in India
1. Taj Mahal, Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
I think Taj Mahal didn’t requires introduction to anyone. Taj Mahal is the most popular tourist destination in India. It is located in the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh. It draws millions of visitors every year. It is the masterpiece built by Shahjahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz. Its design is based on Mughal Architecture. Taj Mahal construction was started in 1632 and completed around 1653. Experts have said it could be in danger of collapsing within five years.
2. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
Humayun’s Tomb is one of the oldest tomb of any imperial in India. It is situated in Delhi state, the heart of India. The construction was started in 1565 and completed in 1572. Its design is also based on Mughal style. Main architect of the building was Mirak Mirza Ghiyath. Humayun’s Tomb was declared as World Heritage Site in 1993.
3. Qutub Minar/Monuments, Delhi
Qutub Minar is the tallest minaret in India. It was declared as World heritage site of India in 1993. Qutub Minar was constructed using marble and sandstone. There are also so many other monuments near Qutub Minar which compiles as Qutub Complex.
4. Red Fort, Delhi
Red Fort is one of the oldest fort in India. It is also known as Lal Qila / Lal Qil’ah. Red Fort was built up by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Ustad Ahmad, the architect of Red Fort constructed it with mughal style. It was declared as world heritage site monument in 2007.
5. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
The Ajanta Caves is one of the oldest caves in India. It is located in the district of Aurangabad of Maharashtra state. It was announced as world heritage site by UNESCO in 1983. It is also one of the best ancient place in Maharashtra state for tourist to be visited.
6. Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
Ellora Caves is one of the oldest caves in India. It is situated near the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra state. It was declared as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. There are three religious caves are there i.e. Buddhist – 12 caves, Hindu – 17 caves and Jain – 5 caves.
7. Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
Elephanta Caves is also one of the most popular heritage site in India. It is located in the Mumbai harbour’s elephanta Island. UNESCO has identified this caves as World Heritage Site in 1987. It is weekend getaway for local people.
8. Sun Temple, Konarak, Puri, Odisha (Orissa)
Konark Sun Temple is the most popular tourist destination in Odisha. It has been featured in Seven Wonders of India by the Times of India and NDTV. It attracts thousands of tourists every year. Sun Temple is one of the most visited place in Odisha in numbers of tourists.
9. Mahabodhi Temple, Bodh Gaya, Bihar
Mahabodhi Temple is one of the most popular tourist destination in Bihar. It is also one of the oldest religious place in Bihar. It is located in Bodh Gaya in Bihar state. It has been declared as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
10. Hampi Monuments, Bellary (Karnataka)
Hampi is one of the most important tourist place in India which is located in the state of Karnataka. There are lots of monuments within the village of Hampi.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and other responsible authority is not promoting these world heritage properties in India. They can develop these properties by raising funds. Opening tickets counters, charging fees from tourists and other options are best to raise funds. ASI should also try to make people aware about historical sites. They should prepare PPT and give presentations at educational institutes.
Update: In Union Budget 2015-16, the Finance Minister, Government of India promised to develop world heritage sites to boost tourism.
Have you visited any of the Top 10 World Heritage Sites in India during your visit to the place?
Article last re-published on March 1, 2015.