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World Heritage Sites in India: A Complete Guide

Would it surprise you to know that there are 36 World Heritage Sites in India that the nation boasts of? From concrete walls of the forts by the rivers to the lush green sanctuary roaring out the adventure that they hold for you, India is a handful when it comes to some splendid and glorious testimonies of its rich culture, traditions, and heritage.

Why don’t you become a part of this colorful and larger-than-life celebration that we call India?

Oh, it never stops. Isn’t that what you were searching for?

Let us open the gates of, if nothing, 33 of the greatest UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

Put your seatbelt on for this roller coaster ride through the goodness of India.

Monuments In Hampi, Karnataka – Glorifying The Dravidian Past

brown wooden bench on brown sand during daytime

Parul Gupta

Care to go back in time when the architectural art was at its peak? Care to check one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India off our list?

Well, then Hampi is your go-to place. Situated along the banks of river Tungabhadra the monuments in Hampi speak a million stories of religion, Dravidian glory, and mythologies. Reflect in the past of this former one of the most powerful and vigorous cities in the world.

Be that as it may, the monuments are quintessential in their own ways. The temples, military monuments, and masjids trace back to the eternal glory of the ever-popular Vijayanagar Empire. Get ready for a historic and significant time trip.

Check our Karnataka itinerary to get a glimpse of what this monumental place has on a platter for you.

Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh

agra fort castle palace mughal

sarangib

Are you a fan of some bloody good architecture? Brace yourself to get a glimpse of India’s Mughal past in one of the famous monuments of North India. Straddled along the river Yamuna, this strategically built colossal and lofty fort is one of the finest Mughal architectures.

Ready to marvel at this palatial red sandstone and white marble edifice? Did you know that some part of this colossal fort is occupied by the military and not open to the General Public? Yes, that’s true.

Come on, put your sun hats and your sneakers on for it is going to be one memorable ride.

Check our Golden Triangle India Tour for a one-way ticket to this spectacular heritage site in India.

Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh – A Wonder Among The Wonders!

taj mahal agra asia india

anubhavsharmajournalist

Is there any better testimony of love for one’s wife than the apparent 7th wonder of the world that we yearn for you to see? Taj Mahal in Agra is probably the grandest UNESCO World Heritage Site in India that Indian keep bragging about.

Furthermore, This white marble Indo-Islamic architectural marvel is the greatest epitome of love that glorifies the feelings. This mausoleum was built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz. As a matter of fact, legend has it that all the workers that helped build this got their arms cut off so that nothing like this could ever be made again.

We know, it’s a little scary. But then, the beauty of this best monument in India takes the cake!

Oh, don’t be shy!

Let your bizarre inner self out and pose like a maniac, maybe? Cameras are ready, aren’t they?

We promise it’s going to be super fun!

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh – Crushing All The Taboos

khajuraho vishwanatha temple unesco

sarangib

Wondering what’s so special about Khajuraho temples? Well, brace yourself for a shock. This isn’t your conventional Indian temple. It so much more than what meets the eyes.

Is the suspense building too much to handle?

Well, let us let you in on how spectacular the Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh are. Rightfully one of the best monuments in India, these temples smash societal taboos with their architecture. The erotic figures and Nagara style symbolism along with the finesse are aesthetically beautiful and speak volumes about the sexual take in life in the mythologies.

Be that as it may, The sensuous figures are the reflections of the rich cultural heritage of India. And breaking stereotypes is what we’re proud of.

You’ll love these temples and we’re not even exaggerating!

Bodh Gaya, Bihar – Where Peace And Contentment Find You!

a golden buddha statue sitting in front of a building

Vishwjeet Kumar

Time to get some break from the monotony and hustle of life, eh? There’s another world heritage site that calls out for you.

Are you in search for peace? Do you dream of discovering yourself?

Why not start with the one place where the embodiment of peace and contentment took birth. Yes, Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya. Appreciate the beauty of the spectacularly famous colossal Buddha statue. Check out some of the top Buddhist sites in India.

While you’re at it, why don’t you fall in love with the superior architecture of the Mahabodhi Temple?

Moreover, it being a UNESCO World Heritage Site gives you all the more reason not to miss out on this one.

Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam – Unleashing The Wild

Chirag Saini

Put your game face on for an adventure awaits you. Do you like the wilderness? Does the rawness of swampy grasslands in the lush greenery of nature entice you?

Furthermore, are you excited to witness the world famous one-horned rhino in the very famous UNESCO World Heritage Site?

As a matter of fact, it just gets better because Assam houses the same. So, you’ll be in for some really good time among the best of nature. Fancy an India wildlife safari tour? We have you covered here.

Moreover, if you plan on visiting the same anyway, why don’t you get yourself in touch with the vibrant Assamese cultures and traditions while you’re there.

Warning: You might not want to come back!

Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra – A Curious Deep End

sculptures of elephanta caves in mumbai

yash gautam

See what we have for you? If there was to be a list of famous monuments of India, this would top it all, hands down.

The Elephanta caves reigning the Elephanta islands in the quintessential Arabian Sea make up for one of the most breathtaking heritage sites in India. Dig deep within and you may find some archaeological remains if you’re lucky.

Only then will you be witnessing the evidence of India’s rich cultural past.

Furthermore, Get ready to be blown by these rock-cut caves carved with the images of Lord Shiva. They are so beautifully carved all through the stretch of these caves that you might want to click several pictures for the keeps.

Check out our Maharashtra destination page to get the glimpse of these gems in the rough. Also, explore famous caves in India.

Mountain Railways Of India – Tunnelling Through Wonders!

india shimla kalka railroad train

wreindl

Fancy wandering in the mountains? Amidst lovely breathtakingly beautiful trails while you bask in the essence of purity of nature?

As a matter of fact, Through tosses and turns will be your journey and you can’t really miss out on it, we insist. The winding turns while you enjoy the three UNESCO World Heritage sites of the mountain railways of India in Darjeeling, Nilgiris and Shimla-Kalka will seep into your bones with freshness and an odd sense of contentment.

Oh, they are called toy trains for a reason. You guessed it right. The delight that these quintessential trains give you while you enjoy a ride on them is incomparable and thus, the title is justified. Don’t you think? Guess what is really the cherry on top of the cake?

To our delight, these trains pass through a long-long series of tunnels.

Well, the suspense and the eerie temporary darkness only to end up getting out to say hello to a mind-blowing view of the hills and valleys are justified. In all honesty, yes they are! Care to experience the Shimla-Kalka railway tour? Our Himachal destination page will help you!

Victorian And Art Deco Ensemble Of Mumbai – Appreciating Art At Its Best!

mumbai bombs gateway to india india

Walkerssk

Alright, this one is the latest to be crowned with the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yes, this year only. Time for some art-loving in here, isn’t it? The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble so effortlessly blends Indian designs with Art – Deco Imagery.

If you’re here you’ll get to see how Mumbai has transformed within the 19th and 20th centuries. From Buildings, balconies, and terraces to the workspaces, you’ll get to witness it all in every sense Victorian and artistic.

Art fanatics, are you listening?

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Formerly Victoria Terminus)

illuminated historical building on night street

हर्षल 

Make yourself ready to see all things Victorian Gothic through your eyes. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one bombshell of an edifice reeking of old-world charm.

The Victorian Gothic architecture blended with a few traditional themes comes off as a treat to the eyes. Built by a British this architectural wonder stands robust and proudly in the city where life doesn’t stop for anyone.

All the commercial and trade activities take place through this terminus.

Moreover, it will literally enchant you if you happen to stumble upon its well-lit evening image. Yes, we’re not even exaggerating!

The Great Living Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu – Bringing Out The Spirituality At Its Best

tower temple sculpture thanjavur

prasanna_devadas

Would you like it we take you back in the era of the Chola Dynasty in south India?
The splendid architecture of the three temples built by Chola emperors will leave you stunned and speechless.

Tthe Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram have stood proudly through the ravages of time and it’s only right to fall in love with their aura.

The Dravidian graphite architecture will blow your mind and leave you with an odd sense of peace after praying to the gods and goddesses. Our Tamil Nadu destination page will bring you a step closer to these heritage wonders.

Qutub Minar And Its Monuments, Delhi – The Eternal Mughal Glory

close up shot of qutub minar

Laura Barragán

Qutub Minar and its monuments, Delhi – The eternal Mughal glory
Saunter into a splendid Mughal complex that takes pride in being one Of the best heritage sites in India. Do you want to know what all this complex has in store for you?

As a matter of fact, there is the mighty tall Qutub Minar that unabashedly brags about its gorgeous Indo-Islamic architecture, the mosques, and the Alai Darwaza gate concerned in intricacies to charm you into believing that you have just been through the doors of heaven.

The mosques are believed to be built by the material obtained after the demolition of 27 Hindu temples. Well, that’s provocative. Be that as it may, this five-storied tall edifice and the complex that it resides in will make you believe in the eternal glory of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

We insist you go through our Golden Triangle India Tour With Wildlife to make this possible.

Fatehpur Sikri, Agra – A Complex In All Its Glory

a large courtyard with a building in the background

Pankaj Singh

Do you appreciate art? Fatehpur Sikri is the epitome of royalty, history, and art. Get ready to be blown by the enormous Buland Darwaza that will steal your breath with its godforsaken beauty and intricacies. The steps to the door give a feeling of being never-ending. But that’s the beauty of it.

Fatehpur Sikri is a colossal complex of the fort where the Mughal emperors lived. The red sandstone Indo-Islamic architecture is one of a kind.

Don’t believe us? You will.
Furthermore, the tomb of Salim Chishti is the star attraction of Fatehpur city.
You think that was all to it?

As a matter of fact, the fun quotient remains. Take a Tuk rides outside and appreciate the India that you see on your tour to witness the world heritage sites in India.

Red Fort Complex, Delhi – The Crimson Reign

mughal architecture delhi monument

SDQT

Manages directly by the archaeological survey of India is the quintessential Red Fort in the heart of Delhi.

Brimming with the history of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and echoing stories of the past, this red sandstone edifice reflects the best of Indo-Islamic, Timurid, Hindu, and Persian architectural designs. There’s a reason why it’s one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Reeking of the heritage of India, this fort is enormously beautiful and of substance.

Be that as it may, you can’t miss out on this one if you happen to tumble in Delhi. Delhi is proud of it.

Sun Temple, Orissa – The Shining Wonder

konark sun temple odisha

Indrakaul

Ready to hit one of the seven wonders of India on your world heritage sites tour? Furthermore, the Sun temple in Orissa will enchant you with its crimson glory and chariot of the Sun.

Be sure to check out Black Pagoda. Can you believe that the entire temple is in the shape of a chariot moved by seven horses?

Is your mind blown, already? Moreover, Kalinga architecture grandiosity leaks from every nook and cranny of this grand and spiritual UNESCO World Heritage Site in India. As a matter of fact, its beauty dates back to the 13th century.

Well, we can say it ages like fine wine. Isn’t it?

Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh – An Enlightenment To Witness

brown concrete building under blue sky during daytime

Ameena Tasneem

46 kilometers from Bhopal is an age-old spiritual enigma dating back to the 3rd century.

Any guesses? Well, Sanchi stupa is one colossal stupa that has a lot of spirituality attached to it. Marvel at the balustrade and get aware of the relics of the Buddha beneath it.

As a matter of fact, Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment right here.

Furthermore, While you’re taking a walk in its complex, make sure to check out other palaces, temples and strikingly beautiful monolithic pillars.

Also, the intricacy with which Ye Dharma Hetu inscriptions are present on the stupa is totally exceptional and charming.

Be that as it may, A sudden sense of peace will wash over you. We’re not even kidding! It’s the truth. Check out some of the top must visit stupas in India post to get more detailed information.

Group Of Temples At Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu –Architecture Superiority Right In Front

brown temple under blue and white skies


Ragu Clicks

Put your game face on. You’re about to embark on a transformational historical journey. Wondering how? The group of temples at Mahabalipuram will effortlessly show you how grand and spiritual our history was. The architecture of these temples reflects stories from Hindu Mythology.

Isn’t that intriguing? It’s the Pallava dynasty architecture that does it all. Perk?

As a matter of fact, you will get to witness India’s largest open-air rock relief here. Furthermore, The chariots will steal the show. And if that wasn’t enough, the cave temples will send you to a state of enchantment. Ready for it? We are!

Check our Tamil Nadu itinerary to breathe around these historical wonders

Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal – The Bong Adventure

green trees during daytime

Sabbir Rahaman

The UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India do not limit themselves just to the forts, palaces, and temples.

There’s a wild side to them as well!

Surprisingly enough, Sundarbans National Park has unabashedly sought its place in the list. Brace yourself to witness the ever-famous Bengal tigers in here. The roaring of the bold tigers will send you in a frenzy. Don’t worry, we’re there for you.

Moreover, it’ll be an insult to the Saltwater crocodiles and Gangetic dolphins if you don’t meet them. Ready to bring out your inner animal lover? Acknowledge your wild side and maybe just maybe you’ll have the time of your life in here.

Check out some of the best wildlife adventure tours in India.

Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat – The Splendour Of God

a statue of a woman with a bird on her shoulder

Tirth Engineer

Further in the list is the famous Rani ki Vav. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is so intriguing.

Wondering why?
As a matter of fact, it is built like an inverted temple with seven levels of wells.

And if that wasn’t enough, there are sculptures of 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The corridors, stone carving and the mysterious steps to the wells will unleash your brain into a thought spree. The ancient architecture sticking to the roots of India is what makes it a quintessential heritage site. Gujarat feels proud to be home to this wonder.

Our Gujarat itinerary will take you to Patan where colours will mesmerise you. Oh and by the way, don’t forget to take the very famous silk sarees as souvenirs from Patan.

Ellora Caves, Maharashtra – Winding Deep In The Magic


a large stone building with columns and a doorway


Setu Chhaya

Maharashtra is never shy of flaunting some of the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

The Ellora caves are a one-hit wonder and stand as the epitome of incredible rock-cut architecture. Your tour here just won’t seem to end for there are 34 rock-cut temples and caves. In fact, we promise that the long hours of seeping Into the depths of their beauty would be worth it.

The Temples are Jain, Hindu, and Buddhist in nature and yet so unified that they reflect a perfect amalgamation of sweet secularism. Put your game face on for you’ll be entering the dark caves carved out of hills brimming with the thrill of a lifetime.

Nalanda University, Bihar – Where Education Meets Art

a grassy area with a bunch of bricks in it


srihari kapu

How about walking around a university which was the epitome of spirituality in the olden days? Find out the archaeological remains of the same in the complex of Nalanda University.

The stupas and shrines in their remains will tell you volumes about the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site in India.

Did you know it was the first residential university in the world where scholars from all over the globe came to learn about the Vedas?

Isn’t that something?
Buddhism flourished at its peak here and we’re sure you’d love to see how. This place is a gem in the rough.

Care to see for yourself?

Great Himalayan National Park

tirthan valley

riderhippies

This list takes you places. We have started believing this now. Venture into the arms of one of the biggest National Parks in India. Located in Kullu, the great Himalayan national park cocooned in the laps of the Himalayas takes pride in being home to the glacier melts and tributaries of the River Indus.

Some 375 exotic species of flora and fauna will welcome you with a warm hug. Can it be any more interesting?

Take a walk along the trails and lush greenery while you marvel at the beauty of nature. Did you know that it is a part of the Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspots?

Well, we think that is enough proof for the plethora of species and natural beauty that you will be encountering here.

The silver peaks just add to the charm of the place. You really have got to check this off your travel list.

Hill Forts Of Rajasthan – The Mightiest Of All

a large stone structure in a valley


Lenstravelier

Furthermore, your quest to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India will remain incomplete if you miss out on the six loftiest forts of Rajasthan.

Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amber Fort, and Jaisalmer Fort are the epitome of strength and boldness. Wrapped inside the protection of the Aravalli hills, these forts with their high ramparts, majestic walls and extremely intricate carvings on the wall smash all the stereotypes related to Indian Heritage.

Moreover, royalty and valor drip from their nooks and corners. Guess what? You’ll have a true blue movie-like experience while you’re here because a lot of Bollywood and Hollywood movies have been shot in here.

It’s as if an entire city exists within the colossal walls of these forts.

The bazaars and the traditional folk music played within totally steal the show. To get hands-on experience, check out our Rajasthan tour itinerary. You’ll love every bit of it.

Rock Shelters Of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh –Going Back To The Roots

a bench sitting in the middle of a cave


Aru Jain

Do you fancy knowing about the roots of Indian civilisation? Does history call you?
Then the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka would be the perfect destination to quench that thirst.

These UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India are famous for reflecting the past in all its rawness. Furthermore, The rock painting and the inscriptions dating back to the good old Stone Age serve as a treat to the eye and history-thirsty minds.

With the Vindhya range in the background, these bizarre rocks stand out proudly telling stories of the lives of early men and hunters.

Strangely enough, Here’s where you witness the perfect blend of art and nature. You sure you’re ready?

Nanda Devi And The Valley Of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand – Colours Out And Popping!

nanda devi raj jat festival mountain

siddhartha76

Imagine witnessing a miles-long bed sheet of flowers popping out in every color humanly possible.

Would it not be exotic? Moreover, It’ll be like a cherry on top of the cake if this happens in the largest peak of India. Well, quite literally it’ll be a cherry on top.

The valley of flowers in Uttarakhand will give you the luxury of drowning in the color of more than 600 species of flowers.

The fauna couldn’t have just watched itself losing to flora. So, it came up with over 530 species of animals frolicking in the safety of nature.

Snow leopards and brown bears with blue sheep will grace your welcome.

This one going to be as exotic as it can get. Hike up, already!

Capitol Complex, Chandigarh – Modernism At Its Best!

brown and white building near trees during daytime

Dollar Gill

The world-renowned architect Le Corbusier graced Chandigarh with his artistic persona by designing the Capitol complex.

If elegance and class are what pure looking for in the UNESCO World Heritage Sores, this is it.

Housing the legislative assembly of Punjab and Haryana, this grand edifice is one of its kind. This is where the modern meets the art. Are you excited to see us for yourself?
Our Punjab itinerary will definitely help you.

The City Of Ahmedabad – Yes, It Takes Everything Grand!

interior of jama mosque in ahmedabad india

Sonika Agarwal

Walk into the streets of the majestic and historical city of Ahmedabad.

What makes it even more special is it’s being the first city in India to be a part of the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
This secular city at the banks of river Sabarmati boasts of grounded and bizarre narrow streets and traditionally rich and raw houses.

The essence of the blend of rural and urban is well evident in this ever-developing city in Gujarat. Go look at our Gujarat Itinerary if you want to drown in the awesomeness of Ahmedabad

Kumbh Mela – A Rare Meteor Of Fun!

man sitting on street holding prayer beads

Paras Jain

Let’s move on to something different, shall we?
Kumbh Mela is the answer to it all.

This religiously vibrant and pompous festival that happens every 12 years in one single place has been declared as the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Wondering what are the cities that welcome it with open arms? Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik, and Ujjain are graced by this colossal festive in every three years in an order.

Be a part of the swarming devotees while you indulge in some praying, eating, and shopping! Yes, you heard it right.

This festival brings so much to the table than just some traditions and cultures. It’s a way of life. Our Uttar Pradesh destination page will let you in on everything about this celebration. Go look at it already!

Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim – Another Wild Addition

flowing water


Siddhartha

Let’s wander to the North East part of India. Moreover, the very mention of this part is enough to have goosebumps owing to its breathtaking beauty.

The Khangchendzonga National Park will give you the luxury to follow its trails and trek all the with Kanchenjunga peak in the Background. The third-highest peak in the world in Sikkim steals the show, undoubtedly.

If you’re lucky you’ll sight a snow leopard. At all costs, keeping your cameras ready for Sikkim is nothing short of magic.

In fact, the wilderness with an essence of beauty is just what makes it unforgettable.

Western Ghats –The Hottest Biodiversity Hotspot

green trees under white clouds

Smaran Alva

Stretched along the western coast, the western ghats run along the Deccan plateau. Time to drown in some Southern charm.

With so many wildlife sanctuaries, forest reserves, and national parks gracing its existence, the western ghats boast of lush and fresh verdure of nature. Bring out your inner wildling while you check out the endless ranges of flora and fauna all through the western ghats.

And if that wasn’t pleasing enough, it has some of the rare and endangered species under its protection.

The Western Ghats are a safe haven.

Churches And Convents Of Goa – The Divine Glory

a large white building with a clock tower in the background

KUSHAGRA DHALL

Be it a baroque form of art or gothic and Victorian architecture, the churches and convents in Goa take pride in being the epitome of them all. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Rome of the Orient and St. Catherine’s Chapel are to name a few.

Moreover the mannerist and the Manueline art forms also enhance the elegance of these edifices which were built by the Portuguese with the advent of Christianity in India.

The stunning glasswork and decorated glass ceilings will leave you stunned. Be that as it may, these UNESCO World Heritage sites are well-deserving sites on the list owing to their timeless beauty. Our Goa destination page will take you deep into their magic.

Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi –The Mughal Heritage

humayuns tomb tourism landmark

NanduVasudevan

Walk into the complex of Humayun’s tomb built by his wife in his memory.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site brims with tombs and other edifices reflecting the time when Mughal emperors ruled over India.

The red sandstone Islamic architecture is quintessential housing different monuments. The spectacular pavilion stands out owing To its grandiosity.

Are you a history buff? This place will undoubtedly make you never want to leave. Furthermore, you ought to hit your shutters.

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