There are many amazing heritage sites in India, ranging from areas of pristine natural beauty to ancient temples and monuments. They are one of the reasons why India continues to attract millions of visitors each year!
In total, you will find 37 different world heritage sites in India. They are sites that are officially recognised by UNESCO as having significant cultural, historic, or scientific value. These incredible locations are like nothing else on earth.
To help you learn more about the cultural heritage of India, this guide will share some of the “must see” heritage sites. They are awe-inspiring locations that are guaranteed to amaze.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a collection of ancient Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples located in Madhya Pradesh (approximately 175 kilometres southeast of Jhansi). The temples are one of the most popular UNESCO sites in India, with thousands of visitors arriving each day. You will find it on the itinerary of many heritage India tours.
The temples are UNESCO-listed for their unique architecture as well as the many paintings, carvings, and statues the site contains.
A great deal of the cultural heritage of India is religious in nature. There are hundreds of ancient temples located across the country, including the beautiful Ajanta Caves. Located in the AurangabadDistrict, Maharashtra State, Ajanta Caves is a series of ancient rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments. The earliest caves were constructed in the 2nd century BC, with many more caves added between 460 to 480 CE. There are some stunning caves to explore, filled with many intricate carvings and rock-cut sculptures.
If you enjoyed exploring the Ajanta Caves, you will also enjoy Ellora Caves. It is the largest rock-cut monastery temple cabe complex in India. It consists of dozens of caves, constructed between 600 to 1000 CE. The complex features monuments and artwork from the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religions. It is a deeply spiritual place that is surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape. The caves are located in the Aurangabaddistrict of Maharashtra.
Hampi is one of the most popular world heritage sites in India. Located in the south Indian state of Karnataka, it is a massive ruined temple complex that dates back to the Vijayanagara Empire. It is spread over 4,100 hectares and includes many beautiful buildings including the 7th-century Hindu Virupaksha Temple. UNESCO describes the Hampi as an austere and grandiose site of significant great cultural importance.
The Bhimbetka rock shelters are one of the oldest world heritage sites in India. Located in central India, Bhimbetka is a collection of rock shelters that were used by humans throughout the prehistoric paleolithic and mesolithic periods. Some of the earliest traces of human life have been found in the shelters including archaeological artifacts and cave drawings. It is one of the most awe inspiring UNESCO sites in India.
The Kaziranga National Park is a huge 430 km2 (170 sq mi) park located in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam. It is home to many different species of wildlife including the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros, Asiatic water buffalo, eastern swamp deer, elephants, gaur,sambar, and the Indian muntjac. Kaziranga National Park is a very popular destination that appears on most world heritage India tours.
Elephanta Caves is a collection of cave temples located on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour (about 10 kilometres from the city of Mumbai). Most of the temples are dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The caves have been hand cut from basalt rock over many centuries to create massive temples feature beautiful monuments and etchings.
FatehpurSikri is an ancient city located in northern India. Located to the west of Agra, west of Agra, FatehpurSikri was founded in the 16th-century by Emperor Akbar of the Mughalemperor. Most buildings in the city are ornately detailed and made from a beautiful red sandstone. Some of the most impressive buildings and monuments in the city include BulandDarwazagate,JamaMasjidmosque, the Tomb of SalimChishti, and JodhaBais Palace. Visiting the city is a wonderful experience that should not be missed.
The Valley of Flowers National Park is a stunning national park located in West Himalaya, Uttarakhand. The park is known for its vast meadows of endemicalpine flowers and diverse wildlife. Many rare animal species live in the park including the snow leopard, musk deer, red fox, and blue sheep. It is an important natural area that is listed in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
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