Here is a brief description of all the UNESCO World Heritage sites we are planning to visit-
1. Agra Fort
Built in Red sandstone by Emperor Shahjahan, it is amongst the finest examples of Mughal Architecture. Situated on the banks of the Yamuna, its majesty is a sight to behold.
2. Taj Mahal
One of the Seven Wonders of the World. This Marble mausoleum, on the banks of the Yamuna, is considered the greatest symbol of undying love.
3 .Fatehpur Sikri
The City of victory’ was built by Akbar as a capital for the Mughal Empire. Consisting of numerous palaces and mosques it also includes the Buland Darwaza, the highest gateway in the World
4. Qutb Minar and its monuments
Built in the beginning of the 13th century, the complex of structures comprises various buildings with the magnificent sandstone tower- Qutb Minar at its center.
5. Humayun’s Tomb
This tomb of Emperor Humayun, built in 1570, was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal.
6. Red Fort Complex
The site of the Prime Minister’s address on Independence day, the Red fort is an architectural marvel made of red sandstone. Situated in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Old Delhi, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.
7. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
The site of Sanchi comprises a group of Buddhist monuments (monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries) and is considered to be the oldest Buddhist Sanctuary in the world.
8. Khajuraho Group of Monuments
The temples of Khajuraho are a rare combination of Hindu and Jain Temple Architecture. The main temple of Kandariya is decorated with a profusion of sculptures that are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.
9. Rock shelters of Bhimbetka
Bhimbetka reflects a long interaction between people and the landscape. It consists of five clusters of natural rock shelters, displaying paintings that appear to date from the Mesolithic Period right through to the historical period.
10. Ajanta Caves
The Budhist cave monuments at Ajanta are richly decorated with paintings and frescoes. There are 31 rock-cut cave monuments which are unique representations of the religious art of Buddhism.
11. Ellora caves
The caves of Ellora are the perfect culmination of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain architecture. The caves, with their uninterrupted sequence of from 600 to 1,000 monuments, bring to life again the civilization of ancient India and the religious unity that existed in those days.
12. Elephanta Caves
The ‘City of Caves’, on an island in the Sea of Oman close to Bombay, contains a collection of rock art linked to the cult of Lord Shiva. Here, Indian art has found one of its most perfect expressions, particularly the hug, high reliefs in the main cave.
13. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
The CST, in Mumbai, is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture in India, as British architects worked with Indian craftsmen to include Indian architectural tradition and idioms thus forging a new style unique to Bombay. And yes, it is one of the busiest railway stations in India!
14. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya
Revered and sanctified as the place where Lord Buddha was enlightened, it is one of the four holy sites related to the life of Buddha. It has been the ultimate temple for reverential worship, over the last several centuries, by Buddhists , from all over the world who visit on pilgrimage.
15. Sun Temple, Konark
On the shores of the Bay of Bengal, bathed in the rays of the rising sun, the temple at Konarak is a monumental representation of the sun god Surya’s chariot with a set of spokes and elaborate carvings. It was considered the epitome site for the worship of Surya (the Sun).
16. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
A concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties cradled in an impressive landscape which includes prehistoric sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat.
17. Great Living Chola Temples
The Great Living Chola Temples, built by kings of the Chola Empire are stretched over all of Tamil Nadu. The temples testify to the brilliant achievements of the Chola in architecture, sculpture, painting and bronze casting.
18. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, in Tamilnadu, about 58 km from Chennai, were built by the Pallava kings in the 7th and 8th centuries. The temple town has approximately forty monuments, including the largest open-air bas-relief in the world.
19. Churches and Convents of Goa
The churches and convents of Goa, the former capital of the Portuguese Indies – particularly the Church of Bom Jesus, which contains the tomb of St Francis-Xavier – illustrate the spread of Christian Church Architecture in Goa.
20. Group monuments at Hampi
The austere, grandiose site of Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Massive temples and palaces abound in Hampi. These are exemplary example of Hindu Dravidian Temple architecture of the Vijayanagar Empire.
21. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
Pattadakal, in Karnataka, represents the high point of an eclectic art which, in the 7th and 8th centuries under the Chalukya dynasty, achieved a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India.
22. Jantar Mantar
The Jantar Mantar, in Jaipur, is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. It includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments. Designed for the observation of astronomical positions with the naked eye, they embody several architectural and instrumental innovations.
23. Keoladeo National Park
The site, situated in eastern Rajasthan is one of the major wintering areas for large numbers of aquatic birds from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia. Some 364 species of birds, including the rare Siberian crane, have been recorded in the park.
24. Kaziranga National Park
The site on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra River, is one of the last areas in eastern India undisturbed by a human presence. It is inhabited by the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses, as well as many mammals, including tigers, elephants, panthers and bears, and thousands of birds.
25. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
On a gentle slope in the foothills of the Himalayas, where wooded hills give way to alluvial grasslands and tropical forests, the Manas sanctuary is home to a great variety of wildlife, including many endangered species, such as the tiger, pygmy hog, Indian rhinoceros and Indian elephant.
26. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
Nestled high in West Himalaya, Valley of Flowers National Park is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty. It is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. The gentle landscape of the area also complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park.
27. Sundarbans National Park – West Bengal
It contains the world’s largest area of mangrove forests. A number of rare or endangered species live in the park, including the Royal Bengal tigers, aquatic mammals, birds and reptiles.
28. Mountain Railways of India
- The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway(1881)
- The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (1908)
- The Kalka Shimla Railway (1898).
They are considered as outstanding examples of bold, ingenious engineering solutions for the problem of establishing an effective rail link through a rugged, mountainous terrain.