Our heritage is the legacy that we inherit from the past, shapes our present, and is vital for future generations. It encompasses our cultural and natural history, which are invaluable sources of inspiration and sustenance. To safeguard these precious legacies, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) endeavors to promote the recognition, conservation, and protection of cultural and natural heritage sites worldwide. This effort is enshrined in the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, an international agreement established by UNESCO in 1972.
How does UNESCO Identify World Heritage Sites?
To identify potential World Heritage sites, UNESCO relies on recommendations from governments, NGOs, and other stakeholders. Sites must meet one or more of ten criteria, which includes being of exceptional beauty or universal value, having significant historical or cultural importance, or being an outstanding example of human interaction with the natural environment.
How are World Heritage Sites Protected?
Once a site is recognized as a World Heritage site, it is added to the World Heritage List, and the host country is responsible for its protection and preservation. The site must adhere to a set of international standards to ensure that it is conserved for future generations. UNESCO provides technical assistance to countries to help them meet these standards and maintain the integrity of the site.
What is the Importance of UNESCO’s World Heritage Mission?
UNESCO’s World Heritage mission is essential because it helps to preserve our shared cultural and natural heritage. These sites are a testament to the creativity, ingenuity, and resilience of humanity, and they are an important source of inspiration and learning. By preserving these sites, we ensure that future generations can learn from the past and appreciate the diversity of human culture and nature.
Discovering India’s World Heritage Sites
Tentative list of India’s World Heritage Sites
In addition to sites inscribed on the World Heritage List, member states can maintain a list of tentative sites that they may consider for nomination. Nominations for the World Heritage List are only accepted if the site was previously listed on the tentative list. As of 2022, India lists 52 properties on its tentative list.
|Temples at Bishnupur, West Bengal||West Bengal|
|Mattancherry Palace, Ernakulam, Kerala||Kerala|
|Group of Monuments at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh||Madhya Pradesh|
|Ancient Buddhist Site, Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh||Uttar Pradesh|
|Sri Harimandir Sahib, Amritsar, Punjab||Punjab|
|River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam||Assam|
|Namdapha National Park||Arunachal Pradesh|
|Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch||Gujarat|
|Neora Valley National Park||West Bengal|
|Desert National Park||Rajasthan|
|Silk Road Sites in India||Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh|
|The Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs, Charminar||Telangana|
|Mughal Gardens in Kashmir||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Delhi – A Heritage City||Delhi|
|Monuments and Forts of the Deccan Sultanate||Karnataka, Telangana|
|Cellular Jail, Andaman Islands||Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
|Iconic Saree Weaving Clusters of India||Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Assam|
|Apatani Cultural Landscape||Arunachal Pradesh|
|Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam||Tamil Nadu|
|Monuments of Srirangapatna Island Town||Karnataka|
|Padmanabhapuram Palace||Tamil Nadu|
|Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala||Karnataka|
|Sites of Saytagrah, India’s non-violent freedom movement||several sites|
|Thembang Fortified Village||Arunachal Pradesh|
|Narcondam Island||Andaman and Nicobar Islands|
|Moidams – the Mound-Burial system of the Ahom Dynasty||Assam|
|Ekamra Kshetra – The Temple City, Bhubaneswar||Odisha|
|The Neolithic Settlement of Burzahom||Jammu and Kashmir|
|Archaeological remains of a Harappa Port-Town, Lothal||Gujarat|
|Mountain Railways of India (Extension)||Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh|
|Chettinad, Village Clusters of the Tamil Merchants||Tamil Nadu|
|Bahá’í House of Worship at New Delhi||Delhi|
|Evolution of Temple Architecture – Aihole-Badami-Pattadakal||Karnataka|
|Cold Desert Cultural Landscape of India||Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh|
|Sites along the Uttarapath, Badshahi Sadak, Sadak-e-Azam, Grand Trunk Road||several sites|
|Keibul Lamjao Conservation Area||Manipur|
|Garo Hills Conservation Area (GHCA)||Meghalaya|
|The historic ensemble of Orchha||Madhya Pradesh|
|Iconic Riverfront of the Historic City of Varanasi||Uttar Pradesh|
|Temples of Kanchipuram||Tamil Nadu|
|Hire Benakal, Megalithic Site||Karnataka|
|Bhedaghat–Lametaghat in Narmada Valley||Madhya Pradesh|
|Satpura Tiger Reserve||Madhya Pradesh|
|Serial Nomination of Maratha Military Architecture in Maharashtra||Maharashtra|
|Geoglyphs of Konkan Region of India||Maharashtra, Goa|
|Jingkieng jri: Living Root Bridge Cultural Landscapes||Meghalaya|
|Sri Veerabhadra Temple and Monolithic Bull (Nandi), Lepakshi (The Vijayanagara Sculpture and Painting Art Tradition)||Andhra Pradesh|
|Sun Temple, Modhera and its adjoining monuments||Gujarat|
|Vadnagar – A multi-layered Historic town, Gujarat||Gujarat|
|Rock-cut Sculptures and Reliefs of the Unakoti, Unakoti Range, Unakoti District||Tripura|