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World Heritage Sites in India
India is blessed with a rich cultural heritage - thereby finding its name on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites more often.
AJANTA CAVES Ajanta Caves
The first Buddhist cave monuments at Ajanta date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. The paintings and sculptures of Ajanta, considered masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, have had a considerable artistic influence.
ELLORA CAVES Ellora Caves
These 34 monasteries and temples, extending over more than 2 kms, were dug side by side in the wall of a high basalt cliff, not far from Aurangabad, in Maharashtra . Ellora, with its uninterrupted sequence of monuments dating from A.D. 600 to 1000, brings the civilization of ancient India to life.
AGRA FORTAgra Fort
Near the gardens of the Taj Mahal stands the important 16th century Mughal monument known as the Red Fort of Agra. This powerful fortress of red sandstone encompasses, within its 2.5 kms long enclosure walls, the imperial city of the Mughal rulers. It comprises many fairy-tale palaces, such as the Jahangir Palace and the Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan.
TAJ MAHAL Taj Mahal
Built by a grief stricken Emperor Shah Jehan as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal. It took 20 thousand men nearly 22 years to build the mausoleum and the finest of skilled artisans were brought in to inlay the white marble edifice with precious stones and to conjure filigreed marble screens around the centaphs of the emperor and his beloved queen.
SUN TEMPLE Sun Temple
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; its 24 wheels are decorated with symbolic designs and a team of six horses leads it. Built in the 13th century, it is one of India 's most famous Brahman sanctuaries.
MONUMENTS OF MAHABALIPURAM Mahabalipuram
This group of sanctuaries, founded by the Pallava kings, was carved out of rock along the Coromandel Coast in the 7th and 8th centuries. It is known especially for its rathas (temples in the form of chariots), mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous 'Descent of the Ganges,' and the temple of Rivage, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.
KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK Kaziranga National Park
In the heart of Assam, this park 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.
MANAS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY 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.
KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK Keoladeo National Park
This former duck-hunting reserve of the Maharajas 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.
CHURCHES & CONVENTS OF GOA Churches in 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 evangelization of Asia. These monuments were influential in spreading forms of Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art in all the countries of Asia where missions were established.
KHAJURAHO TEMPLESKhajuraho
The temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandella dynasty, which reached its apogee between 950 and 1050. Only about 20 temples remain; they fall into three distinct groups and belong to two different religions - Hinduism and Jainism. They strike a perfect balance between architecture and sculpture.
MONUMENTS OF HAMPI Hampi
The austere, grandiose site of Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Its fabulously rich princes built Dravidian temples and palaces that won the admiration of travelers between the 14th and 16th centuries. Conquered by the Deccan Muslim confederacy in 1565, the city was pillaged over a period of six months before being abandoned.
FATEHPUR SIKRI Fatehpur Sikri
Built during the second half of the 16th century by Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for some 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India , the Jama Masjid.
BUDDHIST MONUMENTS Buddhist Monuments
On a hill overlooking the plain and about 40 kms from Bhopal, the site of Sanchi comprises a group of Buddhist monuments (monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries) all in different states of conservation, most of which date back to the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. It is the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence and was a major Buddhist center in India until the 12th century A.D.
QUTAB MINARQutab Minar
In 1199, Qutab Minar was raised as victory tower by Qutbuddin Aibak. From a base of 14.32 mt it tapers to 2.75 mt at a height of 72.5 mt. stood the highest stone tower in India. The Qutab Minar ushered in the new Indo-Islamic style of architecture, which was a fusion of the Indian and Mughal styles.
DARJEEELING HIMALAYAN RAILWAYDarjeeling Himalayan Railway
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is the first, and still the most outstanding, example of a hill passenger railway. Opened in 1881, it applied bold, ingenious engineering solutions to the problem of establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain of great beauty. It is still fully operational and retains most of its original features.
MAHABODHI TEMPLE COMPLEX Mahabodhi Temple Complex
The Mahabodhi Temple Complex is one of the four holy sites related to the life of the Lord Buddha, and particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment. Emperor Asoka built the first temple in the 3rd century B.C., and the present temple dates from the 5th or 6th centuries. It is one of the earliest Buddhist temples built entirely in brick, still standing in India, from the late Gupta period.
ROCK SHELTERS OF BHIMBETKA Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka are in the foothills of the Vindhyan Mountains on the southern edge of the central Indian plateau. Within massive sandstone outcrops, above comparatively dense forest, are five clusters of natural rock shelters, displaying paintings that appear to date from the Mesolithic Period right through the historical period.
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