TOP 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of India 2021
There are more than 100 UNESCO World heritage sites in India alone. Every year UNESCO adds some more sites to its list which are of cultural and historical importance, here in this article I will try to find out the significance of these places and why they have been chosen by UNESCO.
When it comes to India we shall first start with none other than the “seven wonders of the world” that not only attract millions of people around the globe but is a major source of revenue for the Indian Government.
UNESCO(United Nation Education for School and Cultural Organisation) is a body of the United Nation working from around 1946 and headquartered at GENEVA.
12. MANAS, (ASSAM)
TAJ MAHAL (UTTAR PRADESH), INDIA
Being the most valuable monument from INDIA’s point of view. It was built by Mughal Emperor SHAH JAHAN in memory of his beloved wife MUMTAZ MAHAL. The work started in 1631 and was finished in 1653. It is built at AGRA on the banks of river Yamuna. The mausoleum was designed by USTAD ISHA and it is made of pure white marble. The main structure is constructed on a high platform. On each of the four corners of this platform, there is a minaret. The central dome rises to a height of 56.1 meters. The interior dome has an octagonal chamber, the marble dome in the centre looks like an inverted lotus. The grave is in the lower chamber underground.
THE JAMA MASJID, (DELHI)
One of the biggest and oldest mosque in Indian history. Built by SHAH JAHAN (1650-1656). Its courtyard has the capacity to accommodate more than thousands of people at a time. It is built on a lofty basement with majestic flights of steps leading to the imposing gateways on three sites of the courtyard. The face of its spacious prayer hall consists of eleven arches of which the central arches rise far above the roof wall. It not only attracts the Muslim community of INDIA but also other sections of society.
THE RED FORT, (DELHI)
It was built by SHAH JAHAN after he decided to shift his capital to DELHI. Construction started in 1639 and was completed in 1648 AD on the banks of the Yamuna. Red sandstone and marble were used in the construction. The fort measures 930 meters by 495 meters has massive walls. There are two gateways. The Western gateway is known as the Lahori Gate. This gate was used for the emperor’s ceremonial purposes. Among the many impressive buildings in the complex are Diwani- i- Aam and the Diwani-i-Khaas. The Diwani- i- Khaas is a lavishly ornamented hall where the Peacock Throne was placed. The hall was used by the emperor to give an audience to the princes of the royal family, nobles, and other important dignitaries. Aurangzeb later built the MOTI MASJID in the RED FORT. It is made of pure white marble. The RED FORT is an important historical monument. Many historical events are connected with this fort. The Prime Minister of India unfurls the National Flag from its ramparts on Independence Day (August 15) every year.
HUMAYUN’s TOMB, (DELHI)
Humayun’s Tomb is an important landmark in the development of the Mughal style of architecture. Built under the auspices of Humayun’s wife Hamida Banu Begum, it was the first building of Akbar’s reign. A Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas designed the tomb, but it was built by Indian artisans and craftsmen. The main building stands on an 8.5 m high platform and has archways on its sides. The bulbous marble dome is slightly curved. Its structure is considered the precursor of the TAJ MAHAL.
The city of Fatehpur Sikri is located at a distance of around 40 km from Agra. According to a legend, Emperor Akbar, who did not have a male heir, was delighted when his son was born to him after he made a visit to Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti. To commemorate this event he decided to name his son Salim and to build a perfect city in the honor of the Saint.
Fatehpur Sikri was built to symbolize the power of Akbar’s empire, to represent the meaning of Allah’s message to mankind, and to display the wonders of the Islamic faith. Completed in 1578, Fatehpur Sikri has a great palace where Akbar’s court functioned for few years until the shortage of water caused the city to be abandoned. Other grand monuments in Fatehpur Sikri are Panch Mahal, the Buland Darwaza, a mosque dedicated to Salim Chisti, the tomb of Sufi Saint Salim Chisti, a prayer hall for the new religion called Din-i-Illahi started by Akbar, halls of public and private audience, the Diwan-Aam and Diwan-i-Khaas, Jodha Bai’s palace and Raja Birbal’s House. The monuments at Fatehpur Sikri are the best examples of Indo-Islamic art as they show influences from Hindu and Jain architecture along with Islamic elements.
QUTUB MINAR (DELHI)
It began to be built in AD 1199. It was started by Qutub- Ud-Din –Aibak and was dedicated to the Sufi Saint, Qutub-ud-din Bakhtiyar Kaki, who was greatly venerated by the people of Delhi. The structure was completed only in 1230 by Iltutmish. Its special features are a height of 71.4 m with five storeys. The tower was damaged by lightning in 1369, and in the course of repairs and renovations, Feroz Shah Tughluq raised its height. Verses from the Holy Quran and some intricate carvings, floral motifs are inscribed on this tower.
SANCHI STUPA, (MADHYA PRADESH)
The stupa is a semi-spherical solid dome-like structure made of unburnt bricks and stones. The Buddhist stupa has a special significance. It represents the spiritual body of Buddha containing his relics such as hair, teeth, bones.
Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan. Founded by Sawai Raja Jai Singh and got its name from the founder. The city is adorned with beautiful palaces, forts and the interior decoration on its walls is worth watching. It was recently added to the UNESCO world heritage site in the year 2020.
AJANTA & ELLORA CAVES, AURANGABAD (MAHARASHTRA)
Built around at the time of Gupta Rulers. It is very significant from a Buddhist point of view as it contains carvings and dwellings of Buddha’s life past.
NALANDA UNIVERSITY NALANDA, (BIHAR)
It was the most renowned institute of ancient India. Located at Nalanda in Rajgriha in Bihar. It was originally set up by Sakraditya in the 5th century AD during the reign of Kumaragupta -1, A lot of information is given in the accounts of Hiuen Tsang and in the inscriptions.
KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK, (ASSAM)
It is a National Park situated at Kaziranga Jorhat, Assam. It is famous for one-horned rhinoceros around the globe.
It is located at Assam as its name signifies it is the tributary of the Brahmaputra which flows in Assam, it is famous for its various species found in this biodiverse region.
JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK, (UTTARAKHAND)
The national park is located around 150 km away from the capital of state Dehradun. It is famous for its various species especially tigers and Elephants found in this region. One of the biggest National Parks of India.
BRIHADESHWARA TEMPLE, THANJAVUR (TAMIL NADU)
IRON PILLAR, (DELHI)
It was built by the Gupta Rulers and as its name suggests it is constructed all through Iron and it is a matter of amazement that the pillar is not rusted yet.
According to the writer, these are the top 15 Unesco World Heritage sites in India, If you have any suggestions or want to edit this list please contact us.
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