unesco world heritage sites in india

40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India Beautiful MAP

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A total of 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are found in India. In this article, we will have a look at all of these UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Starting with 32 Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites, then the 7 Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and at last Mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In August 2021, UNESCO has declared the Harappan city of Dholavira situated in Gujarat as India’s 40th world heritage site.

Dholavira is the first site of Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) in India to be included on the UNESCO world heritage site list.

Table of Contents

unesco world heritage sites in india cultural

Agra Fort-1983
Ajanta Caves-1983
Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar-2016
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi-1989
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park-2004
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)-2004
Churches and Convents of Goa-1986
Dholavira: a Harappan City-2021
Elephanta Caves-1987
Ellora Caves-1983
Fatehpur Sikri-1986
Great Living Chola Temples-1987,2004
Group of Monuments at Hampi-1986
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram-1984
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal-1987
Hill Forts of Rajasthan-2013
Historic City of Ahmadabad-2017
Humayun's Tomb, Delhi-1993
Jaipur City, Rajasthan-2019
Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana-2021
Khajuraho Group of Monuments-1986
Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya-2002
Mountain Railways of India-1999,2005,2008
Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi-1993
Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat-2014
Red Fort Complex-2007
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka-2003
Sun Temple, Konârak-1984
Taj Mahal-1983
The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier-2016
The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur-2010
Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai-2018

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India Natural

Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area-2014
Kaziranga National Park-1985
Keoladeo National Park-1985
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary-1985
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks-1988,2005
Sundarbans National Park-1987
Western Ghats-2012

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India Mixed

Khangchendzonga National Park2016

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India Cultural

Dholavira 2021

  • Discovered by archaeologist Jagat Pati Joshi in 1968.
  • An exceptional and well-preserved ancient urban settlements.
  • Located in Kachchh District, of Gujarat, on Khadir bet island in the Kachchh Desert Wildlife Sanctuary in the Great Rann of Kachchh.
  • Dholavira is located at such location that Tropic of Cancer crosses it.
  • Harappan towns were normally built near to the rivers and perennial sources of water, but Dholavira is on the island of Khadir bet. Its unique location facilitated internal as well as external trade especially to the Magan (modern Oman peninsula)and Mesopotamian regions.
  • After Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Rakhigarhi, Ganweriwala, Dholavira holds the position of the fifth largest settlement of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC).
  • Dholavira consisted of: 
    • walled city, 
    • a castle,  
    • cemetery 
    • two seasonal streams and 
    • houses on different levels indicating a social hierarchy.
  • Dholavira shows three-stage settlements – the citadel, middle town & lower town – depicts the social hierarchy that prevailed there. Castle was for an important personality, while the middle town had rich merchants and the lower town housed the common people.
  • A series of reservoirs are found to the east and south of the Citadel, this showcase the efficient water management system of Dholavira.

Agra Fort (1983)

  • located near the Taj Mahal is the 16th-century Mughal monument, the Red Fort of Agra.
  • Fortress of red sandstone was the imperial city of the Mughal rulers.
  • Consists of Jahangir Palace and Khas Mahal, built by Shah Jahan; and beautiful audience halls, like the Diwan-i-Khas.

Ajanta Caves (1983)

  • The Buddhist caves here date from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.
  • Some of the masterpieces of Buddhist religious art.

Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar (2016)

  • Location: Bihar.
  • The archaeological site of Monastic and Scholastic institutions dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE.
  • Stupas, shrines, viharas along with artworks in stucco, stone and metal.
  • Nalanda holds the title of the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent.
  • It had a legacy of transmission of knowledge that prevailed for over 800 years.

Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)

  • It holds the distinction of being the oldest Buddhist sanctuary in existence.
  • It was a major Buddhist spot in India until the 12th century A.D.
  • Monolithic pillars, palaces, temples and monasteries remains are found here.
unesco world heritage sites
unesco world heritage sites

Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujrat (2004)

  • It is a Prehistoric site belonging to the chalcolithic phase
  • This area was the capital of the state of Gujarat. Now it is a hill fortress with archaeological remains.
  • Palaces, religious buildings, residential precincts, agricultural structures and water installations, belonging to the 8th to 14th centuries.
  • The Kalika Mata Temple, located at the top of Pavagadh Hill, is considered an important temple that attracts pilgrims all year round.
  • This site is the only remaining complete and unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal city.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (2004)

  • Maharashtra India
  • It is an example of Victorian Gothic Revival architecture, mixed with themes from Indian traditional architecture. 
  • Work of British architect F. W. Stevens.
  • Took over 10 years in making, starting in 1878. 
  • The remarkable stone dome, turrets and pointed arches depict the traditional Indian palace architecture.

Churches and Convents- Goa (1986)

  • The churches and convents of Goa point towards the commencement of Evangelisation in Asia, especially the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
  • The Basilica of Bom Jesus also consists of the tomb of St. Francis Xavier.
  • The former capital of the Portuguese Indies, about 10 km east of the state capital Panjim.
  • Profound example of the work of missionaries in Asia.
  • Followed the architectural styles of Europe, adapted to native conditions through the use of local materials and artefacts.
  • These buildings were developed in Indo-Portuguese style during Portuguese control over the area, that lasted for 450 years until 1961.

Elephanta Caves (1987)

  • Located on the island of Gharapuri (Elephanta Island) in the Sea of Oman, close to Mumbai.
  • Collection of rock arts related to the Shaivite cult.
  • A symbol of the vastness of Indian art, particularly the huge high reliefs in the main cave.
  • Constructed in the mid-5th to 6th centuries AD.
  •  the great Cave 1 is the most important, it measures 39 metres from the front entrance to the back.
  • This cave closely resembles Dumar Lena cave at Ellora.
  • The seven-metre-high “Sadashiva” stand tall at the entrance to Cave 1.
  • This sculpture depicts three aspects of Shiva: 
    • the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer, represented by:
      • Aghora or Bhairava ( the left half of figure), 
      • Taptapurusha or Mahadeva (the central full face of figure),
      • Vamadeva or Uma (the right half of the figure).
  • Nataraja, Yogishvara, Andhakasuravadha, Ardhanarishwara, Kalyanasundaramurti, Gangadharamurti, and Ravanaanugrahamurti are some of the masterpieces found here.

Ellora Caves

  • The tremendous 34 caves at Ellora at the Charanandri hills, Maharashtra depicts the spirit of co-existence and religious tolerance in architectural activities of that time. Three prominent religions architecture is found here
  • The rock-cut process was executed in three phases from the 6th century to the 12th century.
  • The earliest caves No- 1–12, excavated between the 5th & 8th centuries, displays the Mahayana philosophy of Buddhism.
  • The Brahmanical caves No- 13–29, including the world-famous Kailasa temple at cave no-16, was excavated between the 7th & 10th centuries.
  • The last phase of Caves belonging to the 9th and 12th centuries (caves 30–34) reflects Jaina philosophy.

Fatehpur Sikri (1986)

  • Built by Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri or ‘The City of Victory,’ was the capital of the Mughal empire for a brief period.
  • It contains various monuments and temples, including one of the largest mosques of India- the Jama Masjid.
  • It was constructed between 1571 and 1573.
  • Fatehpur Sikri was the first planned city of the Mughals marked by 
    • magnificent administrative, residential, and religious buildings.
  • Later the capital was shifted to Lahore in 1585, Fatehpur Sikri remained a key area for the visits by the Mughal emperors.
  • The Fatehpur Sikri is bounded on three sides by a wall 6 km long. It is fortified by towers and has nine gates.
  • The Fatehpur Sikri city was originally rectangular in plan, having a grid pattern of roads. It also featured efficient drainage and water management system.
  • The Jama Masjid is located in the centre of this city.
  • Red sandstone with little use of marble is the major building material used here.

The Great Living Chola Temples Thanjavur (1987, 2004)

  • The great Cholas set up a powerful monarchy in 9th CE in an area in and around Thanjavur.
  • Their rule lasted for four and a half centuries with various achievements, especially in architecture.
  • There are three remarkable living temples, 
    • Brihadisvara at Thanjavur
    • Brihadisvara at Gangaikondacholapuram
    • Airavatesvara at Darasuram.
  • The Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram was built by Rajendra the First in 1035 and features a vimana (sanctum tower) of 53m
  • the Airavatesvara Temple was built by Rajaraja the Second, features a vimana (sanctum tower) of 24m.
  • These temple complexes form a unique group, demonstrating the development of Chola architecture.
world heritage sites in india
world heritage sites in india

Group of Monuments- Hampi (1986)

  • Hampi was the last capital of the Vijaynagar kingdom.
  • Dravidian temples and palaces here were built during the rule of Vijaynagar empire between the 14th and 16th centuries.
  • In 1565, the city was captured by Deccan Muslim Confederacy and pillaged for 6 months, before being abandoned
  • The site of Hampi mainly has the remnants of the Capital City of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • It is an area located in the Tungabhadra river basin in the Bellary District of Central Karnataka.
  • The breathtaking landscape of Hampi is dominated by the Tungabhadra River, rocky mountain ranges and wide open plains with remnants of material remains..
  • The sophistication of the vibrant kingdom is evident from the more than 1600 surviving architectures that include forts, riverside features, royal and sacred complexes, many temples & shrines having pillared halls, mandapas, memorial structures, gateways, There are also defence check posts, stables, water structures, etc.
  • Name of few extraordinary architectures of Hampi site are: 
    • Krishna temple complex,
    • Narasimha, Ganesa, Hemakuta group of temples, 
    • Achyutaraya temple complex,
    • Vitthala temple complex,
    • Pattabhirama temple complex, 
    • Lotus Mahal complex.
  • Dravidian architecture flourished under the Vijayanagara kingdom and its ultimate forms are represented by massive dimensions, cloistered enclosures, and lofty towers over the entrances encased by decorated pillars.
  • The Vitthla Temple is the most unique ornate structure in the area and the pinnacle of the Vijayanagara Temple architecture.
  • Vijayanagara architecture is also adopted some of the elements of Indo-Islamic Architecture in their secular buildings for example the Queen’s Bath and the Elephant Stables, depicting a highly evolved multi-religious and multi-ethnic society.

Group of Monuments in Mahabalipuram (1984)

  • Mahabalipuram (or Mamallapuram) Founded by Pallava kings in the 7th and 8th centuries these monuments are located along the Coromandel coast.
  • These temples have intricate and unique architectural styles represented in the form of-
    • rathas – the temples in the shape of chariots, 
    • mandapas – the cave sanctuaries 
    • Huge open-air reliefs such as ‘Descent of the Ganges.’
  • Shore temple, with huge amount of sculptures attributed to the glory of Shiva is found here.

Group of Monuments – Pattadakal (1987)

  • Pattadakal situated in Karnataka presents a unique blend of architectural forms of both North and South India.
  • Constructed by the Chalukya dynasty during the 7th and 8th centuries.
  • It contains nine Hindu temples as well as a Jain sanctuary.
  • A masterpiece – Temple of Virupaksha, built-in c.740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate the victory of her husband is present here.

Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)

  • This Hill forts includes 6 beautiful forts of the Rajasthan
    • Chittorgarh, 
    • Kumbhalgarh, 
    • Sawai Madhopur, 
    • Jaisalmer, 
    • Jaipur
    • Jhalawar.
  • Magnificent and stalwart forts showcase the lifestyle and nature of the Rajput rule on this land from the 8th to 18th centuries.
  • Enclosed inside the defensive walls of these forts are major urban centres, palaces, trading centres and various buildings including temples.
  • These Temples developed an elaborate courtly culture that supported learning, music and the arts.
  • These forts used the natural defences form offered by the landscape present here: the hills, deserts, rivers, and dense forests.
  • They also exhibit an extensive water harvesting system, largely still in use today.

Historic City of Ahmedabad (2017)

  • Situated on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river.
  • It was founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century. 
  • Served as the capital of Gujarat for centuries.
  • This heritage embodies religious buildings along with the rich domestic wooden architecture: 
    • The “Havelis”  
    • “pols”- gated main streets,
    • Khadkis-inner entrances to the pols
  • The timber-based architecture of old Ahmedabad city is an exceptional and most unique aspect of this heritage.
  • Site exhibit a harmonious existence of diverse religions on this land, showcased by its architecture that includes the famous Bhadra citadel along with various mosques, tombs and numerous Hindu and Jain temples.

Humayun’s Tomb of Delhi (1993)

  • Humayun’s Tomb was built in the 1560s, by the great Emperor Akbar (Humayun’s son) 
  • This is the first garden tomb built in India.
  • It was the inspiration for several architectural innovations, including the Miracle, Taj Mahal.
  • Persian and Indian craftsmen constructed this garden tomb, 
  • It was far grander than any tomb built before in the Islamic world.
  • It is an example of the char bagh Style architecture – a four-quadrant garden with the four rivers of Quranic paradise represented with pools joined by channels.
  • The structure is made of red sandstone with white and black marble borders.
  • Humayun’s garden-tomb is also known as the ‘dormitory of the Mughals‘ as in the cells are buried over 150 Mughal family members.
  • The tomb stands in an extremely significant archaeological setting, centred at the Shrine of the 14th century Sufi Saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.
  • Since it is considered auspicious to be buried near a saint’s grave, seven centuries of tomb building has led to the area becoming the densest ensemble of medieval Islamic buildings in India.

Jaipur City (2019)

  • Jaipur was founded in 1727 AD by the then Kachwaha Rajput ruler of Amber, Raja Sawai Jai Singh II
  • The capital city of Rajasthan.
  • The Jaipur was developed on the plains and built based on a grid plan interpreted with knowledge of Vedic architecture.
  • Jaipur’s urban planning is a mix of ideas from ancient Hindu and modern Mughal as well as Western cultures.
  • It was designed as commercial capital, and the city has maintained the streak of its local commercial, artisanal and cooperative traditions to this day.
  • The famous monuments of the city include the Govind Dev temple, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal etc.
  • Jaipur becomes the 2nd city of India after Ahmedabad to get the recognition of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
world heritage sites
world heritage sites

Khajuraho Monuments (1986)

  • The Khajuraho temples were built during the reign of the Chandella dynasty, reaching their peak between 950 and 1050.
  • The Khajuraho group of temples is the culmination of northern Indian temple art and architecture of the Chandella dynasty.
  • Distributed over an area of 6 square km in a picturesque landscape, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments are rare surviving examples that show the originality and high quality of Nagara-style temple architecture.
  • The Khajuraho Group of Monuments are regarded as the pinnacle of temple architectural development in northern India.
  • Built-in sandstone, the temples are profusely carved with motifs depicting sacred and secular themes.
  • Sculptures depicting acts of worship, minor clans and deities, and united couples, reflecting sacred belief systems.
  • Other themes depicting social life include home scenes, teachers and students, dancers and musicians, and couples in love.
  • The composition and finesse give the stone surfaces of the Khajuraho temples a rare vibrancy, an example of master craftsmanship
  • Only 20 temples remain, belonging to -Hinduism and Jainism, including the famous Temple of Kandariya decorated with intricately and beautifully carved sculptures.

Mahabodhi Temple Complex – Bodh Gaya (2002)

  • The present Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya dates back to the 5th or 6th centuries, However, This Temple Complex in Bodh Gaya was built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century B.C.
  • One of the earliest Buddhist temples built with brick entirely. 
  • Considered to be one of the four sacred places linked with the life of Gautama Buddha.
  • Sites are attached to the life of the Buddha, particularly to the attainment of Enlightenment.
  • Mahabodhi Temple Complex comprises the 50 m high grand Temple, the Vajrasana, sacred Bodhi Tree and other six sacred sites related to Buddha’s enlightenment, surrounded by numerous ancient Votive stupas.
  • The seventh sacred place, the Lotus Pond, is outside this enclosure to the south.

Mountain Railways of India (1999, 2005, 2008)

This site includes three railways, All three railways are still fully operational.

  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railways
    • The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway was the first example of a hill passenger railway. Started in 1881, its design includes bold and ingenious engineering solutions for establishing an effective rail link across mountainous terrain.
  • Nilgiri Mountain Railways 
    • It is a 46-km long metre-gauge single-track. Located in Tamil Nadu. It was first proposed in 1854, but due to its difficult location, the work was started in 1891 and was completed in 1908.
  • Kalka Shimla Railways
    • A 96-km long, single-track rail link was built in the mid-19th century. It provides service to the highland town of Shimla, an example of the technical and material efforts to mobilise mountain populations through the railway.

Qutub Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)

  • It was built in red sandstone at the beginning of the 13th century, in Delhi.
  • Qutub Minar is 72.5 m high, having diameters of 14.32 m and 2.75 m at its base and peak respectively.
  • The surrounding archaeological area has funerary buildings, including the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art that was built in 1311, and two mosques, which includes the Quwwatu’l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials obtained from about 20 Brahman temples.

Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014)

  • It is situated on the banks of the Saraswati river, It was built as a memorial to a king.
  • Stepwells have been constructed in the Indian subcontinent since the 3rd millennium B.C.
  • This stepwell represents the Maru-Gurjara architectural style
  • It is designed in the form of an inverted temple to emphasize the sanctity of water and is endowed with more than a thousand sculptures. 

Red Fort Complex (2007)

  • The complex of Red Fort was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – it was the new capital of the 5th Mughal Emperor of India, the Shah Jahan.
  • Got its name from massive enclosing walls of red sandstone. It is adjacent to another older fort, the Salimgarh, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546, together they form the Red Fort Complex.
  • The private apartments inside the complex consist of a row of pavilions that are connected by a continuous water channel, known as the Nahr-i-Behisht (Stream of Paradise).
  • The Red Fort is considered to be an example of the zenith of Mughal creativity.
  • The architectural elements here are typical of a Mughal building. It reflects a fusion of Persian, Timurid and Hindu traditions
  • The Red Fort’s planning and architectural forms, including the garden design, strongly influenced the later buildings and gardens built in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra etc.

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)

  • Located in the foothills of the Vindhya range, on the southern boundary of the central Indian plateau.
  • These natural rock shelters contain paintings that date back to the Mesolithic, and other periods succeeding it.
  • These rock shelters show the lifestyle of the earliest humans that lived in the Indian subcontinent. 
  • The cultural practices of the inhabitants in the surrounding areas are similar to those displayed in these rock paintings.

Sun Temple, Konarak (1984)

  • The Sun Temple at Konarak, located on the eastern shores of India.
  • It is an outstanding testimony to the 13th-century kingdom of Orissa and a monument of Surya, the Sun God.
  • The Sun Temple is the zenith of Kalingan temple architecture.
  • A masterpiece, the temple flaunts a chariot of the Sun God, with twelve pairs of wheels drawn by seven horses moving across the heavens.
  • On the north and south sides of the temple are 24 carved wheels, each about 3 m in diameter, as well as symbolic motifs representing the cycle of the seasons and the months.

Taj Mahal 1983

  • An immense mausoleum of white marble in Agra.
  • Built between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is located on the banks of the Yamuna River.
  • The Taj Mahal is the ultimate jewel of Muslim art in India and is a universally admired masterpiece of the world’s heritage.
  • The Taj Mahal is a completely symmetrical building.
  • The mosque and guest house of the complex are built of red sandstone in contrast to the central marble mausoleum.
  • The four free-standing minarets at the corners of the platform add dimension to the Mughal architecture.

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier (2016)

  • This transnational serial property has 17 sites spread across 7 countries Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, India, Japan, and Switzerland.
  • It is a new architectural form that made a break with the past.
  • These sites were built for a half-century, in the course of what Le Corbusier described as “patient research“.
  • These sites represent ideals of the Modern movement and are considered as a response to fundamental issues of architecture and society in the 20th century.
  • some of the sites included in this property are:
    • Complexe du Capitole of Chandigarh, 
    • The Museum of Western Art of Tokyo 
    • House of Dr Curutchet of La Plata in Argentina. 
    • Unite habitation of Marseille in France.

The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)

  • Built at the beginning of the 18th century, Jantar Mantar is established to observe astronomical positions with the naked eye. 
  • A set of 20 instruments are installed here to make an accurate observation.
  • Jantar Mantar is a manifestation of astronomical knowledge and skills of people dating back to the Mughal times.
  • It is the most significant, comprehensive and well preserved India’s historic observatory.

Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018)

  • It includes a collection of buildings designed in a Victorian NeoGothic style belonging to the 19th century and the Art Deco style of the 20th century.
  • Both these architectural styles are mixed with Indian architectural elements to create this architecture. 
  • For example- The buildings created in Victorian Neo-Gothic styles are endowed with balconies and verandas. 
  • The Indo- Deco term represents the style that evolved by merging Indian elements to Art Deco imagery and architecture.
National Parks in Himachal pradesh
National Parks in Himachal pradesh

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India Natural

Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)

Great Himalayan National Park

  • located in the Kullu region in Himachal Pradesh.
  • GHNP is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • This National park is at the junction of the world’s two major faunal regions:
    • the oriental (Indomalayan) to the south 
    • Palaearctic to the north.
  • the upper mountain glacial and snow meltwater is the source of several rivers and the catchment area of various rivers whose water supplies are vital to millions of downstream users.
  • The glacial and snow meltwater in the upper mountains of the Park is a source of various headwater tributaries to the River Beas:
    • Sainj, Jiwa Nal and Tirthan Rivers -westerly flowing 
    • Parvati River flowing north-westerly
  • the Great Himalayan National Park have preserved the forests and alpine meadows of the Himalayas ranges which are sustaining a unique biota comprised of many distinct high altitude-sensitive ecosystems.
  • The rugged topography and inaccessibility of the park along with its location inside a much larger ecological complex of protected areas surrounding it have ensured its integrity.
  • The temperate forest flora-fauna of the Great Himalayan National Park is considered the westernmost extension of the Sino-Japanese Region.
  • The high elevation mountains in the park with a height up to 4100 meters house a diversity of zones with have their representative flora and fauna which include alpine, glacial, temperate, and subtropical forests.
Orang National Park
Orang National Park

Kaziranga National Park (1985)

  • Kaziranga National Park in the north-eastern region of India Covering 429.96 Sq. Km. area and located in the State of Assam represents one of the last unmodified natural areas.
  • The Kaziranga National Park has one of the highest densities of tigers in India and has been declared a Tiger Reserve since 2007. (Learn About all 51 Tiger Reserves in India with Map)
  • Kaziranga National Park area is the single largest and undisturbed area lying in the Brahmaputra Valley floodplain. 
  • The meandering of the Brahmaputra River creates spectacular examples of riverine and fluvial lands in this vast area. 
  • This area comprises wet alluvial tall grassland, scattered with a large number of broad shallow pools fringed with vegetation patches of deciduous to semi-evergreen woodlands.
  • Riverbank erosion by the Brahmaputra river results in sedimentation and formation of new lands as well as new water-bodies
  • Succession between grasslands and woodlands in these newly formed sedimented lands represents outstanding examples of significant, continuous and dynamic ecological and biological processes. 
  • Two-thirds of the Kaziranga National Park area is under Wet alluvial grasslands which are maintained by annual flooding and burning.
National park in rajasthan

Keoladeo National Park (1985)


  • 29 sq. Km


  • Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.
  • UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Birds paradise.
  • It is a man-made wetland area. The earlier ruler of this area Suraj Mal flooded this area by building Ajan bund, and water from nearby rivers Banganga and Gambhir were fed into this area having lowland topography.
  • The Keoladeo National park contains 10 artificial lagoons.

Flora and Fauna

  • It is recognised as one of the world’s most important breeding areas for birds.
  • One of the most famous bird species visiting this area in the winter season is the critically endangered Siberian Crane.
  • Other species found here are- cranes, pelican, Eagles, Flycatchers, Demoiselle cranes, falcons, jackals, chital, Nilgai, hyenas, porcupine etc.
  • The vegetation of this wetland is mostly Kadam, babul, kair, ber etc.
Orang National Park
Orang National Park

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)

  • Manas National Park is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in the bhabar area of western Assam.
  • It spans the Manas river and is joined on the north by the Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan.
  • Manas National Park have six national and international designations
    • World Heritage Site UNESCO
    • National Park
    • Tiger Reserve
    • Elephant Reserve 
    • Important Bird Area
  • Manas National Park provides the highest legal protection to its species under the strong legislative framework of the provisions of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and Indian Forest Act, 1927/Assam Forest Regulation 1891.
  • History
  • Manas was initially a game reserve since 1928
  • Manas became a Tiger Reserve in 1974 (Learn About all 51 Tiger Reserves in India with Map)
  • Manas became a World Heritage Site in 1985,
  • It became Biosphere Reserve in 1989.
  • Manas was declared as a National Park in 1990 with an area of 500 sq. km.
  • Manas is also the core area of the Chirang Ripu Elephant Reserve(Learn About all 32 Elephants Reserves in India with Map)
  • Geography
  • To the North of the Manas National Park is the international border of Bhutan created by the imposing Bhutan hills.
  • Manas National Park spreads on either side of the majestic Manas river, the tumultuous river flows down the mountains in the backdrop of hills covered with forests coupled with the alluvial grasslands and tropical evergreen forests.
  • The monsoon and river system in the Manas National Park forms four principal geological habitats:
    • Bhabar savannah
    • Terai tract
    • marshlands 
    • riverine tracts
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988, 2005)

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

  • Surface: 6407.03 Sq. Km.
  • Core area(s): 712.12 Sq. Km.
  • Buffer zone(s): 5148.57 Sq. Km.
  • Transition zone(s): 546.34 Sq. Km.
  • Designation date by UNESCO: 2004 
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve dispersed across three districts of Uttarakhand viz. Chamoli, Pithoragarh, and Bageshwar.
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in the Himalayan Mountains is located in the northern part of the country.
  • There are two core zones in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, namely Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flower National Park. Both these National Parks are also designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve has remained more or less intact because of its inaccessibility.  
  • The snow-clad peaks in reserve with over 30 glaciers, charismatic animals and birds, and deep and vast valleys make the reserve unique. Meadows and rivers and the culture of the native communities make the Biosphere Reserve unique.
  • The Valley of Flowers National Park inside the Nanda Devi biosphere reserve is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty.  
  • The biosphere reserve is a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and the Great Himalayas.
  • These National Parks contain the catchment area of Alaknanda River and its tributaries, including Rishi Ganga, Dhauli Ganga, Pushwapati, and Khir Ganga. 
  • Lots of peaks line along the northern boundary of the core zone of the Nanda Devi National Park, which includes 
    • Nanda Devi East (7434 m), Trishul (7120 m), Dunagiri (7066 m), Kalanka (6934 m), Changbang (6864 m) and Nanda Ghungti (6368 m). 
    • Nanda Devi West Peak (7817 m) is within Nanda Devi National Park.
  • The area has an extensive altitudinal range (1,800 to 7,817 m) that is dominant with the peak of Nanda Devi. The unique topography, climate, soil, and biogeographical location of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve gives rise to diverse habitats. Unique communities and ecosystems and many ecologically and economically important species are part of this reserve.
  • The diverse topography of this area leads to distinctive micro-climates. The forest composition shows a change across the altitudinal gradient, starting from dry deciduous woods in the lower elevations to alpine meadows above the wood line.
  • The alpine vegetation of the reserve majorly comprises herbaceous species and scrub communities such as Rhododendron campanulatum, R. anthopogon, and Salix denticulata.
  • The percentage of native and endemic species is high in comparison to non-native species in reserve.

Sundarban National Park (1987)

  • The Sundarban National Park contain the world’s largest concentration of mangrove forests.
  • Situated at the Delta of the Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers between India and Bangladesh.
  • The Sunderban mangroves host the single largest population of tigers in the world which have adapted and evolved to an almost amphibious life, Tigers here are capable of swimming for long distances and surviving on fish, crab and water monitor lizards.
  • The islands around here are of great economic value some of their benefits are as follow:
    • Act as a storm barrier, shore stabiliser, nutrient and sediment trap, 
    • A source of timber and natural resources, and support a wide variety of aquatic, benthic and terrestrial organisms.
  • About 66% of the Sunderban mangrove forest area is in Bangladesh, and the remaining 34% area is in India.
  • Ecological processes observed here include-
    • monsoon rain flooding, 
    • delta formation, 
  • An area of 133,010 ha, with 55% forest land and 45% wetlands in the form of creeks, canals, tidal rivers and vast estuarine mouths of the river.

Western Ghats (2012)

  • The Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas mountains.
  • The Western Ghats are a chain of mountains that runs parallel to India’s West Coast and passes through the states of Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
  • The Western Ghats cover an immense area and stretch for 1600 km broke only once by a 30km Palghat gap at around 11 degrees North.
  • Western Ghats influence the Indian monsoon heavily, it acts as a barrier to rain-laden monsoon winds that flows in from the southwest direction into the Indian Subcontinent.
  • The Western Ghats is home to tropical evergreen forests, with an Ultra high level of biodiversity and endemism and is recognized as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots‘ of biological diversity.(Biodiversity hotspots in India)

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India Mixed

Khangchendzonga National Park (2016)

  • Khangchendzonga National Park hosts the world’s third-highest peakMount Khangchendzonga.
  • The Park is full of steep-sided valleys, snow-clad mountains and lakes and glaciers. It includes the 26km long Zemu glacier, situated at the base of Mount Khangchendzonga.
  • Khangchendzonga National Park covers almost 25% of the state of Sikkim.
  • Provides a favourable environment to endemic, as well as threatened, plant and animal species.

Learn more about unesco world heritage sites in india from UNESCO

Checkout Other Beautiful Maps

Have a Look at these Beautiful Maps 
Tiger reserves in India MapElephant Reserves in India with Map
Mangrove sites in India MapRamsar sites in India Map
Biodiversity hotspots in IndiaCritically Endangered Species in India
Vulture in India 

This was all about the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

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