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World Heritage Sites In India: Celebrating History, Tradition, And Innovation

World Heritage Sites In India: Celebrating History, Tradition, And Innovation
The Darjeeling Mountain Railway. (Source – Twitter account of Indian Diplomacy)

Discovering India

World Heritage Sites In India: Celebrating History, Tradition, And Innovation

India has 28 cultural, seven natural and one mixed category site on the UNESCO list.

India is a land of culture and religious vibrancy, which is evident by the number of religious, cultural, and traditional sites designated as World Heritage Sites by the UNSECO. With 36 sites inscribed on the list, India ranks 6th in the world when it comes to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Here is a video shared on Twitter by the Ministry of Culture giving the complete list of World Heritage Sites in India.

On World Heritage Day, we take a closer look at some of these sites.

Unique World Heritage Sites

Mountain Railways Of India (1999,2005,2008) A quaint entry on the list is the Mountain Railways of India, comprising the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in West Bengal (87 km), the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Tamil Nadu (46 km), and the Kalka Shimla Railway in Himachal Pradesh (96 km). Opened between 1881 and 1908, these railways are still operational.

These are some photos of these picturesque railway routes shared on Twitter by Indian Diplomacy.

The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier (2016) – Describing it as an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement, UNESCO has said that “the 17 sites comprising the transnational serial property are spread over seven countries and are a testimonial to the invention of a new architectural language that made a break with the past”.

 In India, this comprises the Complexe du Capitole, or the Capitol Complex of Chandigarh, designed by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier in the 1950s. UNESCO says that the Capitol Complex had a considerable influence across the Indian subcontinent, “where it symbolized India’s accession to modernity”.

Historic City of Ahmadabad (2017) –The Walled City of Ahmadabad was founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15thcentury, on the eastern banks of the Sabarmati river. UNESCO says that it presents a rich cultural heritage from the Sultanate period, “notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and the numerous mosques and tombs as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods”.

Sun Temple At Konark (1984) – The Konark Sun Temple is part of the Golden Triangle comprising Odisha capital Bhubaneswar, Puri and Konark. UNESCO describes it as“one of India’s most famous Brahman sanctuaries” and “a masterpiece of creative genius in both conception and realisation”.

The Sun Temple at Konark, Odisha is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.

The Sun Temple at Konark, Odisha. (Source – Pixabay)

(Read – Konark Sun Temple And Why It Has Been Featured In The New 10 Rupee Notes)

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004) –The only complete and unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal City, this site, is a concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties protected gently 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. The site also safe houses other precious archaeological artefacts like fortifications, palaces, religious buildings, residential precincts from the 8thto 14thcenturies. The Kalikamata Temple on top of Pavagadh Hill is considered to be an important shrine, attracting large numbers of pilgrims throughout the year.

Union Minister of State for Culture Dr Mahesh Sharma shared this World Heritage Sites map of India on Wednesday.

Tentative List Of World Heritage Sites

In addition to the sites that have already been recognised by UNESCO, there are 42 other sites that have been submitted to the organisation and are part of what is known as the Tentative List.

The list includes Sites of Satyagrah, India’s non-violent freedom movement; Cellular Jail, Andaman Islands; Chilika Lake in Odisha; the river island of Majuli on the Brahmaputra in Assam; the Mughal Gardens of Kashmir, and Sri Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, Punjab.

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