10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

India, one of the four ancient civilizations, is home to many precious world heritages with diversified cultures, architecture, and natural landscapes. As of 2023, India has 40 world heritages, including 32 cultural heritages, 7 natural heritages, and 1 composite heritage. Now, let's step into the top 10 UNESCO world heritage sites to discover its unique civilization and charm.

The Taj Mahal, built by the emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, is a must-see scenic spot for many people to visit in India. It is known as the most beautiful mausoleum in the world and is praised as "a teardrop on the cheek of eternity" by the poet Tagore. Now, this miracle building has become a symbol of India.

Taj Mahal, AgraTaj Mahal, Agra

The white dome is the most familiar part of the Taj Mahal. This palace-style mausoleum is mainly made of pure white marble, inlaid with gemstones from all over the world. The Taj Mahal also has completely symmetrical architectural aesthetics, integrating Indian and Persian architectural art.

With the sky as the background, the Taj Mahal shows different features when time is different, revealing the mysterious beauty of India. It is bright gold in the morning, dazzling white in the sunlight in the daytime, and soft blue in the moonlight.

Manas, the name of the reserve comes from the Manas River flowing through the area and is adjacent to Bhutan's Royal Manas National Park.

Located at the foot of the Himalayas in the northeast of Assam, Manas National Park(Manas Wildlife Sanctuary) is irrigated by the Manas River and has flourishing aquatic plants.

This reserve, covering an area of nearly 400 square kilometers, is composed of alluvial grasslands and tropical forests. It is home to many wild animals, especially rare and endangered animals, such as the Indian rhinoceros, Indian elephant, tiger, clouded leopard, dwarf pig, and golden leaf monkey. Mostly seen are the one-horn rhinos, groups of elephants, bison, and deer.

In addition, the Reserve is also an excellent place for bird-watching. Bangladeshi flower birds, big flower hornbill, garland hornbill, and big bald stork can be discovered here.

Besides bird-watching, there are a variety of exciting activities, including jeep safari, elephant safari, and river rafting.

Located in Konark, near the Bay of Bengal, India, the Sun Temple is a Hindu temple built in the 13th century. Konark Village, a small town with a population of less than 20000, now is famous for its ancient Hindu architectural treasures.

The sun temple in Konark is dedicated to Surya, the Hindu sun god. The Temple demonstrates the image of Surya driving a chariot. The stone chariot is about 30 meters high, with 12 pairs of stone wheels and 7 stone steeds pulling the chariot. The unique charm lies in the fabulous carvings, which represent the artistic style of that era.

So far, more than half of the original architectures are maintained well. It is rare to find such a large number of well-preserved group sculpture architectures. In 1984, the Sun Temple was listed as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO, and it is still the main pilgrimage site of Hindus. Every February, Hindus gather here to participate in Chandrabhaga Mela.

The Red Fort built in Agra, located on the bank of Yamuna River, is surrounded by a 12-meter-high red sandstone city wall, which is generally semi-circular. It was once the royal city of the Mughal dynasty, and now it is the representative of Islamic architecture, a famous world heritage and a famous tourist destination in India.

Agra Red FortAgra Red Fort

Although the palaces in Agra Red Fort have been in disrepair for a long time, the exquisite carving and design on the painted beams and walls still vaguely demonstrate the magnificence of the past. The best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon with sunrise or sunset. Meanwhile, it offers a great view of the Taj Mahal from this side of the Yamuna River.

Fatehpur Sikri, which means "victory", is located 40 kilometers west of Agra City and is the palace of the Mughal Empire. People say that when you walk into this huge building complex, you will still feel the existence of the Mughal rulers who once roamed here.

Fatehpur Sikri, AgraFatehpur Sikri, Agra

However, its glorious time didn't last for long. After being established as the capital of the Mughal Empire in 1571, it was abandoned 14 years later due to water source issues. But a large number of Mughal-style architectures left, including the famous Jama Mosque, Buland Darwaza, which is said to be imported from Australia, and Panch Mahal, the birthplace of Akbar's nine courtiers. It is an ancient castle that is considered to be comparable to the Taj Mahal. In addition to its magnificent appearance and extensive land, the palace is as beautiful as the Taj Mahal in terms of composition and interior design.

Mahabalipuram, a small town in Tamil Nadu, India, is quite underrated due to its beauty and mystery. The group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram is listed on the world cultural heritage in 1984. It is a kind of Ratha architecture in India to dig temples on huge rocks. The heritage site contains some of the most amazing works of art from the Pallava dynasty, including Pancha Rathas, Mandapas, massive open-air reliefs, such as "The Origin of the Ganges", as well as the Coast Temple which are thousands of statues of Shiva. Even if you are not a fan of monuments or architecture, you will be impressed by these historical intricate statuses.

When it comes to India's rich and splendid grotto culture, we can't miss Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The Ajanta and Ellora Caves, located in Maharashtra, was built from the middle of the 4th century to the 11th century. It is a masterpiece of ancient Indian Buddhism and Hinduism.

The Ajanta and Ellora Caves is the best example of stone temple architecture in the world, and also the largest cave temple group in India. Cave temples have been dug out from steep cliffs, one by one, extending more than 2,000 meters. In general, each cave is the representative of the Indian dynasty and culture at that time.

Located in Jaipur, western India, the Janta Manta Observatory is the most well-preserved and comprehensive ancient observatory in India. There are many stone and copper astronomical instruments in the observatory, such as sundials, meridians, horoscopes, celestial theodolites and so on.

Jantar Mantar, JaipurJantar Mantar, Jaipur

Among them, the sundials in the observatory are the "best sundials" made of stone in the world today. It can also be seen how the ancient Indians used the sun's projection to determine time, predict solar eclipses, and explore the operation of the universe and celestial bodies through various instruments, Janta Manta Observatory can be said to have witnessed the remarkable achievements of ancient Indians in their understanding of astronomy and the universe. It is also a very famous world heritage site in India. It is one of the places where people who love astronomy and geography must punch cards when they visit India. It is also a place where local people often go to observe the sky and predict the rainy season.

The beauty of India is due to its diversity, and the Kaziranga National Park is the best proof. The park is located in the alluvial plain on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River in the northeast of Assam. This magical primeval forest is home to many animals and plants. The Reserve is the largest habitat for one-horned rhinoceros in India, where about 2000 rhinoceros live together, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total species.

The amazing Yarlung Zangbo River passes through the reserve. The whole forest is covered by streams and lakes, making it more peaceful. Kaziranga National Park has done a very good job of protecting endangered species. In addition to the Indian rhinoceros, it also inhabits Asian elephants, dolphin deer, marsh deer, Bangladesh tigers, and other endangered species. You will be impressed by the biodiversity here.

As the center of Portuguese colonization, Goa still retains the imprint of that era.

If you go to Goa today, you will find Portuguese culture full of vitality and vigor. There are numerous monasteries, churches, and relics in Goa.

Church in GoaChurch in Goa

These unique religious buildings have had a profound impact on Catholic architecture in many countries in Asia, which is an important reason why Goa has become a world heritage.

Different from the image of Goa as a seaside resort today, the old city is still full of Catholic culture and worth exploring.

One of the most popular churches is the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which holds the remains of St. Francis of Xavier, who preached in India, China, Japan, Malacca, and other Asian regions, and was known as the "greatest missionary in history".

As one of the countries with the richest world heritage, India owns profound history, splendid civilization, as well as numerous historic sites and cultural heritage. As an option for tourist destinations, it will not let you down.

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