It was on April 18, 1982 at a symposium organised in Tunisia, that the holding of the “International Day for Monuments and Sites” to be celebrated was suggested. The idea was also approved by the The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) General Conference at its 22nd session in November 1983 ; to celebrate heritage of the world having ‘outstanding universal value’.The aim is to promote awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their vulnerability and the efforts required for their protection and conservation.

The World Heritage Day 2022 theme is ‘Heritage and Climate‘ to promote conservation research and employ sustainable strategies to protect heritage sites.

On Wold Heritage Day, here’s a look at all 40 world heritage sites in India, as designated by UNESCO:

1. Kaziranga in Assam

2. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam

3. Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal

4. Western Ghats. These include Agasthyamalai Sub-Cluster, Periyar Sub-Cluster, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster, Talakaveri Sub-Cluster, Kudremukh Sub-Cluster, Sahyadri Sub-Cluster

5. Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh

6. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya in Bihar

7. Churches and Convents of Goa

8. Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi

9. Red Fort Complex in Delhi

10. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park in Gujarat

11. Group of Monuments at Hampi in Karnataka

12. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal in Karnataka

13. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh

14. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh

15. Khajuraho Group of Monuments in Madhya Pradesh

16. Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra

17. Ellora Caves in Maharashtra

18. Elephanta Caves in Maharashtra

19. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) in Maharashtra

20. Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha

21. Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, Rajasthan

22. Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, Rajasthan

23. Great Living Chola Temples in Tamil Nadu. They include Brihadeeswarar temple in Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Airavateshwarar Temple in Darasuram, Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur.

24. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu

25. Agra Fort in Uttar Pradesh

26. Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh

27. Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh

28. Rani ki vav (The Queen’s Stepwell) in Patan, Gujarat

29. Mountain Railways of India. They include Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in West Bengal, Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Kalka-Shimla Railway in Himachal Pradesh.

30. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand

31. Hill Forts of Rajasthan. They include Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambhore, Amber Sub-Cluster, Gagron

32. Nalanda in Bihar

33. Khangchendzonga National Park In Sikkim

34. The Architectural Work Of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh

35. Historic City of Ahmadabad in Ahmedabad, Gujarat

36. Qutb Minar in Delhi

37.Victorian Gothic and Art Deco building, Mumbai

38.Pink City in Jaipur

39. Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple

40. Dholavira: A Harappan City


In 1945, UNESCO was created in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.

UNESCO strives to build networks among nations that enable this kind of solidarity,

Mobilizing for education: so that every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development.

Building intercultural understanding: through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value.

Pursuing scientific cooperation: such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements, to strengthen ties between nations and societies.

Protecting freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity.

UNESCO is known as the “intellectual” agency” of the United Nations. Audrey Azoulay  is the current director general of UNESCO. 


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