- World Heritage Sites are various areas or objects inscribed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.
- The sites are designated as having “outstanding universal value” under the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
- This document was adopted by UNESCO in 1972 and formally took effect in 1975 after having been ratified by 20 countries.
- It provides a framework for international cooperation in preserving and protecting cultural treasures and natural areas throughout the world.
- There are three types of sites: cultural, natural, and mixed.
Cultural Heritage Sites
- Cultural heritage sites include hundreds of historic buildings and town sites, important archaeological sites, and works of monumental sculpture or painting.
Natural Heritage Sites
- Natural heritage sites are restricted to those natural areas that
(1) furnish outstanding examples of Earth’s record of life or its geologic processes,
(2) provide excellent examples of ongoing ecological and biological evolutionary processes, (3) contain natural phenomena that are rare, unique, superlative, or of outstanding beauty, (4) furnish habitats for rare or endangered animals or plants or are sites of exceptional biodiversity.
Mixed Heritage Sites
Mixed heritage sites contain elements of both natural and cultural significance.
UNESCO Sites in India
- There are 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.
- Dholavira and Ramappa Temple are the latest addition to the list
- There are 46 sites of India on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
- Agra Fort, also known as “Laal Quila”, is the first UNESCO Heritage site in India. It was tagged as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1983.
- Currently, Maharashtra has a total of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and this number is highest among all states and UTs in India.
List of World Heritage sites in India
- 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, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016)
- The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
- Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018)
- 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)
- Khangchendzonga National Park (2016)
Tentative list of UNESCO Heritage Site
- A Tentative List is an inventory of those properties which each State Party intends to consider for nomination.
- States Parties are encouraged to submit their Tentative Lists, properties which they consider to be cultural and/or natural heritage of outstanding universal value and therefore suitable for inscription on the World Heritage List.
- As per Operational Guidelines, 2019 of UNESCO, it is mandatory to put any monument/site on the tentative list for one year before it is considered for the final nomination dossier.
- Once the nomination is done, it is sent to the World Heritage Centre (WHC).
- India now has 52 sites on the tentative list.
Why in News
- Visva-Bharati University, founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921, is set to become the world’s first “living heritage university“.
About Viswabharati University
- Viswabharati University is located in Shanti niketan.
- Shantiniketan began as a meditation centre called Shantiniketan Ashram.
- It was founded by Debendranath Tagore, the father of Rabindranath Tagore and son of Dwarkanath Tagore.
- The collage was found by nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1921
- It was given the status of Central University in 1951 through a Central Act
- Visva-Bharati was inaugurated as a Centre for Culture with exploration into the arts, language, humanities, music