India’s 8 must visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Valley of Flowers - Copy

Incredible India it is! It is the land of rich culture and heritage which holds a glorious past. The heritage of India will effortlessly turn back the time for you. India has some of its best attractions mentioned as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. The legacy of India lies not only in its striking monuments but also in its natural beauty. India has its own wonders. Let’s take a look at some of the must visit UNESCO world heritage sites in India.

Kaziranga National Park, Assam
It is the oldest park in Assam along the floodplains of the river Brahmaputra on the north, and Kabri Anglong hills on the south. Declared as a national park in 1974 and a UNESCO world heritage site in 1985, Kaziranga is known for the great one-horned rhinoceros. With the sheer forest, tall elephant grass, rugged reels and shallow pool, it is the best place to experience raw nature. Kaziranga has been a source of inspiration for several books, documentaries and songs; it is altogether a different world on its own. The serenity and unique biodiversity that Kaziranga has in terms of its flora and fauna makes it perfectly suited for wildlife safaris that include Elephant safaris and Jeep safaris.

One horned rhino at the Kaziranga National Park
One horned rhino at the Kaziranga National Park


Valley of Flowers, Uttrakhand
The UNESCO preserved valley might take days for you to cover entirely. The best way to reach the heart of the valley is by trekking. The adventure lovers will love the idea of trekking through this huge sea of flowers and Himalayan Balsams. Imagine yourself standing in the middle of lush green landscapes, exotic flowers, plenty of colours, stunning waterfalls, hot springs and snow-peaked mountains on both the sides.

The very picturesque Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand
The very picturesque Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand


Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
The Sunderbans National Park is all about the mangroves forests, where the land meets the sea, situated at the southern tip of West Bengal. Spotting The Royal Bengal Tiger will be the most thrilling experiences you can ever have. You will be amused to know that the tigers here have adapted themselves to survive in the Sunderbans and developed the ability to swim in the saline water. The Sunderbans are home to many wildlife creatures like the Gangetic dolphin, jungle fowl, giant lizards, spotted deer, wild boar, crocodiles and many more. You might be lucky to see endangered species like the like Batagur baska, King Crabs and Olive Ridley Turtles. For a wildlife lover, a visit to this natural heritage site is a must!

Bengal Tiger at Sunderbans
Bengal Tiger at Sunderbans


Hampi, Karnataka
One of the most searched places in north Karnataka known for its ruins with many stories of India’s rich culture and heritage – Hampi was the last capital of the kingdom of Vijayanagar and is one of the  most stunning archaeological sites in the world with its collection of over 500 monuments. One of the most interesting highlights of Hampi are the Musical pillars in Vitthala Temple which reverberate when tapped! Sometimes ruins don’t ruin, but refresh and Hampi is the perfect place to experience this.

The stone chariot at Vittala complex in Hampi
The stone chariot at Vittala complex in Hampi


Sun Temple, Konark
The 13th century monument is built like a chariot for the Sun God with 24 wheels spiked by 7 horses located at the base of the temple. The wheels are no ordinary wheels, but are sundials. You can just calculate the time of the day by looking at the shadow of the wheel. Fascinating, isn’t it? Uniquely the temple is located in the east-west, where the first rays of sun will always fall on the main deity. The stunning sculptures, the carvings on the wall and the bold statues of men and women will leave you awestruck. The sunset here will definitely make you fall in love with this place.

Sun temple, Konark
Sun temple, Konark


Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan
Kumbhalgarh Fort considered as the second most important fort of Rajasthan, is also known as the great wall of India. The fort has some of the stunning views of the surrounding areas. It is said that the enemy wanted to conquer the fort but because of its inaccessibility and hostile topography the fort had remained un-conquered. The thick wall encompassing the fort stretches around 36 km and is wide enough to take eight horses abreast. The fort’s large compound is strewn with old ruins and walking around it can give you a glimpse of a different era altogether.

Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall
Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall


Mountain Railways of India
The British rule in India left behind something that we cherish to this very day- the mountain railway of India. The Toy Trains of India like the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, and the Kalka Shimla Railway are World Heritage sites. They offer you the ultimate travel adventure as you are taken back to old days back when you see the steam engine in this modern world going through the beautiful mountain terrain. Make your way through tunnels, breathtaking bridges and enjoy the views of the changing vistas.

Nilgiri Mountain Rail
Nilgiri Mountain Rail


Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh
Bhimbetka Rock Shelters are among the 7 wonders of India. These are famous for  their rock paintings in the caves and are a natural art gallery and an archaeological treasure. The paintings in the cave reflect the relation between people, landscapes and hunting. The oldest paintings in red, often of huge animals, are thought to be 12,000 years old and the latest are crude geometric figures probably dating from the medieval period, when much of the artistry was lost. One of the offbeat places to admire art! A must visit.

Paintings inside the Bhimbhetka Rock Shelters
Paintings inside the Bhimbhetka Rock Shelters

 

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Kanika Chopra

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