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In 1972, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted a resolution with overwhelming enthusiasm creating thereby a 'Convention concerning the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage'. The main objectives were to: (a) Define the World Heritage in both cultural and natural aspects, (b) Enlist sites and monuments from member countries which are of exceptional interest and universal value the protection of which is the concern of all mankind and (c) Promote co-operation among all Nations and people to contribute for the protection of these universal treasures intact for future generations.

India is an active member State on the World Heritage from 1977. It has been working in close co-operation with other International agencies like International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and International Centre for the study of Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM).

The Department of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India, apart from observing this World Heritage Day on April 18 and the World Heritage Week from 19th November every year. It is specially aimed to involve the youth of the country through NSS/NCC units in such works as protection, preservation and propagation of the great heritage for which our India is world famous.

The various Indian monuments and sites included in the World Heritage List are the Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Sun Temple at Konarak, the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Kaziranga National Park, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Keoladeo National Park, Churches and Convents of Goa, Group of Monuments at Khajuraho, Group of Monuments at Hampi, Fatehpur Sikri, Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Elephanta Caves, Brihadeeshwara Temple at Thanjavur, Sundarbans National Park, Nanda Devi National Park, Buddhist Monastery at Sanchi, Humayun's Tomb at Delhi and Qutab Minar and associated monuments at Delhi. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has bestowed world heritage status on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in December 1999.        << Complete List of Indian Sites>>

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