In 1972, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted a resolution creating 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 cooperation among all nations and people to contribute for the protection of these universal treasures for future generations.

India is an active member State on the World Heritage since 1977. It has been working in close cooperation 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 observes the World Heritage Day on April 18th and the World Heritage Week from 19th November every year.

The various Indian monuments and sites included in the World Heritage List are:

* Agra Fort (1983)
* Ajanta Caves (1983)
* Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
* Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
* Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
* Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
* Elephanta Caves (1987)
* Ellora Caves (1983)
* Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
* Great Living Chola Temples (1987)
* Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
* Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
* Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)
* Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
* Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
* Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
* Mountain (Darjeeling Himalayan) Railways of India (1999)
* Qutub Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
* Red Fort Complex (2007)
* Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
* Sun Temple, Konarak (1984)
* Taj Mahal (1983)
* Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
* Kaziranga National Park (1985)
* Keoladeo National Park (1985)
* Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
* Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988)
* Sundarbans National Park (1987)

 

In addition, the following sites have been submitted on the ‘Tentative List’ of the World Heritage:

* Temples at Bishnupur, West Bengal (1998)

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