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UNESCO World Heritage sites in India

| Words by Ashley Diterlizzi |

India is a vibrant and colourful city filled with culture so it’s no wonder it’s home to multiple UNESCO World Heritage listed sites.

Taj Mahal, Agra

A universal symbol of love, the Taj Mahal has been preserved as a UNESCO world heritage site since its inscription in 1983. Built between 1631 and 1648 by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the building is a jewel of Muslin art in India. The Taj is located on the bank of the Yamuna River in a vast Mughal garden that stretches nearly 17 hectares.

Agra Fort

Agra Fort, Agra

Situated near the gardens of the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort is the most important 16th century Mughal monument. The fort was the main residence of emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638 when the capital was moved to Red Fort in Delhi. Visitors can walk through the courtyards of the marble fortress.

Kaziranga National Park, Assam

Home to the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses, as well as tigers, Asian elephants, panthers, Ganges River dolphins and bears, Kaziranga National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in India. Undisturbed by humans, the park is located in the heart of Assam and covers 42,996 hectares.

Churches and convents of Goa

Goa is a seaside state located in India’s west and is home to a number of protected churches and convents. Formerly the capital of the Portuguese Indies, the Church of Bom Jesus, is of particular interest as it contains the tomb of St Francis-Xavier. It was these churches which influenced the spread of Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque style architecture throughout Asia.

Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra

Located in western India on Elephanta Island, also known as the ‘city of caves’, the small island is dotted with archaeological remains. These remains date back as early as the 2nd century BC. The caves are a great example of Indian art as well as on of the most important collections for the cult of Shiva.

Humayun's Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

Built in the year 1570 with the patronage of Humayun’s son, the Emperor Akbar, Humayun’s Tomb was the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent. Built by Indian and Persian craftsmen, the tomb inspired architectural innovations, including the Taj Mahal. The mausoleum is a symbol of Mughal architecture and is surrounded by a 16th century Mughal garden.

The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

An astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century, the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur includes 20 main fixed instruments. These instruments were inscribed to the list in 2010 for their examples in masonry as well as astronomical and cosmological concepts during the Mughal period. The observatory is the best preserved in India.

Visit India’s UNESCO world heritage sites on one of our small group journeys or speak to our Asia experts about designing your own private itinerary.