UNESCO World Heritage Sites

The UNESCO World Heritage List has over a 1,000 cultural and natural sites spread across more than 150 countries. These sites, which are selected on the basis of cultural, historical, or natural significance for humanity, are legally protected by international treaties with the intention of preserving them for posterity.

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration ∼ UNESCO

If you have been following my blog for sometime at least you would know that I’m passionate about heritage. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment or place where my interest in all things heritage began, but I can safely say that considering that most of my travels are planned around exploring and understanding historical and heritage sites, it is an interest that is growing by the day and with every trip.

I am not much for ticking items off a list — either real or imaginary. But there is something about a UNESCO World Heritage List that makes me very interested (even though I may not always agree with their choice !). For one, its a list about something I’m interested in; for another, it involves travel. So what’s not to love? 😀

In the last 20 years or so I have visited 21 sites in India and and 15 sites in England, Switzerland, Italy and Uzbekistan. Presenting photographs from UNESCO World Heritage that I have visited in 5 countries and links to blogposts written, if any.

Clicking on any of the captioned photographs will start a slide show and you can click on the arrow keys to navigate through the set. Once you have finished seeing the photos, don’t forget to come back to read the rest of the post.

In addition to the inscribed list, there are more than 1,600 (cultural and natural) sites on UNESCO’s tentative list for respective countries (or state parties as UNESCO prefers to call them) to nominate them for inclusion in the World Heritage Sites List. India has about 44 sites and while no list can really be comprehensive, some omissions are glaring, not to mention puzzling.

For example, Kanheri Caves (Mumbai), the temples and palaces of Ahoms (Sibsagar), the temple city of Kanchipuram, the painted towns of Shekhawati, Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur), Hill Forts of Maharashtra, Ranakpur Jain Temple, just to name a few.

I have visited about 11 sites from this tentative list and hope that at least the more deserving ones make it to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list soon. Especially, monuments of the Deccan Sultanate and the Moidoms or burial mounds of the Ahom Kings of Assam; they are really unique and there is nothing quite like them in India.

Clicking on any of the captioned photographs below will start a slide show. Once you have finished seeing the photos, don’t forget to come back to read the rest of the post.

Hope you enjoyed travelling with me to the various UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as heritage sites-to be with me. I hope you enjoyed reading about them too. This is not a final list and is one where sites will get added as and when I visit them or links to blog posts added when I write them.

Tell me, which ones from My UNESCO World Heritage Site list have you visited?

And which ones do you want to visit?

Also tell me, which one should I visit next?


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