The UNESCO World Heritage List has over 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 some time 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, understanding and experiencing 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, it’s a list of something I’m interested in; for another, it involves travel. So what’s not to love? 😀
In the last 12 years or so I have visited 27 sites in India and 22 sites in England, Switzerland, Italy, Uzbekistan, Belgium, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Presenting photographs from UNESCO World Heritage sites that I have visited in 8 countries along with links to blog posts 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.
Kaziranga National Park. Visited in February 2017.
Group of Living Chola Temples – Gangaikondacholapuram. Visited in August 2017.
Group of Living Chola Temples – Darasuram. Visited in August 2017.
Crossing the river Vimla somewhere in the Kudremukh National Park, Kudremukh sub-cluster, Western Ghats, India. Visited in November 1997.
Hill Forts of Rajasthan = Gagron, near Jhalawar. Visited in November 2016.
The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai – The Eros Cinema, one of the best examples of Art Deco in Mumbai. Photograph taken in February 2014.
The Victorian and Art Deco Enclave in Mumbai – Horniman Circle. Photograph taken in August 2011
Mountain Railways of India: Coonoor station on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway. Visited in August 2018.
City of Jaipur. Visited in January 2015.
Palace of Westminister, London. Visited in 2009.
Tower of London. Visited in 2009.
Historical City of Berne, Switzerland. Visited in 2009
The snow-clad peaks of the Western Tian Shan mountains can been seen from the across Lake Charvak in the Tashkent region of Uzbekistan. Visited in October 2018.
Belfries of Belgium – Off the 33 Belgian Belfries of the WHS list, I saw only three – the ones at Leuven, Antwerp and Brugge (featured here). Visited on October 1, 2019
La Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium – the heart of Brussels. Literally. Visited on October 30, 2019
Historic Centre of Brugge, Belgium. Visited on October 1, 2019
There are 13 Flemish Beeguinages or Begijnhofs in Belgium. I visited the Groor Begiijnhof at Leuven on September 29, 2019
The Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex at Antwerp. Visited on October 2, 2019
Historic Areas of Istanbul – Hagia Sofia. Visited on October 6, 2019
Sheki Khan Palace in Sheki Azerbaijan. Visited in September 2022.
Gobustan Petroglyph Complex, Azerbaijan. Visited in October 2022
Shaivanshah Palace Complex in Baku, Azerbaijan. Visited in October 2022
In addition to the inscribed list, there are more than 1,600 (cultural and natural) sites on UNESCO’s tentative list for countries (or state parties as UNESCO prefers to call them) to nominate for inclusion in the World Heritage Sites List. India has about 49 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 painted towns of Shekhawati, Mehrangarh Fort (Jodhpur), Hill Forts of Maharashtra, Ranakpur Jain Temple, just to name a few.
I have visited more than 20 sites from this tentative list in India and abroad and hope that at least the more deserving and unique ones make it to UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list soon.
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.
Desert National Park, Near Jaisalmer. Visited in July 2016
Padmanabhapuram Palace Complex, Tamil Nadu. Visited in November 1997.
With friends at Santiniketan. Visited in December 1999.
Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala – Hoysaleshwara Temple at Helebid. Visited July 29, 2019.
Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala – Chennakeshava Temple at Belur. Visited July 30, 2019.
Monuments of Srirangapatna Island Town – Tipu Sultan’s Palace or the Dariya Daulat Baug. Visited August 2018.
Monuments of Srirangapatna Island Town – Tipu Sultan’s Tomb or the Gumbaz. Visited August 2018.
The Qutb Shahi Monuments of Hyderabad: Ruins within the Golkonda Fort Complex. Visited in August 2011
Varanasi Riverfront. Visited in October 2011
Temples of Kanchipuram – Kailasanathar Temple. Visited in December 2014 and January 2016
Moidams, the burial sites of the Ahom royals a Charaideo, Assam. Visited in February 2017
The Vijayanagara Sculpture and Painting Art Tradition – Lepakshi Temple, Visited in August 2018 and April 2022.
Matheran Hill Railway. Took a ride in August 2022
Antwerp City Centre. Visited on October 2, 2019
Historic Town Centre of Ghent. Visited on October 2, 2019
The Katholieke University Library buildings, one of the historic buildings of Leuven. Visited on September 28, 2019
The Galleries Royale Saint Hubert or the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert at Brussels, Belgium. Visited on September 30, 2019
A line of mud volcanoes, Azerbaijan. Visited in October 2022
Surakhani Atashgah, Azerbaijan. Visited in October 2022
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 a dynamic page and as and when I visit a new (for me) UNESCO-listed site, this page gets updated with photographs and/or links to blog posts written.
Tell me, which ones from My UNESCO World Heritage Site list have you visited? And which ones do you want to visit? 🙂
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