The Core of the Heart of India: The Most Famous Historical Monuments of India

India has a very significant place in the list of countries with a rich culture and history. The Indian Civilization also known as Indus Valley Civilization is believed to date back to 3000 BCE. Over time, with a change in the culture and heritage, various sites and monuments were erected by the rulers who ruled our local lands. Today those monuments and sites are cherished by many archaeologists, art lovers and historians.

Being one of the most developed ancient civilizations, we have been made our history documented through ancient wall arts and cave paintings, monuments and forts.

At present, there are thousands of such sites in India. Many of those sites and monuments have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites to protect them from destroying over time.

Later on, some National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries have also been declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list to protect and boost the populations of endangered flora and fauna. We have compiled a complete guide to all the 30 World Heritage Sites of India with all the interesting facts about them.

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Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Agra is one of the many Mughal architectural cities in India, constructed in the vicinity of Taj Mahal, the pride of North India and Uttar Pradesh. The palace of Ibrahim Lodi was later converted to a Mughal palace for Babur. The fort was the home of the King till the Agra was the capital of the Mughal Empire. The Agra Fort exhibits the combination of the Persian and the Indian art forms.

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The major attractions of the Agra Fort Are the Moti Masjid which was a worshipping place which is closed for the public, the Diwan – I which was a hall used for the public meeting with emperor, Akbar Mahal is now turned into ruins which once housed the emperor Akbar and various others monuments such as Sheesh Mahal, Khas Mahal, Diwan-e-Khas, Nagina Masjid.

Year of Introduction: 1984

Category: Cultural – Exceptional testimonial to a cultural tradition that lives or ever lived.

Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful World Heritage Sites, is also one of the seven wonders of the world. Constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan is the world symbol of love which attracts thousands of tourists every month.

Taj Mahal which is located on the bank of the river Yamuna in Agra was built at the cost of INR 32 million and today it is estimated to be around INR 58 billion. The jewel of the Mughal Architecture, the Taj Mahal is the pride of the Indian heritage sites.

Year of Introduction: 1983

Category: Masterpiece of human creative genius and of cultural significance.

Ajanta Caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

The famous Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad is one of the oldest UNESCO World Heritage sites in India that can be dated back to around 200 BCE to 650 BCE. The caves which are the fine ancient masterpiece of rock-cut architecture also exhibits paintings and sculptures of the era. Ajanta Caves, are a fine exhibition of Buddhist monuments, which is a collection of 30 caves.

It is supposed to be built under two phases, first being under the Satavahana period under the satavahana Dynasty ruling from 230 BCE – 220 BCE and second being the Vakataka period under the regime of King Harishena. The sculptures of Ajanta Caves arts are still having a revolutionary impact on how we trace the progress of art and architecture throughout history.

Carved in a horseshoe-shaped rock, is the major attraction of Ajanta caves are the Buddhist Monasteries inside the caves. Some of the most famous caves are 1,2,4 and 17 which exhibit the original Bodhisattva wall murals and complex carved wall paintings and terrace paintings.

Year of introduction: 1983

Category: Cultural – Exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition that lives or ever lived and is a Masterpiece of Human creativity genius and of cultural significance.

Ellora Caves, Aurangabad, Maharashtra

The Ellora Caves are one of the oldest World Heritage sites in India in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, which is an integral part of Indian history. The caves lie 30 km from the city of Aurangabad. As like Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves exhibit the oldest rock – cut arts. Exhibiting a scattered design, the total number of caves in

Ellora is estimated to be more than 100. One can trace the presence of various religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, which can be seen in the various temples within the complex. The art forms of the caves are estimated to be dated back to 600 – 1000 AD.

The most famous attraction of the caves is the cave of 16, a.k.a Kailash temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The cave 16 is believed to be the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world.

Year of Introduction: 1983

Category: Cultural – Exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition that lives or ever lived and is a Masterpiece of Human creativity genius and of cultural significance.

Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Elephanta Caves, located on an Island in the Arabian Sea, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in India. Elephanta caves are foremost dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. On the Elephanta Island, the entire complex of caves is known as Gharapuri, which is known for its rock – cut sculptures and carvings of Shiva. Shiva is referred to as the destroyer of everything in the Hindu religion.

Cave1 which is also referred to as the main cave, which exhibits the wall art narrating the mythologies of Hinduism, is the major attraction of elephant caves. The integral part of this cave is Lord Shiva. Caves 6 and 7 which are famous Buddhist caves, exhibiting the evolution of Literature and teachings of the Buddhist religion, are the other attractions.

The tourist can take a ferry ride and reach the caves, just 10 km from the coast of Mumbai.

Year of Introduction: 1987

Category: Cultural

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The Core of the Heart of India: The Most Famous Historical Monuments of India. (2021, Jan 28). Retrieved from

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