Agra Fort, Ajanta Cave, Ellora Cave, and Taj Mahal became the first to get enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1983 after the 7th Ordinary session of the World Heritage committee in Italy from 5 to 9 December.
To see the original text of the meeting: Visit Here(Page 8)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation(UNESCO) in its seventeenth(17th) meeting, 1972 came to the conclusion that there is a need to protect the cultural and natural heritage of the world. This cultural and natural heritage is threatened by the changing social and economic condition of the society in which it is located.
Many of the nations in which this cultural and natural heritage are located are not capable to safeguard this heritage due to lack of resources and technology. So in the 17th meeting Convention Concerning the Protection of the world cultural and natural heritage was adopted by many nations.
This convention was ratified by the Indian parliament on 14 November 1977.
The process of enlisting the sites in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list started in the year 1978. A total of 12 properties were included in the World Heritage List that year.
The first-ever property included in the UNESCO World Heritage List was Agra Fort, Ajanta Cave, Ellora Cave, and Taj Mahal in the year after the 7th Ordinary session of the World Heritage Committee in Italy, in December 1983.
Criteria for selection of UNESCO World heritage sites
To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria
(i) To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
(ii) To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;
(iii) To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;
(iv) To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;
(v) To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
(vi) To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria);
(vii) To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;
(viii) To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;
(ix) To be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;
(x) To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.
Source: UNESCO Criteria
Types of Sites in UNESCO World Heritage Sites List
UNESCO World Heritage Sites are categorized into three categories.
Cultural Sites: These are the sites that are important to protect the cultural heritage and history of human civilization across the world.
Natural Sites: These are important to preserve the biodiversity and natural beauty of different sites across the globe.
Mixed Sites: These are the sites that are important from the cultural as well as natural perspective. In Indian only site has been included in this list.
|Site||Year in which it|
in the world Heritage Site List
|Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara||2016||Nalanda, Bihar|
|Buddhist Monument at Sanchi||1989||Madhya Pradesh|
|Champaner- Pavagarh Archaeological Part||2004||Bihar|
|Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)||2004||Maharastra|
|Churches and Convents of Goa||1986||Goa|
|Fatehpur Sikri||1985||Uttar Pradesh|
|Great Living Chola Temple||1987, 2004||Tamil Nadu|
|Group of Monuments at Hampi||1986||Karnataka|
|Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram||1984||Tamil Nadu|
|Group of Monuments at Pattadakal||1987||Karnataka|
|Hill Forts of Rajsthan||2013||Rajsthan|
|Historic City of Ahmedabad||2017||Gujrat|
|Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi||1993||Delhi|
|Khajuraho Group of Monuments||1986||Madhya Pradesh|
|Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodhgaya||2002||Bihar|
|Mountain Railways of India||1999, 2005, 2008||West Bengal|
|Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi||1993||Delhi|
|Rani ki Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell ) at Patan, Gujrat||2014||Gujrat|
|Red Fort Complex||2007||Delhi|
|Rock Shelter of Bhimbetka||2003||Madhya Pradesh|
|Sun Temple, Konark||1984||Odisha|
|Taj Mahal,||1983||Uttar Pradesh|
|The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an outstanding contribution to the Modern Movement||2016|
|Janta Mantar, Jaipur||2010||Rajsthan|
|Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai||2018||Maharastra|
|Great Himalayan National Park-Conservation Area||2014||Nort India|
|Kaziranga National Park||1985||Assam|
|Keoladeo National Park||1985||Rajasthan|
|Manas Wildlife Sanctuary||1985||Assam|
|Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Park||Uttrakhand||1980,2005|
|Sunderbans National Park||1987||West Bengal|
|Western Ghats||2012||Maharastra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu|
|Khangchendzonga National Park||2016||Sikkim|
Ajanta Cave, Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, and Ellora Cave became the first UNESCO World Heritage site in India.
World Heritage Committee decides the sites to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage site list.
At present total 38 unesco world heritage sites are located in India.