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World Heritage Monuments in India

India has several beautiful and splendid monuments in the world. These monuments owe their execution and creation to the imagination of men who dared to extend their ideas to the farthest limits of human thought. As kings and emperors, they were able to translate their ideas into bricks, mortar, marble and stone. These monuments range through a span of centuries and the major philosophies of the world.

List of 26 World Heritage Monuments in India
  • Ajanta Caves (1983)
  • Ellora Caves (1983)
  • Agra Fort (1983)
  • Taj Mahal (1983)
  • Sun Temple, Konarak (1984)
  • Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
  • Kaziranga National Park (1985)
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary(1985)
  • Keoladeo National Park (1985)
  • Churches and Convents of Goa(1986)
  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments(1986)
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
  • Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
  • Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)
  • Elephanta Caves (1987)
  • Great Living Chola Temples (1987, 2004)
  • Sundarbans National Park (1987)
  • Nanda Devi National Park (1988)
  • Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi(1989)
  • Humayun's Tomb, Delhi (1993)
  • Qutub Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) (1999)
  • Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
  • Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
  • Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)

Ajanta Caves
Ajanta is a renowned name in the world of architecture. Amidst a picturesque landscape of Deccan basalt, 101 km north of Aurangabad in Maharshtra, there occurs a small hamelts-Ajanta. It has 30 Buddhist rock-cut caves which have won admiration from all corners of the world for their unique sculptures, carvings and mural paintings. The cave excavations started here in as early as 2nd century B.C. and as many as six caves-two chaitya halls and four monasteries were completed by the end of the 1st century B.C. The momentum of further excavation gained ground during the 5th-7th century A.D. after an interval of nearly 400 years when 24 more caves were added and most of the famous sculptures were chiselled out and masterpieces of the murals were painted.

The Ajanta caves possess an invaluable treasure of Indian art which imbibes inspiration in the art-loving people of all generations. The facades and the Chaitya halls show intense ornamentation and carvings. Rocks were hewn out to make figures of classic qualities. The entire course of the evolution of Buddhist architecture can be traced in Ajanta. The Hinayana type of images continued from 2nd century B.C. to 2nd Century A.D. The remarkable period of artistry was the later phase of cave building during the 6th century A.D. When there was the stupendous architectural upsurge of the Mahayana series. During this time, images of the Buddha on his different life stories and several types of human and animal figures were carved out of in-situ rock.
Ellora Caves
The magnificent group of rock-cut shrines of Ellora, representing three different faiths, Buddhist, Brahmanical and Jaina were excavated during the period from 5th to the 13th century AD. The Buddhist Caves (1 to 12) were excavated between the 5th and the 7th centuries AD, when the Mahayana sects were flourishing in the region. Important in this group are Caves 5, 10 and 12. Cave 10 is a chaitya-hall and is popularly known as 'Visvakarma'. It has a highly ornamental facade provided with a gallery and in the chaitya-hall is a beautiful image of Buddha set on a stupa. Among the viharas, Cave 5 is the largest. The most impressive vihara is the three - storeyed cave called 'Tin - Tala'. It has a large open-court in front which provides access to the huge monastery. The uppermost storey contains sculptures of Buddha.

Agra Fort
Built principally as a military establishment by Akbar in 1565, the red sandstone Agra fort was partially converted into a palace during Shah Jahan's time. Though the principal structure was built by Akbar, many more additions were made by his grandsons. This massive fort is 2.5 kms long and is considered as the predecessor of the Delhi Red fort. The colossal walls are 20 feet high and the whole fort is encircled by a fetid moat. The building and structures inside the fort gives an impression of a city within the city.The marble pearl mosque inside the fort is one of the most stunningly beautiful mosques in India.