Across the world, a select number of sites and practices are internationally recognized by UNESCO to be of universal significance. In other words, these are spaces and traditions that exhibit such deep knowledge and creativity that they ought to be protected not just for a few communities or a nation, but for all of humanity. UNESCO states, "World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located."


Of the 1092 sites around the world  inscribed by UNESCO on its World Heritage List, 29 historic spaces, 7 natural sites, and 1 mixed heritage site are located in India. In addition, 13 traditional practices from India feature on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


Sahapedia has chosen these sites and intangible heritage practices as one focus area for extensive documentation. For this, Sahapedia partnered with the Archaeological Survey of India to develop unique resources on the Taj Mahal and the Chola Temples and received financial support from the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation to document the world heritage sites from Maharashtra. Among intangible heritage practices, Sahapedia has made a beginning with documenting yoga in a collaboration with SOAS, Kutiyattam, Chhau dance and Ramlila.

Explore India’s contribution to world heritage through the list below.

World Heritage - Cultural Sites

  1. Ajanta Caves

  2. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)

  3. Churches and Convents of Goa

  4. Ellora Caves

  5. Great Living Chola Temples

  6. Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat

  7. Taj Mahal

  8. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

  9. Elephanta Caves

  10. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi - an image gallery

  11. Humayun’s Tomb

  12. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi 

  13. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya

  14. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

  15. Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar - an image gallery

  16. Historic City of Ahmedabad - Interview with Rabindra Vasavada on the preservation of historic Ahmedabad

World Heritage - Natural Sites

  1. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

  2. Keoladeo National Park

  3. Sundarbans National Park


Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

  1. Ramlila

  2. Chhau dance

  3. Yoga

  4. Kumbh Mela

  5. Kutiyattam

  6. Sankirtana, ritual singing, drumming and dancing of Manipur

  7. Mudiyettu 

    1. Article by G Venu, 1984

    2. Video, 2016

    3. Preparing for Mudiyettu - Video, 2016

    4. Image gallery