UNESCO declares 6 Rajasthan forts as World Heritage Sites


  • A United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance.
  • During the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee, which was organized from 17-27, June 2013, in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (Cambodia), 19 new sites have been added to the World Heritage List.
  • With this new addition, now there are a total of 981 World Heritage Sites located in 160 “state parties”.
  • Of the 981 sites, 759 are cultural, 193 are natural and 29 are mixed properties.
  • Six of Rajasthan’s hill forts also received international recognition with Unesco including them in the World Heritage Sites on 21st June, 2013
  • The six forts include Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambore, Jaisalmer, Amber and Gagron in the districts of Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Sawai Madhopur, Jaisalmer, Jaipur and Jhalawar respectively.
  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protects the first four while the rest are under Rajasthan government’s Archaeology Department.
  • It is to be noted that the Hill Forts of Rajasthan are a series of sites located on the rocky outcrop of the Aravali mountain range – date back to 8th – 19th centuries and represent “military hill architecture” of the Rajputs.
  • Since 2011, several missions of the International Council on Monuments and Forts (ICOMOS), advisory body to the Unesco, visited Rajasthan and discussed the nominations in great detail with the State archaeology department, the Archaeological Survey of India and the Indian Advisory Committee on World Heritage under the Ministry of Culture.
  • Following this, the ICOMOS recommended that the hill forts be made part of the World Heritage Site list.
  • With this inclusion, now there are 30 world heritage sites in India with 24 in the cultural category and six in the natural category.
  • This list includes 1) Ajanta Caves 2) Ellora Caves 3) Khajuraho Temples 4) Elephanta Caves 5) Hampi Monuments 6) Pattadkal Monuments 7) Sanchi Monument 8) Qutub Minar and adjoining monuments 9) Sun Temple of Konark 10) Keoladeo National Park 11) Mahabalipuram Temples 12) Agra Fort 13) Fatehpur Sikri 14) Taj Mahal 15) Group of Chola Temples 16) Champaner Pavagarh Complex 17) Churches and Convents of Goa 18) Red Fort Complex 19) Mahabodhi Temple 20) Humayun’s Tomb 21) Kaziranga National Park 22) Manas National Park 23) Rock Temples of Bhimbetka 24) Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus 25) Jantar Mantar (Jaipur) 26) Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers 27) Mountain Railways of India(comprising of Darjeeling Railway, Nilgiri Moutain Railway and Kalka-Shimla Mountain Railway) 28) Western Ghats 29) Sunderbans National Park and 30) Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

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