India has 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many of these sites are globally acclaimed, while a few, despite being equally magnificent, still miss the fame they actually deserve. We have handpicked some of these slightly lesser-known, yet amazing sites in India that have made it to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Mahabodhi Temple Complex, Bodhgaya, Bihar
Some of the temples here date back to the 3rd Century BC and rank among the oldest structures in India. Revered as the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in 531 BC, this temple complex is now a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists from around the world. Apart from beholding the marvellous temple architecture, tourists can check out various ancient artefacts preserved at the Archaeological Museum within the temple complex.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat
The park comprises a cluster of various archaeological, historical and cultural heritage properties, which were built between the 8th and 14th centuries. The main attractions include the ancient Kalika Mata Temple, a beautiful hilltop fortress, and some unique water installations. You cannot help but be awed by the amazing planning that must have gone into the construction of this Islamic pre-Mughal era city.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai
Built in 1887-88, it is a historic railway station in Mumbai, designed by the British architect, Frederick William Stevens. The building took 10 years to complete and was initially named “Victoria Terminus” in the honour of Queen Victoria. The terminus enchants with its mammoth size and brilliant Gothic style of architecture.
Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand
This fascinating nature reserve, nestled high in the West Himalayas, is acclaimed for its breathtaking natural beauty and diverse landscapes. Huge meadows of endemic alpine flowers fill one’s heart with elation. Valley of Flowers is a dream destination for wildlife enthusiasts, as it is home to many rare and endangered animal species such as Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep.
Rani Ki Vav (The Queen’s Step well), Gujarat
Constructed during the rule of the Solanki dynasty (AD 1022 to 1063), this historical step-well is situated in a small town of Patan in Gujarat. It is approximately 64m long, 20m wide and 27m deep, making it one of the largest and most fascinating structures of its kind. It has great historical significance and is definitely worth visiting, especially if you love exploring historical places.
Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh
Agra Fort is usually overshadowed by its more glamorous neighbour Taj Mahal. However, now listed among UNESCO’s heritage sites, this 16th century monument has proven its historical and architectural grandeur, making it a must-visit site in Agra. Built of red sandstones, the fort consists of many beautiful palaces, mosques, gardens and towers. It is located on the banks of River Yamuna, and is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India.