Blessed with a vast landscape, and rich cultural heritage, India is home to a total of 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Ranging from architectural marvels to natural wonders, India has the 6th largest number of World Heritage Sites that hold important cultural significance and are the must-include places in India tour packages. But still, there are many tourist places in India that hold a deep history and importance, in the tentative list which are not yet received the UNESCO World Heritage tag. Let’s take a look at some of the places that deserve UNESCO recognition.
Belur & Halebidu Temples
Situated in the Hassan district of Karnataka, Belur & Halebidu are the popular temple towns renowned for the Hoysala-era temples of Chennakesava, & Hoyasaleshwara, among the top places of heritage in Karnataka. The Hoysala reign (from the 10th – 14th century CE) was an important period in the development of art, architecture, and religion in South India, and they built hundreds of temples in Karnataka. The temples at Belur and Halebidu are known for the star-shaped platform, minute & intricate carvings, and sculptures with metal-like polishing that draws a huge number of tourists throughout the year as part of Belur Tour Packages. Of the hundred surviving Hoysala temples in Karnataka, the temples at Belur & Halebidu are the most iconic structures and were collectively Of the hundred surviving Hoysala temples in Karnataka, the temples at Belur & Halebidu are the most iconic structures and were collectively under the list of tentative UNESCO world heritage sites in India. However, these temples deserve to get the UNESCO World Heritage tag.
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Madurai Meenakshi Temple
Dedicated to Goddess Parvati, Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in India and among the largest temple complexes in Tamil Nadu. The original Meenakshi Temple was built by Kulasekara Pandya and was rebuilt and expanded by the Nayak kings of Madurai. Built over an area of 45 acres, the Madurai Temple was shortlisted as one of the top 30 nominees for New Seven Wonders of the World as it houses thousands of monolithic pillars, 14 tall towers, countless mandapams, and the main deity made of emerald. Experience the grandeur of the temple and the annual festival of Thirukalyanam as part of Madurai Tour Packages. Besides, it is also tagged as the ‘Cleanest Iconic Place’ by the Government of India in 2017. The iconic temple of Madurai deserves to be on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.
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Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab
Situated in Amritsar city of Punjab, the Golden Temple is a prominent gurudwara and one of the historical heritage sites in India. Popularly known as the Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, this gurudwara is one of the most important Sikh holy places in India and has been on the tentative list of UNESCO since 2004. The construction of the temple was started by Guru Ram Das Ji in 1585 AD and was completed by his successor, Guru Arjan Dev Ji in 1604. This two-storeyed structure is fondly called the Swarn Mandir and is covered with around 750 kg of gold where the holy book of Sikh called Guru Granth Sahib lies. Surrounded by a large lake called Amrit Sarovar, the water inside the lake is believed to have medicinal properties and curative powers, and hence, devotees bathe in the tank to cleanse their souls. It deserves to be on the UNESCO list as it is one of the old and unique gurudwaras in India that hold special significance. Besides, Jallianwala Bagh, Mata Temple, Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Baba Bakala, Goindwal Sahib, Tarn Taran and Baba Sahib and Wagah Check post are the other prominent places to visit in Amritsar.
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Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangam
Located on the island of Srirangam near Tiruchirappalli, Sri Ranganatha Swamy Temple is one of the popular and foremost of the 108 Divyadesams of Lord Vishnu, and among the prominent places to visit as part of Tamilnadu tour packages. Dedicated to Lord Ranganatha, The temple covers a mammoth 156 acres and has 7 enclosures with massive walls, 53 sub-shrines, 9 sacred pools, and 21 very colorful sculpted gopurams. Crowned with the tallest temple tower in India (236 feet), the temple is home to 21 feet 21-foot-long reclining idol of Ranganatha along with a thousand-pillar mandapam and an awe-inspiring Garuda statue. It is the largest functioning Hindu temple in the world, and also, Ranganatha Swamy Temple in Srirangam is the only temple to be honored with a UNESCO Award for Heritage Conservation in 2017. However, still it doesn’t get the UNESCO tag. The temple holds the annual chariot festival of Tamil Nadu that lasts for 21 days and lures a huge number of devotees.
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City of Varanasi
Revered as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi, or Banaras is one of the most famous religious and pilgrimage places in India. Situated on the banks of the holy Ganges River, the world’s oldest continually inhabited city of Varanasi is surely a place for those who want to explore the mystical side of India as it is regarded as one of the seven holy cities of Hinduism. A blend of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, the ancient city of Kashi is home to temples, ashrams, stupas, viharas, and more than 80 ghats on the holy Ganges. The most iconic attraction here is Ganga Aarti which lures a huge number of devotees and tourists as part of Varanasi Tour Packages. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Dasaswamedh Ghat, Assi Ghat, Ramnagar Fort, Kedar Ghat, Harishchandra Ghat, New Viswanath Temple, and Manikarnika Ghat are some of the popular places to visit in Varanasi. This wonderful city has been on the tentative list of UNESCO Heritage Sites since 2021.
Book Here : Uttar Pradesh Tour Packages
Lotus Temple, Delhi
Located at Bahapur Hill, the Lotus Temple is one of the most prominent places to visit in Delhi. Also known as Bahai Temple or the Bahai House of worship, the temple is so named because of its lotus-like structure. Established by the believers of the Bahai Faith, the construction of the building started in 1980 and was completed in 1986 for 10 million. The Lotus Temple has no idols, religious pictures, and other religious symbols. Made of white marble from Penteli Mountain in Greece, it is an ideal place for meditation, peace, and wisdom. Set amidst 26 acres of lush, landscaped garden, the temple has 27 free-standing white petals made of marble arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides, and the temple is visited by an average of three and a half million visitors each year. It is one of the seven Bahai Houses of Worship in the world and is one of the most visited sites in the world which deserves to be on the UNESCO list.
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Monuments of Orchha
Situated on the banks of the Betwa River, Orchha is one of the prominent places of heritage in Madhya Pradesh. The medieval city of Orchha was the capital of Central India in the 15th century and is a town frozen in time. Dotted with several temples, palaces, and forts, the main attraction is the Orchha Fort complex which includes Jahangir Mahal, Raj Mahal & Rai Parveen Mahal. The architecture of the Fort complex, palaces, temples, and gardens, represent a mixture of styles from Rajput and Mughal architecture. It has been on the UNESCO tentative list since 2019. Besides, Chaturbhuj Temple, Chhatris, Lakshmi Narayan Temple, and Orchha Wildlife Sanctuary are the other places to visit in Orchha. Apart, Boating and Rafting in the Betwa River are some of the top things to do in Orchha.
Book Here : Orchha Tour Packages