World Heritage Day - 18th April 2024

Celebrating India's Rich Heritage
World Heritage Day

World Heritage Day

Every year, on April 18th, we come together to celebrate the rich history we all share as humans. Known commonly as World Heritage Day is a time to cherish the unique cultures of the world, recognise important landmarks, and pledge to safeguard our shared heritage for the future.

World Heritage Day, also called The International Day for Monuments and Sites, applauds the efforts of organisations like ICOMOS – the International Council on Monuments and Sites. This day is all about raising awareness about our diverse cultural heritage and ensuring its preservation for generations to come. Ancient monuments and buildings are treasures for all of us worldwide. Yet, they need our protection to remain treasures for years ahead. That's why this day is a global team effort.

There are countless remarkable heritage sites and monuments worldwide, including many in India, that beautifully portray Indian culture.

History of World Heritage Day

World Heritage Day, also known as The International Day for Monuments and Sites, was established in 1982 by the International Council for Monuments and Sites, or ICOMOS. This organisation was formed based on the principles outlined in the Venice Charter, which was created in 1964 to guide the conservation and restoration of monuments and sites.

ICOMOS brought together experts from various fields, such as architects, engineers, geographers, civil engineers, artists, and archaeologists. Every year, these professionals collaborate to ensure that some of the world’s most beautiful sites and important cultural monuments are preserved for future generations.

Since its beginning, ICOMOS has grown to include nearly 10,000 members from over 150 countries worldwide. Among these members are over 400 representatives from institutions, national committees, and international scientific committees, all working together to safeguard important sites and identify new ones that require attention.

In 2023, two new Indian sites were added to the World Heritage List: Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas and Santiniketan. It is thanks to the dedicated efforts of ICOMOS members and leadership that these places will be protected for the enjoyment of future generations.

World Heritage Day 2024 Theme

Each year, World Heritage Day comes with a special theme. This time, the theme for World Heritage Day 2024 is "Discover and experience diversity." It's a reminder that our rich history adds to the beauty of different cultures around the world.

Schools can introduce kids to World Heritage Day through fun activities. They can organise storytelling sessions, trips to monuments and heritage sites in India, drawing and poster-making sessions, heritage festivals, and even show movies that celebrate culture and traditions. It's a great way for kids to learn and appreciate the diversity of our world.

How to Celebrate World Heritage Day

If you wish to celebrate World Heritage Day, the easiest way is to explore nearby World Heritage Sites and pay them a visit. Before you go, research how to protect these sites and follow those guidelines during your visit. 

Check online for events in your area celebrating World Heritage Day. Many events aim to raise awareness about preserving important buildings and monuments. Join in and show your support for these crucial causes. Finding local events is simple – just check your community’s Facebook group for details.

Spread the word about World Heritage Day to your friends and family on social media. Share a post informing them about the day and encourage them to join in. You can even post a photo of a notable international site you've visited or hope to visit and ask your followers to share their favourites.

Indian Monuments on the World Heritage List

India has diverse cultures and a history that stretches back centuries. It's no surprise that 42 Indian sites have earned a spot on the World Heritage List. These sites include iconic landmarks like the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort, to natural wonders like Kaziranga and Sundarbans National Parks.

Here's a list of the 42 Indian sites listed on the World Heritage List, arranged in the order of the year they were included:

  1. Agra Fort (1983)

  2. Ajanta Caves (1983)

  3. Ellora Caves (1983)

  4. Taj Mahal (1983)

  5. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)

  6. Sun Temple, Konârak (1984)

  7. Kaziranga National Park (1985)

  8. Keoladeo National Park (1985)

  9. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)

  10. Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)

  11. Fatehpur Sikri (1986)

  12. Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)

  13. Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)

  14. Elephanta Caves (1987)

  15. Great Living Chola Temples (1987, 2004)

  16. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)

  17. Sundarbans National Park (1987)

  18. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988, 2005)

  19. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)

  20. Humayun's Tomb, Delhi (1993)

  21. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)

  22. Mountain Railways of India (1999, 2005, 2008)

  23. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)

  24. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)

  25. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)

  26. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)

  27. Red Fort Complex (2007)

  28. The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)

  29. Western Ghats (2012)

  30. Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)

  31. Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014)

  32. Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)

  33. Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar (2016)

  34. Khangchendzonga National Park (2016)

  35. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016)

  36. Historic City of Ahmadabad (2017)

  37. Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018)

  38. Jaipur City, Rajasthan (2019)

  39. Dholavira: a Harappan City (2021)

  40. Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana (2021)

  41. Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas (2023)

  42. Santiniketan (2023)

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