10 criteria for World Heritage nomination of UNESCO

By | April 27, 2016

Heritage Status to Indian Sites by UNESCO

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the nodal agency for forwarding any request for World Heritage status to any Indian site whether cultural or natural. Based on the proposals received from the Central or State Government agencies as well as management Trusts, etc., and after their due scrutiny, the Government forwards the nomination dossiers to the World Heritage Center. The list of places in India which have been granted World Heritage status by UNESCO is given below in Table-1.

There are 10 enlisted criteria (given below) for determining Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) for World Heritage nomination. The proposed nomination must satisfy at least one of these 10 criteria.






S.No Name of Site State
1. Ajanta Caves (1983) Maharashtra
2. Ellora Caves (1983) Maharashtra
3. Agra Fort (1983) Uttar Pradesh
4. Taj Mahal (1983) Uttar Pradesh
5. Sun Temple, Konarak (1984) Odisha
6. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984) Tamil Nadu
7. Churches and Convents of Goa (1986) Goa
8. Group of Temples, Khajuraho (1986) Madhya Pradesh
9. Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986) Karnataka
10. Group of Monuments, FatehpurSikri (1986) Uttar Pradesh
11. Group of Temples, Pattadakal (1987) Karnataka
12. Elephanta Caves ( 1987) Maharashtra
13. Great Living Chola temples at Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholapuram and Darasuram (1987 & 2004) Tamil Nadu
14. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989) Madhya Pradesh
15. Humayun’s  Tomb, Delhi (1993) Delhi
16. Qutb Minar Complex, Delhi (1993) Delhi
17. Prehistoric Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003) Madhya Pradesh
18. Champaner-Pavagarh Archaeological Park (2004) Gujarat
19. Red Fort Complex, Delhi (2007) Delhi
20. Hill Forts of Rajasthan

(Chittaurgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Jaisalmer and Ranthambhore, Amber and Gagron Forts)      (2013)

(Amber and Gagron Forts are under protection of Rajasthan State Archaeology and Museums)

21. Rani ki Vav (2014) Gujarat


Under Protection of Ministry of Railways


22. Mountain Railway of India ( Darjeeling,1999), Nilgiri (2005), Kalka-Shimla(2008) West Bengal,  Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh
23. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004) Maharashtra


Under Protection of Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee


24. Mahabodhi Temple, Bodhgaya (2002) Bihar


Under Protection of Rajasthan State Archaeology and Museums Department


25. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010) Rajasthan




Under Protection of Ministry of Environment & Forest


26. Kaziranga National Park (1985) Assam
27. Manas Wild Life Sanctuary (1985) Assam
28. Keoladeo National Park (1985) Rajasthan
29. Sunderban National Park (1987) West Bengal
30. Nanda Devi  and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988, 2005) Uttarakhand
31. Western Ghats (2012) Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra,Tamil Nadu
32. Great Himalayan National Park (2014) Himachal Pradesh




(i)     to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;  
(ii)    to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a   cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design;  
(iii)            to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared;


(iv)   to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological   ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history;  
(v)    to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change;
(vi)   to be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria.
(vii)           to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;  
(viii)          to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features;  
(ix)  to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals;  
(x)    to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.  


This information was given by Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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