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HERITAGE SITES OF INDIA

The World Heritage Sites in India recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are 28, as of 2010. These are places of importance of cultural and natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. The Convention concerning the protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted on 17 November 1997 following the General Conference of the UNESCO held from 17 October 1972 to 21 November 1972. The Convention is defined under 28 Articles. Broadly, the Cultural Heritage Sites are defined in Article 1 as monuments, groups of buildings and sites, while the sites defined under Article 2 refer to natural features, geological and physiographical formations and natural sites. As of date, there are 911 properties under the World Heritage List, which cover 711 cultural sites, 180 natural sites and 27 mixed properties encompassing 152 countries, including India.Countries who have signed the Convention are 187 States, including India, which signed the Convention on November 14, 1977.

The Indian state of Tamil Nadu has the highest number of world heritage site in India.India’s first two sites inscribed on the list at the Seventh Session of the World Heritage held in 1983 were the Agra Fort and the Ajanta Caves Over the years, 26 more sites have been inscribed, the latest site inscribed in 2010 was the Jantar Mantar, Jaipur. Of these 28 sites, 23 are cultural sites and the other five are natural sites. A tentative list of sites/properties submitted by India for recognition includes 30 sites.

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