The World Heritage Sites in India are recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - UNESCO. As on 2012, there are 29 places of importance of cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972. Over the years, 27 more sites have been inscribed, the latest site inscribed in 2012 being the Western Ghats. Of these 29 sites, 23 are cultural sites and the other six are natural sites.

1. Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary, Assam

Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary, located in the Northeastern state of Assam in the flood plains of the Brahmaputra River’s south bank, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 for its unique natural environment. It was first established as a reserved forest in 1908 to protect the dwindling species of Rhinoceros. It underwent several transformations over the years, as The Kaziranga Game Sanctuary in 1916, renamed as Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary in 1950, and declared a national park in 1974. The park, which covers an area of 42,996 hectares (106,250 acres), has the distinction of being home to the world's largest population of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros. There are many other mammals and birds species in the sanctuary.

2. Manas Wild Life Sanctuary, Assam

Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Northeastern state of Assam covers an area of 50,000 hectares (120,000 acres) in the plains of the Manas River’s in the foot hills of the Himalayas on the border with Bhutan (contiguous with the Manas Wild Life Sanctuary in Bhutan It was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 for its unique natural environment. The sanctuary is the habitat of several species of plants and 21 most threatened species of mammals, out of 55 mammal species in the sanctuary, 36 reptile species, 3 amphibians and 350 species of birds; endangered species include Tiger, pygmy hog, clouded leopard, sloth bear, Indian Rhinoceros, wild buffaloes (the only pure stain of buffaloes in India), Indian Elephants, golden langur and Bengal Florican. In 1907, it was declared a reserve forest, was declared a sanctuary in 1928, and became a Tiger Reserve in 1973 as part of “Project Tiger” and a World Heritage Site in December 1985. Plants listed under the broad category of Burma Monsoon Forests include 285 species of Dicotyledons and 98 species of Monocotyledons. Since 1992, the sanctuary has been listed under “The World Heritage in Danger".

3. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, Bihar

Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (Buddha Gaya), spread over an area of 4.86 hectares (12.0 acres) was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List i as a unique property of cultural and archaeological importance. The first temple was built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC (260 BC) around the Bodhi Tree Ficus religiosa (to the west of the temple). However, the temples seen now are dated between 5th and 6th centuries AD. The structures have been built in bricks. Revered and sanctified as the place where Siddhartha Gautama Buddha was enlightened in 531 BC at age 35, and then propagated his divine knowledge of Buddhism to the world, it has been the ultimate temple for reverential worship, over the last several centuries, by Buddhists of all denominations, from all over the world who visit on pilgrimage. The main temple is 50 m in height, built in Indian architectural style, dated between 5th and 6th centuries, and it is the oldest temple in the Indian sub-continent built during the “Golden Age” of Indian culture credited to the Gupta period. Sculpted balustrades of the Ashokan times (3rd century BC) are preserved in the Archaeological Museum located within the temple complex.

4. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi, the first tomb built with several innovations, set at the centre of luxurious gardens with water channels, was the precursor monument to the Taj Mahal (built a century later). It was built in 1570 and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument in 1993 for its cultural importance. It was built in 1569–1570 by the second Mughal Emperor Humayun’s widow Biga Begum (Hajji Begum). Its architecture is credited to Mirza Ghiyath and its Mughal architectural style has been acclaimed as the “necropolis of the Mughal dynasty” for its double domed elevation provided with Chhatris. Apart from the tomb of Humayun, the funerary also has 150 tombs of various members of the royal family. The tomb is built with a char-bagh (fourfold) layout with two gates, one on the south and the other on the west. It has a number of water channels, a pavilion and a bath. The tomb set on an irregular octagonal plinth has a raised dome of 42.5 m height, covered by marble slabs and decorated with chhatris.

5. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi

Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi, located to the south of Delhi, is a complex with the Qutb Minar as the centre piece, which is a red sandstone tower of 72.5 metres (238 ft) height with a base of 14.32 metres (47.0 ft) reducing to 2.75 metres (9.0 ft) diameter at the top. Built in the beginning of the 13th century, the complex of structures comprises itineraries, the Alai Darwaza Gate (1311), the Alai Minar (an incomplete mound of the intended Minar or tower), the Qubbat-ul-Islam Mosque (the earliest existing mosque in India), the tomb of Iltumish, and an Iron Pillar. The complex is a testimony to the Islamic depredations during the period as seen from the materials used for building the complex which are those that were removed after destroying Hindu and Jain temples; a shining iron pillar of 7.02 metres (23.0 ft) height (without any trace of rusting) erected at the centre of the complex, with inscriptions in Sanskrit, of the Chandra Gupta II period is a moot witness. History records its construction, initially by Qutubuddin Aibak in 1192, its completion by Iltumish (1211–36) and again by Alauddin Khalji (1296–1316). It underwent several renovations by subsequent rulers, following damage to the structures due to lightning. It was inscribed under the UNESCO World Heritage List under category iv for its unique representation of the Islamic architectural and artistic excellence

6. Red Fort Complex

Red Fort Complex, also known as Lal Qila is a palace fort built in the 17th century by Shahjahan (1628–58), the fifth Mughal Emperor as part of his new capital city of Shahjahanabad. located to the north of Delhi. It represents the glory of the Mughal rule and is considered the Highpoint of Mughal architectural, artistic aesthetic creativity. The architectural design of the structures built within the fort represents a blend of Persian, Timuri and Indian architectural styles; Isfahan, the Persian Capital is said to have provided the inspiration to build the Red Fort Complex.

7. Churches and Convents of Goa

Churches and Convents of Goa are monuments inscribed by UNESCO under the World Heritage List in 1986 as cultural property, under criteria (ii),(iv) and (vi), which were built by the Portuguese colonial rulers of Goa between 16th and 18th centuries. These monuments are mainly in the former capital of Velha Goa. Velha Goa is also known Goem, Pornem Gõy, Adlem Gõi, Old Goa or Saibachem Gõi, where Saib or Goencho Saib refers to Saint Francis Xavier. The most significant of these monuments is the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which enshrines the tomb containing the relics of St. Francis Xavier. These monuments of Goa, known as the “Rome of the Orient,” were established by different Catholic religious orders, from 25 November 1510 onwards.

8. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is situated in Panchmahal district in Gujarat, India. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 as a natural site. There is a concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties cradled in an impressive landscape which includes prehistoric (chalcolithic) sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th century capital of the state of Gujarat

9.Group of Monuments at Hampi

The Group of Monuments at Hampi comprise a sombre but ostentatious Hampi town, on the banks of the river Tungabhadra in Karnataka. Hampi subsumes the ruins of Vijayanagara, which was the former capital of the powerful Vijayanagara Empire. Dravidian temples and palaces abound in Hampi. These won the admiration of travellers between the 14th and 16th centuries.

10. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

The Group of monuments in Pattadakal designated under UNESCO World Heritage List, in 1987, cover a remarkable series of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary in northern Karnataka. In this group of temples, the Virupaksha Temple, built in c. 740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband's (King Vikramaditya II) victory over the Pallava kings from the south, is considered the most outstanding architectural edifice (This is different from the Virupaksha Temple at Hampi.) These are a remarkable combination of temples built by the Chalukya Dynasty in the 6th - 8th century at Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal, the latter city was known as the "Crown Rubies".

11. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, located 45 kilometres (28 mi) from Bhopal in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are a group of Buddhist monuments dated between 200 BC and 100BC. The site, however, has been conjectured to have been developed in the 3rd century BC, when Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Empire ruled. The principal monument is Stupa 1 dated to the 2nd century and 1st century BC. These Buddhist sanctuaries were active Buddhist religious monuments, which flourished till 12th century AD.

12. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh

Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka described in the UNESCO Inscription as “the site complex … a magnificent repository of rock paintings within natural rock shelters” is located in the foothills of the Vindhya range of hills in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is spread in sandstone formations extending over an area of 1893 ha with a buffer zone 10,280 hectares (25,400 acres). The rock shelters, discovered only in 1957, comprise a group of “five clusters of rock shelters” with paintings that are inferred to date from the “Mesolithic period right through to the Historical period”, with the 21 villages surrounding them reflecting the traditions displayed in the rock paintings.

13. Ajanta Caves

Ajanta Caves listed under UNESCO World Heritage as a cultural heritage site, are Buddhist caves that were built in two phases, the first phase was from 2nd century BC. In the second phase, further additions were made during the 5th and 6th centuries AD of the Gupta period. The caves depict richly decorated paintings, frescoes, which are reminiscent of the Sigiriya paintings in Sri Lanka and sculptures.

14. Ellora Caves

Ellora Caves also known as Ellora Complex are a cultural mix of religious arts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. These are 34 monasteries and temples sculpted contiguously into rock walls of a high basalt cliff, which are seen along a length of 2 kilometres (1.2 mi). Dated to 600 to 1000 AD, they are a reflection of artistic creation of the ancient civilization of India.

15. Elephanta Caves Elephanta CavesTrimurti in Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri (literally "the city of caves") in Mumbai Harbour, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to the east of the city of Mumbai. The island, located on an arm of the Arabian Sea, consists of two groups of caves — the first is a large group of five Hindu caves, the second, a smaller group of two Buddhist caves.

16. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus)

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a historic railway station in Mumbai, which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. It is one of the busiest railway stations in India, and serves Central Railway trains terminating in Mumbai as well as the Mumbai Suburban Railway. The station was designed by Frederick William Stevens, a consulting architect in 1887–1888. It took ten years to complete and was named "Victoria Terminus" in honour of the Queen and Empress Victoria; it was opened on the date of her Golden Jubilee in 1887.

17. Sun Temple, Konârak

246; 1984;(i)(iii)(vi) Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century Sun Temple (also known as the "Black Pagoda"), at Konark, in Orissa. Located on the east coast of the Bay of Bengal in the Mahanadi Delta, it is built in the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the sun god with 24 wheels, and is heavily decorated with symbolic stone carvings and led by a team of six horses. It was constructed from oxidizing weathered ferruginous sandstone by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.

18. Keoladeo National Park

Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur is located within the Indus-Ganges Monsoon Forest Biogeographical Province. It extends over an area of 2,783 hectares (6,880 acres). It was declared a national park in 1982. Earlier to this, in 1900, it was a duck-hunting reserve of the Maharajasof Bharatpur, then became a bird sanctuary in 1956, with the Maharajas exercising shooting rights till 1972, and was recorded as a Ramsar Wetland site, in 1981.

19. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja (King) Jai Singh II at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. It is modelled after the one that he had built at the Mughal capital of Delhi. He had constructed a total of five such facilities at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur.

20.Great Living Chola Temples

The Great Living Chola Temples, built by kings of the Chola Empire stretched over all of Tamil Nadu. This cultural heritage site includes three great temples of 11th and 12th century namely, the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.

21.Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, in Tamilnadu, about 58 km from Chennai, were built by the Pallava kings in the 7th and 8th centuries. The town is said to have gained prominence under the rule of Mamalla. These monuments have been carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast.

22.Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh

Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort of Agra, which represented Mughal opulence and power as the centre piece of their empire was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982, under Category iii as a cultural monument. The fortress located on the right bank of the Yamuna River, built in red sandstone, covering a length of 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) and surrounded by a moat, encloses several palaces, towers and mosques.

24.Fatehpur Sikri, Fatehpur, Uttar Pradesh

Fatehpur Sikri, "the City of Victory," was built during the second half of the 16th century by the Mughal Emperor Akbar (1556–1605). It was the capital of the Empire and seat of the grand Mughal court, but only for 14 years. Despite bearing exceptional testimony to the Mughal civilization at the end of the 16th century, it had to be abandoned due to the twin reasons of lack of water and unrest in north-west India, leading the Emperor to shift the capital to Lahore.

24.Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh

Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World is a mausoleum – a funerary mosque. It was built by Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his third wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal who had died in 1631. It is a large edifice made in white marble in typical Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural styles. This much acclaimed masterpiece was built over a 16 year period between 1631 and 1648 under the Chief Architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri supported by several thousand artisans under the guidance of an Imperial Committee.

25.Mountain Railways of India

The Mountain Railways of India represents a collective listing of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, the Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla Railway under the UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the Mountain Railways of India are five railway lines built in the mountains of India in the 19th and early 20th century, during the British Raj, which are run even today by the Indian Railways. Three out of these five railways, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (1881), the Kalka-Shimla Railway (1898) and the Kangra Valley Railway (1924), are located in the rugged hill regions of the Himalayas of Northern India and the other two are much further south in the Western Ghats;the Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Southern India, and the Matheran Hill Railway in Maharashtra.

26. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks

The Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks are nestled high in West Himalaya. Valley of Flowers National Park is renowned for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty. It is located in the Garhwal Himalaya of Chamoli District of Uttaranchal (formerly part of Uttar Pradesh). This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, brown bear and blue sheep. The gentle landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park complements the rugged mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi National Park.

27. Sundarbans National Park

The Sundarbans National Park, the largest estuarine mangrove forest in the world is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sundarbans Ganges river delta bordering the Bay of Bengal, in West Bengal. It is also on the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The Sundarbans as a whole encompasses 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) of land and water, about 5,980 km2 (2,310 sq mi) in India and the balance is in Bangladesh. It is integral to the world's largest delta of 80,000 km2 formed from sediments deposited by the three great rivers, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna, which confluence in the Bengal Basin.

28. Western Ghats - Western Ghats, near Matheran, India

Western Ghats, also known as the Sahyadri Mountains, a mountain range along the western side of India and one of the world’s ten "Hottest biodiversity hotspots"

29. Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho Group of Monuments attributed to the Chandela dynasty which, under sovereignty of Gurjar Pratihars reached its glory between 950 AD and 1050 AD. The ensemble of monuments that have survived belong to the Hindu and Jain Religious practices with striking fusion of sculpture and architecture; the best example of this outstanding feature is seen in the Kandariya Temple.