World Heritage Day_Cover

April 18. World Heritage Day

World heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. Protecting and preserving this valuable asset demands the collective efforts of the international community. In 1982, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) announced 18th April as ‘World Heritage Day’ (International Day for Monuments and Sites).

With an aim to protect culturally and historically significant sites across the globe, this day encourages us to celebrate the ‘heritage’ of the entire human race by preserving the history, identity and its people.

‘Heritage’ can incorporate both tangible and the intangible presented in many forms such as landmarks, places, buildings, views and the stories associated with them.


Every year, ICOMOS proposes a theme for celebrations and activities. This year the theme for WHD is ‘Rural Landscapes‘. Rural landscapes are defined as “terrestrial and aquatic areas co-produced by human-nature interaction used for the production of food and other renewable natural resources.”

This year world heritage day focus to raise awareness regarding the relevance of rural landscapes. And it is done by building links with communities, acknowledging their involvement in every creation, existence & evolution and by conserving the richness of sustainable development.

Rural Landscapes. World Heritage Day
Rural landscapes are the prime grounds for human nature interaction. Photo by Joshua Newton on Unsplash.


Today there are over 1000 world heritage sites, from ancient ruins to natural wonders all over the world. And these sites are great models to educate each countries culture and heritage.

In India, there are 36 heritage sites (7 Natural, 28 Cultural & 1 mixed) recognized by UNESCO. These sites gained global significance because they symbolize the art, culture and civilization of a nation.

Patan Durbar Square. Lalitpur. Nepal. UNESCO World Heritage Day
Patan Durbar Square, Lalitpur, Nepal, a UNESCO world heritage site. Photo by Tobias Federle on Unsplash

Take a look at some of the world heritage sites in India

  1. Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
  2. Group of Monuments at Hampi, Karnataka
  3. Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu
  4. Sun Temple, Konark, Orissa
  5. Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh
  6. Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
  7. Hill Forts, Rajasthan
  8. Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
  9. Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim
  10. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Uttarakhand

Besides these, there is a tentative list of 43 heritage sites from India which has been submitted to the UNESCO committee for evaluation and acceptance.

Hampi. World Heritage Day
Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site


To retain these heritage places state government, local governments & property owners play an important part. They ensure that this valuable asset of our heritage is recognized, respected and promoted.

As a community, it’s our duty to maintain a balance between human activity and our environment & pass on these places to future generations safely so that they will understand what came before them.
Keep our heritage alive!