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Top 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

April 9, 2020 Guest Post: Divya

Ranking 6th on the top 20 countries with the most UNESCO world heritage sites, a trip to India is an incredible travel story! Nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts will have a most memorable time. Dive into this handpicked list of Top 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and add the most outstanding natural spaces in India to your bucket-list dream.

Jump to:

#1 Great Himalayan National Park

#2 Kaziranga National Park

#3 Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Park

#4 Keoladeo National Park

#5 Sundarbans National Park

 

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#1 Great Himalayan National Park

Shack surrounded by lush green mountains in the valley of the Great Himalayan National Park

Mighty glacial mountains glittering in the sunshine. Sun rays piercing through dense pine forests. The Blue Whistling Thrush performing a lovely chorus. Inviting you to follow the melody deep into the alpine meadows. You're so close and then all at once a unison of excited bird chirps, to announce your arrival! This soothing scenic splendor is unique to the landscape of Himachal Pradesh, India.

  • Gateway City: Shamshi, Kullu Valley.
  • Area: 1,171 square kilometer area
  • Nearest airport: Bhuntar airport in Kullu. (60 km away)
  • Best time to Visit: Autumn (September–November) for the best sightings.

Great Himalayan National Park, you guessed it, is located in the stellar Himalayan Mountains in the northern part of India. This great bio reserve is a sanctuary to 375 exotic species of fauna and more than 100 species of flora. It is also a haven for hiking and trekking enthusiasts. The altitude range of between 1500 and 6000 m, offers a full range of pure nature. Hike, fish for trout, camp and catch sights of rare birds peculiar to the Himalayas. Please note that any sort of hunting is not permitted.

Outstanding sights:

Blue sheep, Snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan tahr, and Musk deer.

Fun Fact:

Himachal is home to another UNESCO world heritage site, Mountain Railways of India. Five more monuments in Himachal are set to enter the Unesco heritage list!

Travel Tip:

Learn more about Himachal Pradesh and its vast treasure of offbeat travel destinations in India.

 

 

#2 Kaziranga National Park

Indian rhinoceros in tall grass in the Kaziringa National Park

Kaziranga Safari adventure is perfect for a vacation to escape the routine of work-life and learn about wildlife!

  • Gateway City: Jorhat, Assam
  • Area: 430 square kilometer area
  • Nearest airport: Guwahati International Airport (217 km ) and Jorhat Airport 97 km
  • Best time to Visit: November to April. (Closed from 01 May till 31 Oct every year)

The forest of Kaziranga spreads along the River Brahmaputra. It is well connected through the Indian roadways. The scenic terrains remain unhindered by human touch...best for a wildlife safari! The vast forest also has elephant-grass meadows and swampy lagoons. Its history is a beautiful tale in itself.

Created with an area of a mere 232 square kilometers in 1905 to protect the shrinking one-horned Indian rhinoceros population. Presently it is the only natural habitat of its kind! Proud home to more than 2200 of this majestic Jurrasic era species. It is one of the most sought after wildlife holiday destinations in India. It is also a Tiger Reserve and a recognized important Bird Area.

Outstanding sights:

Hoolock Gibbon, Tiger, Leopard, Indian Elephant, Indian rhino, Sloth Bear, Wild water buffalo, swamp deer.

Fun Fact:

During the winter season, rare birds migrate from Central Asia to Kaziranga National Park in India. Like the white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck,  black-necked stork, and Asian Openbill stork

Travel Tip:

Go deep through North-east India Travel Destinations. Lots of WOW sights are hidden in the lost Kingdom of India.

 

 

#3 Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Park

Man sitting above valley of flowers in lush green mountains

A testing trek of 17km leads you up to this scenic rapture of most rare Himalayan flowers blooming in peace. The raw terrain is far from any human interference.

  • Gateway City: Joshimath, Uttrakhand
  • Area: 2,236.74 square kilometer area
  • Nearest airport: Jolly Grant at Dehradun
  • Best time to Visit: May to October

To immerse yourself with the lost wilderness, Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of flowers is the best place to be. At an elevation of more than 3,500 m, on a roughly square outline, this wide alpine treasure is marked by imposing glacial Himalayan mountain views on all sides. The stellar views of the second highest peak in India, Nanda Devi (7816 m) will leave you gasping with awe and wonder.

Valley of flowers is a dream landscape added to the Nanda Devi National Park in 2005 expansion. The valley stretches carpets of alpine flowers far and wide. Sanctuary to more than 600 Himalayan fauna species. It is a paradise for Botanists and Mountaineers, located in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.

Outstanding sights:

Snow leopard, Serow, Asiatic black bear, brown bear  Himalayan musk deer, and bharal.  45 rare medicinal plants such as Saussurea obvallata (Brahma Kamal).

Fun Fact:

A visit to this land of protector of endangered animals and rare medicinal herbs will be the most beautiful memory. Hallelujah!

Travel Tip:

Plan for a permit from the Forest Department, if you are already dreaming to visit this Natural World Heritage site in India.

 

 

#4 Keoladeo National Park

brown pelican on brown grass during daytime in Keoladeo National Park, India

Enjoy a visit to this oasis in the Great Indian Thar Desert, one of the best bird-watching sites in Asia.

  • Gateway City: Bharatpur, Rajasthan
  • Area: over 29 square kilometers
  • Nearest airport: Agra Airport (54 km) and New Delhi Airport (184 km)
  • Best time to Visit: October to February

Located in the very colorful Indian state, Rajasthan, Keoladeo National Park welcomes all. The park is open to watch winged wonders and rich biodiversity from sunrise to sunset. Remarkable in its richness and diversity, the Park’s flora consists of 379 species of flowering plants. It allows a great range of scenes from savannas to mounds, to different kinds of trees and shrubs.

Keoladeo is about 250 years old and has been a World Heritage Site since 1985.  The park is in proximity to many amazing culture trip destinations. You may plan a visit to the world wonder-Taj Mahal, to the Pink City Jaipur or the Venice of the east Udaipur.

Outstanding sights:

Rare Siberian Cranes. Golden Jackal, Striped Hyena, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Blackbuck, and Wild Boar.

Fun Fact:

You can stay inside the Keoladeo National Park! Pre-book your stay, especially so during winters.

Travel Tip:

Selecting from an array of luxury tourist train services, like the Palace on Wheels, would make your journey most memorable.

 

 

#5 Sundarbans National Park

lake surrounded with tall green trees in the Sundarbans National Park

It's easy to forget that ‘we live in a beautiful world.’ It becomes a cliche, hindsight in everyday distractions and virtual stimulation. It's easy to feel alone and crave connection. Discover the good old Nature Therapy!

  • Gateway City: Kolkata, West Bengal
  • Area: 1,355 square kilometers
  • Nearest airport: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport
  • Best time to Visit: October to March

Visit the Most Famous Tiger Zone in the World's Largest Mangrove Forest in India. Sunderbans are a global wonder with an unmatched aura of beauty and rich flora fauna with 64 plant species, 78 species of mangroves alone. It is an enrapturing mosaic of small islands, pretty trees, rich marine life, and an important breeding area for wildlife. Rest here in the lap of the beauty of the raw forest away from all city hustle and noise. 

The bio space is so vast that it stretches from India to Bangladesh over two great Indian River The Ganga and The Brahmaputra. Take a boat ride and glide cross-river. All while you watch the stunning wildlife the big cat and saltwater crocodile observe your moves! Something to get you heart racing. 

Outstanding sights:

Bengal Tiger, Macaques, Indian Grey Mongoose, Leopard Cats, Ridley Sea Turtle, Flying Fox, Fishing Cats, Chital, Pangolins

Fun Fact:

This UNESCO world heritage site gets its name from Sundari(Pretty) trees, found in bulk in this area. Sunderbans means “beautiful forests.”  

Travel Tip:

Visit in winter months to see powerful Royal Bengal Tigers, sun-bathing on the river banks

 

Author Bio-

This post was written and contributed by Divya, a student of Philosophy who travels every chance she gets. The challenge to express the pure wonder and beauty of the world we live in, aspire her to write. She is associated as a Content Writer with Indian Travel Store A Travel Management Company.

If you want to contribute a Guest Post to The Travelling Souk, please visit our Write for Us page.

 

Check out other things to do in India:

Planning a Wellness Vacation to Kerala
Most Famous Historical Monuments of India

 

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We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest. 

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