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Heritage Protection

There are two types of World Heritage Sites as defined by the UNESCO. One is Cultural Heritage Sites including man-made works like architectural creations, archaeological structures, monumental sculpture and paintings, cave dwellings, groups of buildings that are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science and combined works of man and nature that are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view.

The second type is Natural Heritage Sites like single or grouped biological, physical, geological or physiographical formations or delineated areas of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view or which are the habitats of threatened species of animals and plants of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation.

The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization meeting in Paris from 17 October to 21 November 1972, noted that 'the cultural heritage and the natural heritage are increasingly threatened with destruction not only by the traditional causes of decay, but also by changing social and economic conditions'.

The Conference also noted that the deterioration or disappearance of cultural or natural heritage is a harmful impoverishment of world heritage and that we should increase and diffuse knowledge on these and assure their conservation and protection. The convention containing these decisions was adopted on the 16th of November, 1972. The properties from India inscribed on the World Heritage List are:

Cultural Sites


Agra Fort


Hill Forts of Rajasthan


Ajanta Caves


Humayun's Tomb, Delhi


Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi


Khajuraho Group of Monuments


Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park


Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya


Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus


Mountain Railways of India


Churches and Convents of Goa


Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi


Elephanta Caves


Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen's Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat


Ellora Caves


Red Fort Complex


Fatehpur Sikri


Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka


Great Living Chola Temples


Sun Temple, Konarak


Group of Monuments at Hampi


Taj Mahal


Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram


The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur


Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

Natural Sites


Great Himalayan National Park


Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks


Kaziranga National Park


Sundarbans National Park


Keoladeo National Park


Western Ghats


Manas Wildlife Sanctuary

Heritage India Foundation is engaged in studying, documenting, promoting and conserving the World Heritage Sites, declared as such by UNESCO, especially those situated inside India. Article 17 of the Convention adopted by UNESCO in 1972 clearly says that the parties to the Convention 'shall consider or encourage the establishment of national public and private foundations or associations whose purpose is to invite donations for the protection of the cultural and natural heritage'. Therefore HIF is following the Convention in letter and spirit and calling upon all to support its patriotic activities in promoting heritage sites.

The projects of Heritage India Foundation are all planned with the welfare of mankind and natureas the prime target, whether they are for the health and wellness or knowledge and awareness of the common people, the intellectual and character formation of our children, the protection and promotion of our heritage treasures, or helping the administration in good governance and such other programmes.

Grafiti- free Monuments

Our national monuments are what make us proud to call ourselves Indians. But vandals are defacing them with graffiti and damaging them in every way. Inspired by the Prime Minister's Cleanliness Drive, Heritage India Foundation is unleashing a campaign to remove defacing graffiti from our national monuments and to protect them from further vandalising. The Prime Minister and the Minister for Tourism have ensured administrative support for the project. The Central Ministry of Education has supported in principle the proposal of HIF for making cleanliness lessons a part of the curriculum for formal education. Campaign material for the project of making our national monuments graffiti-free is being prepared on a war-footing. HIF envisages a sea change in the attitude of the average Indian citizen making him proud of the symbols of his cultural heritage and show them off to the whole world with genuine pride.