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UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South India

Updated on July 26, 2017

South India is rich in distinctive traditions, culture, art, lush tropical forests, flora and fauna. Here is a brief overview of some UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South India.

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Western Ghats

This 1,600 km mountain range is one of the top 10 hottest biodiversity hotspots in the world. It enriches about half of the India's geographical area. It runs parallel to the western coast of India, along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau.

Western Ghats are Older Than the Himalaya Mountains

Western Ghats separates the Deccan Plateau from the narrow Konkan coast, along the Arabian Sea. The upper slopes of Western Ghats are abundantly clothed with magnificent forests, and wild animals abound. Western Ghats' forests, which are older than the Himalaya mountains, influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern.

There Are 39 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Western Ghats

39 locations in Western Ghats (wild life sanctuaries, reserve forests and national parks) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites; 20 in Kerala, 10 in Karnataka, 5 in Tamil Nadu and 4 in Maharastra.

Agasthyamalai Sub-Cluster, Periyar Sub-Cluster, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster, Talakaveri Sub-Cluster, Kudremukh Sub-Cluster and Sahyadri Sub-Cluster are included.

Elephants in Periyar Tiger Reserve

Periyar Tiger Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Western Ghats, Kerala
Periyar Tiger Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Western Ghats, Kerala | Source

Great Living Chola Temples

Located in Tamil Nadu, this UNESCO World Heritage Site includes three 11th and 12th century temples: the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram, the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. These temples give you an idea of power, wealth, imperial domain and religious commitment of the rulers belonging to the Chola dynasty.

A markerBrihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur -
Membalam Rd, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu 613007, India
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Airavatesvara Temple in Darasuram

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons | Source

Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram

Carved out of rock, this group of sanctuaries is located on the Coromandel Coast in Tamil Nadu. It is well-known for its rathas, mandapas, open-air reliefs and the temple of Rivage.

A markerMahabalipuram -
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu 603104, India
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Nilgiri Mountain Railway

This 46-km long metre-gauge single-track railway was completed in 1908. It is located in Tamil Nadu. It connects Mettupalayam and Udhagamandalam. It has the steepest track in Asia.

A markerNilgiri Mountain Railway -
Nilgiri Mountain Railway Line, Tamil Nadu
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You can't leave the Nilgiri Mountain Railway without pleasant memories, whether you're on the fabled toy train or at the Fernhill station.

— Geeta Padmanabhan

Churches and Convents of Goa

OOne of these monuments, the Church of Bom Jesus, houses the tomb of St Francis-Xavier. This UNESCO World Heritage Site illustrate the evangelization of India.

A markerChurch of Bom Jesus -
Old Goa Rd, Velha Goa, Goa 403402, India
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Group of Monuments at Hampi

Ruins of Dravidian temples and palaces are among Monuments at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. These monuments were built by kings who ruled the Vijayanagara Empire, which was established in the 14th century. These monuments were destroyed by Islamic Deccan sultanates.

A markerHampi -
Hampi, Karnataka 583239, India
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Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

Located in Karnataka, these monuments include nine Hindu temples and a Jain sanctuary. Built by Chalukyas, the architecture of these monuments has been influenced by both North Indian and South Indian architectural style.

A markerPattadakal -
Pattadakal, Karnataka 587201, India
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