Posted by : Prajna LS April 21, 2014


World Heritage sites are managed by UNESCO. The International World Heritage Programme recognizes sites of cultural importance such as forests, mountains, islands, deserts, monument, building, complex or a city as Heritage Sites for the preservation of cultural heritage. These sites will be maintained under the supervision of UNESCO. The criteria for selecting a site as Heritage site is that it should represent outstanding universal significance in terms of cultural contributions. The sites will be listed by each country and then, the International committee decides after examination of the prominence of such sites.
India has many World Heritage sites. Let us focus upon Maharashtra state. Four sites have been listed under the World Heritage Sites program in Maharashtra.
Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus: This is a railway terminus located in Mumbai. This is a colonial structure named after the Queen Victoria. This railway terminus was renamed in 1996. The terminus was built was completed in 1880 during the British era. The monument is still active and is a major railway terminus in India.
It is popularly known as CST, which was under terrorist attack. The railway terminus is built in the Victorian Gothic style comprising beautiful carvings. It became a World Heritage Monument in 2004.
Ajanta: Situated about 100 km from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra these rock cut caves are well known for paintings. These caves were discovered by British officers in the 19th century. These caves date back to 100 B.C. All are Buddhist Caves.

image credit:kamat.com
 Ajanta caves are one of the prestigious monuments of India. One would marvel at the skill of Indian artisans. Details of the life style belonging to that period are displayed through paintings.
Ajanta caves can be approached by road. Hire taxis or take the MTDC tourist buses to reach Ajanta from Aurangabad city. Ajanta caves are protected by Eco-Conservation program. So, public vehicles are not allowed inside the premises. Public or private vehicles would drop you at the T-point and from there the tourists will be taken in an Eco-friendly bus. It takes about 5 minute to reach the cave site from the T-point.
Ellora: Ellora rock cut caves are situated at about 27 km from Aurangabad city. There are 34 caves in total belonging to Hindu, Buddhist and Jain traditions. They were built in various periods spanning from 5th to 11th centuries. Kailas Nath Temple, which is known for its magnificence is a single rock cut temple.

image credit:siddharthtravels.com
Ellora can be reached by road. Aurangabad is the nearest destination for accommodation and transportation. You can visit the Daulatabad Fort on the way.
Elephanta Caves: These 7th century caves are located on an island in the Arabian Sea near Mumbai Coast. Elephanta caves are located at about 9 nautical miles from the Gateway of India. You can reach the site by ferries. Regular ferries are available near the Gateway of India.

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