April 18 is celebrated as Internal Heritage Day or International Day for Monuments and Sites. The theme for 2021 is ‘Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures’. The history of a place can involve many points of view. Together with ICOMOS, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre supports inclusive and diverse points of view in heritage identification, conservation and transmission to future generations.
On this day, let’s have a look at the top 10 world heritage sites across the world which have a rich history attached to them -
Nubian Monuments, Egypt: The site houses the marvelous Temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel and the Sanctuary of Isis at Philae. It was saved from the rising waters of the Nile thanks to the International Campaign launched by UNESCO, in 1960- 80.
Machu Picchu, Peru: A 15th-century Inca citadel, located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru. One of the few major pre-Columbian ruins found nearly intact, Machu Picchu was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.
Yellowstone National Park, USA: Established in 1872, this American national park is located in northwestern Wyoming and partly in southern Montana and eastern Idaho. It is known for its wildlife and geothermal features like Old Faithful Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin, and Morning Glory Pool.
Petra, Jordan: A famous archaeological site in Jordan’s south-western desert. Dating to around 300 B.C., it was the capital of the Nabatean Kingdom.
Fun fact: Several scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed in Petra.
Taj Mahal, India: An ivory-white marble mausoleum built by Shah Jahan in the Indian city of Agra. He commissioned it in 1632 for his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia: Built in the 12th century, this is the largest religious structure (temple complex) in the world by land area. It is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Easter Island, Chile: An archaeological site on a remote volcanic island in Polynesia, it includes nearly 900 monumental statues called Moai.
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt: The oldest of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world and the only one to remain largely intact.
Acropolis, Greece: An ancient citadel located in the city of Athens containing remains of several ancient buildings, Parthenon being the famous one.
Hampi, India: An ancient village in the south Indian state of Karnataka with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire.