Amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka

UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka

Read here about the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Karnataka and also the tentative UNESCO world heritage sites in Karnataka.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka

The state of Karnataka in India is a veritable haven for travellers. Along with many other attractions, it is home to many heritage sites. Let us take a look at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka. The state is endowed with the richness of nature, the thrill of wildlife, and the wonder of heritage, and include gorgeous beaches, meandering rivers, cascading waterfalls, and mystical and ancient temples.

World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka

The list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in India includes 2 heritage sites that are located in the state of Karnataka. Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the Western Ghats is also partially located in Karnataka. Apart from these, there are several sites that figure in the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka

The two main and well-known archaeological sites of Karnataka, namely, Group of Monuments of Hampi, and Group of Monuments of Pattadakal are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Apart from these the Western Ghats which is spread across the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being a biodiversity hotspot.

List Of UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Karnataka

  1. Group of monuments at Hampi
  2. Group of monuments at Pattadakal
  3. Western Ghats

Group Of Monuments At Hampi – UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

Group Of Monuments At Hampi - UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka
Group Of Monuments At Hampi – UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

The ruins of Hampi still tell stories of a grand era, the time when the golden period of the Vijayanagara Empire pervaded across Karnataka and much of southern India. Hampi is one of the largest heritage sites not only in India but in the world, encompassing an area of 4187.24 ha.

Hampi is where the ruins of the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire stand today. The Vijayanagara Empire wrote a glorious chapter in the history of Karnataka and India between the 14th and 16th centuries. Today what remains of the once grand urban settlement are more than 1,600 ruined monuments. Hampi was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1986 and a modification was done in the year 2012.

The ruins of Hampi consist of grand temples, royal living quarters, forts, observation towers, water structures, pillared halls, and much more. Though every corner of Hampi holds a unique treasure of history, the most notable monuments of Hampi are the Vittala temple, the Virupaksha temple, the Lotus Mahal, and the Hemakuta group of temples.

If you are planning on visiting Hampi, also plan to visit Anegundi, the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, even before Hampi. It is a place believed to be the Kishkinda mentioned in the Ramayana.

Important Hampi Monuments Not To Be Missed

  • Virupaksha Temple
  • Hazar Rama Temple
  • Vittala Temple
  • Lotus Mahal and Royal Quarters
  • Achyutaraya Temple
  • Elephant Stables
  • Hemakuta Hill Temple Complex
  • Hampi Bazaar

Location of Hampi Group of Monuments – UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

Hampi, the most important of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka nestles on the banks of the river Tungabhadra. It is located in the Vijayanagara district of Karnataka, India.

  • The nearest airport to Hampi is the Jindal Vijaynagar Airport in Torangallu at a distance of about 36 kilometres
  • The nearest railway station to Hampi is Hosapete Junction at a distance of about 13 kilometres

Group Of Monuments At Pattadakal – UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

Group Of Monuments At Pattadakal - UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka
Group Of Monuments At Pattadakal – UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

The Group of Monuments at Pattadakal was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1987. It covers an area of about 5.56 ha. The Pattadakal monuments consist of Hindu and Jain temples that are dated between the 7th and 8th centuries. What is unique about the art and architecture of these structures is the fusion of architectural styles of North and South India.

The Pattadakal temples were built during the reign of the Chalukyas and include ten major temples of which nine are Hindu temples and one is a Jain temple. Though most temples are dedicated to Shiva, one can find elements of Vaishnavism and Shaktism in the temples. The grandest and most important of the Pattadakal monuments is the Virupaksha temple, not to be confused with the temple of the same name in Hampi. The last of the Pattadakal temples was a Jain temple known as Jain Narayana temple, built in the 9th century.

Important Monuments of Pattadakal Not To Be Missed

  • Virupaksha Temple
  • Galaganatha Temple
  • Jambulingeshwara Temple
  • Kadaisiddheshwara Temple
  • Sangameshwara Temple
  • Chandrashekhara Temple
  • Kashi Vishwanatha Temple
  • Jain Narayana Temple

Location of Pattadakal Group of Monuments – UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

The Group of Monuments of Pattadakal is located in the Bagalkot District of North Karnataka in southern India. The history of Pattadakal dates back to pre-historic times.

  • The nearest airport to Pattadakal is in Hubballi at a distance of about 131 kilometres
  • Another airport close to Pattadakal is in Belgaum at a distance of about 150 kilometres
  • The nearest Railway Station to Pattadakal is Badami at a distance of about 18 kilometres

Western Ghats – UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

The Western Ghats is one of the 36 Biodiversity hotspots in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The chain of mountains that make up the Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas. It is considered as one of the best examples of the monsoon system on Earth. The Western Ghats was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2012 and encompasses a massive area of 795, 315 Ha. The unique ecosystem of the Western Ghats is home to more than 325 globally threatened flora and fauna.

The Western Ghats stretch across the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. The Malenadu region of Karnataka falls in the Western Ghats, and Agumbe and Mudigere are two of the wettest places of the Western Ghats. Many reserve forests and hill stations of Karnataka are located in the Western Ghats, and these include places like Sakleshpur, Kudremukh, Chikamagalur, and Coorg.

List Of Tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka

Apart from the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Karnataka also has sites that are under the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka. Here is a list of the tentative sites.

Hire Benkal, Megalithic Site – Tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site In Karnataka

Hire Benkal, Megalithic Site
Hire Benkal, Megalithic Site

Hire Benkal is a megalithic site in the Gangavati Taluka of Koppal District in Karnataka. It is a burial site with stone structures dating back to the prehistoric period. The identified structures include port-holed dolmenoid cists or circles, cists without port holes, rock shelter chambers, and irregular polygonal chambers. The site has been submitted under the tentative list in the year 2021.

Evolution Of Temple Architecture – Aihole – Badami – Pattadakal – Tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka - Badami - Aihole
Badami – Aihole

This site includes the cave temples of Badami and the temples of Aihole. It is an extension of the existing UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Pattadakal Group of Monuments. The site has been submitted under the tentative list in the year 2015.

Monuments Of Srirangapatna Island Town – Tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

Srirangapatna is home to many structures from the time of Tipu Sultan and beyond. The tentative site includes the Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangapatna Fort, palace, gates, and other allied structures. The site has been submitted under the tentative list in the year 2014.

Sacred Ensembles Of The Hoysalas – Tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

The Hoysala period is known for its grand temples. It is believed that more than 15oo temples were built by the Hoysala dynasty, of which around a hundred have survived. This site includes the beautiful temples of Belur and Halebidu, in Hassan District of Karnataka. The site has been submitted under the tentative list in the year 2014.

Monuments And Forts Of The Deccan Sultanate – Tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites Of Karnataka

This is a site which Karnataka shares with Andhra Pradesh. In Karnataka under this site are the Bahamani Monuments at Gulbarga, Bahamani and Barid Shahi Monuments at Bidar, and the Adil Shahi Monuments at Vijayapura (Bijapur). The monuments include the fort and mosque of Gulbarga, Bidar Fort and Bahamani Tombs in Bidar, the Gol Gumbaz, Ibrahim Roza, and the tombs of Bijapur.

In Hyderabad, the monuments under this site include the Charminar, Golconda Fort, and the Qutb Shahi Tombs. The site has been submitted under the tentative list in the year 2014.

Karnataka is home to numerous heritage sites beyond the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and those on the tentative list. These include many unknown and uncharted Hoysla temples, as well as other monuments that await the attention of the world. We hope that this post about the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Karnataka has piqued your interest, and spurs you to explore the rich heritage of Karnataka.

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka

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Amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka

Amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Karnataka

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