World heritage day is celebrated annually on April 18. The day aims at promoting cultural heritage through activities which are undertaken by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

World Heritage Day is also known as International Day for Monuments and Sites. India has 38 heritage sites listed under the UNESCO's list.

UNESCO heritage list india
UNESCO heritage list india

History of the day

World Heritage Day aims to preserve the human heritage and recognize the efforts of all relevant organizations in the field. The day was organized under the ICOMOS, first in 1982 but got approved by the 22nd General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983.

The day was proposed with the aim to enhance awareness of the importance of the cultural heritage of humankind, and redouble efforts to protect and conserve the human heritage.

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is an organization established according to the principles set forth in the Venice Charter, also known as the 1964 International Charter on the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites.

According to ICOMOS, the day not only celebrates a country's national heritage, but also underlines the need of a day of International Solidarity in favour of strengthening and safeguarding Heritage world-wide.

World Heritage Day 2020

According to UNESCO, a grand total of 1121 sites are listed across worldwide of which 869 are cultural, 213 are natural and 39 are a mixture.

humayun's tomb UNESCO site
humayun's tomb UNESCO site

The theme of this year's World Heritage Day is "Shared Culture, Shared Heritage and Shared Responsibility."

Through the events for the day organized across the globe, ICOMOS aims at emphasizing and exchanging the importance of knowledge between generations that help in conserving the rich heritage and promotes the cultural aspects.

The theme for the previous year's celebration was Rural Landscapes.

Events for the day

The celebrations of the World Heritage day in fact provide an opportunity to emphasize the importance of safeguarding, conserving and preserving our heritage.

The events for the day include conferences, seminars, and symposiums related to the preservation of heritage culture. With the lockdown measures imposed everywhere; the day's importance can be spread across while staying-at-home. Organizing webinars and virtual video tours enlisting various heritage sites, its importance, and the history behind various monuments can be a very entertaining and educative talk for both younger and older generations.


Heritage sites in India

Those historic monuments and places that are listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as of special cultural or physical significance become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

India has a total of 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which includes Taj Mahal, Humayun's Tomb, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Group of Monuments at Hampi, Khajuraho, and Mahabalipuram are a few among the Cultural World Heritage sites. The UNESCO Natural World Heritage sites in India include Kaziranga, Keoladeo Ghana, Great Himalayan, and Sundarbans National Parks among the other sites.

A mixed site comprises components of both natural and cultural importance. Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim is the only UNESCO Mixed World Heritage Site in India.