Unesco Representative List Of India Intangible Cultural Heritage Of Humanity: Art & Culture for UPSC Exams

UPSC Exam Art & Culture

Unesco Representative List Of India Intangible Cultural Heritage Of Humanity

: Art & Culture for UPSC Exams

India - Chhau dance - Chhau dance is a tr adi tion fr om eas tern India that enacts episodes from epics including the Mahabharata and Ramayana, local folklore and abstract themes. Chhau dance is intimately connected to regional festivals, notably the spring festival Chaitra Parva. Its or igin is traceable to indigenous  forms  of  dance and  martial practices. Chhau is taught to male dancers from families of traditional artists or from local communities. The dance is performed at night in  an open space to traditional and folk melodies, played on the reed pipes mohuri and shehnai. The reverberating drumbeats of a variety of drums dominate the accompanying music ensemble. It binds together people from different social strata and ethnic background with  diverse social  practices, beliefs, professions and languages.

India - Kalbelia folk songs and dances of Rajasthan : Kalbelia community’s were once professional snake handlers. Today, women in  flowing black skirts dance and swirl, replicating the movements of a serpent, while men  accompany  them  on  the  khanjari percussion instrument and the poongi, a woodwind instrument traditionally played to capture snakes. The dancers wear traditional tattoo designs, jewellery and garments richly embroidered with small mirrors and silver thread.Kalbelia songs  disseminate

mythological knowledge through stories, while special traditional dances are performed during  Holi ,  the  festival  of  colours . Transmitted from generation to generation, the  songs and dances form part of an oral tradition for  which not extsor training manuals exist. Song and dance are a matter of pride for the Kalbelia community.

India - Mudiyettu, ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala - Mudiyettu is a ritual dance drama from Kerala based on the mythological tale of a battle between the goddess Kali and the demon Darika. It is a community ritual in which the entire village participates. After the summer cr ops ha ve b een ha rvested, t he villagers reach the temple in the early morning on an appointed day. Mudiyettu performers purify themselves through fasting and prayer, then draw a huge image of goddess Kali, called as kalam, on the temple floor with coloured powders, wherein the spirit of the goddess is invoked. This prepares the ground for  the lively enactment to follow, in which the divine sage Narada importunes Shiva to contain the demon Darika, who is immune to defeat by mortals. Shiva instead commands that Darika will die at the hand of the goddess Kali. Mudiyettu is performed annually in

Bhagavati Kavus’ ,the  temples of the goddess, in different villages along the rivers Chalakkudy  Puzha , Periyar and Moov attupuzha .  Respons ibility  for  its transmission lies with the elders and senior per for mers ,  who  enga ge  t he  younger generation as apprentices during the course of  the performance. Mudiyettu serves as an important cultural site for transmission of traditional values, ethics, moral codes and aesthetic norms of the community to the next generation, thereby ensuring its continuity and relevance in present times.


N ame                                            Location



Ajanta Caves                       Aurangabad, Maharas Elephanta Caves                 Island near Mumbai Ellora Caves                         Aurangabad, Maharas Jalianwala Bagh                   Amritsar, Punjab


Lothal                                     Gujarat


Nalanda                                 Near Patna, Bihar


Sanchi                                    Near Bhopal

Madhya Pradesh

Sarnath                                  Varanasi

Uttar Pradesh

Memorials and Monuments

Akbar ’s Tomb                       Sikandra, Near Agra

Uttar Pradesh

Anand Bhawan                   Allahabad

Uttar Pradesh


Bibi-ka-Maqbara                 Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Gandhi Sadan in 1948        New Delhi


Jamia Milia                            Delhi

Kranti Maidan                     Mumbai


Rajghat                                  New Delhi Shakti Sthal                          New Delhi Shantivan                              New Delhi Teenmurti House                 New Delhi


Tomb of Ahmed Shah        Ahmedabad, Gujarat


Tomb of Sher Shah Suri     Sasaram, Bihar

Vijay Ghat                              New Delhi


Important Temples and Mosques

Ahmed Shah ’s Mosque     Ahmedabad

Bodh Gaya temple              Bodh Gaya, Bihar


Bhubaneswar Temples       Bhubaneswar, Orissa

Dilwara Temple                     Mt. Abu, Rajasthan


Originally Buddhist monasteries having unique architecture, sculpture and painting.

Consisting of  seven  caves  famous for the Trimurti and other sculptures

Ancient cave temples especially famous for ‘Temple of Kailash

Famous for  indiscriminate  firing by GenO' Dyer on April 13, 1919 on Congress meet- ing demanding independence..

Archaeological excavations revealed existence of Indus Valley civilisation

Ruins of an cient Buddhist University founded by Kumaragupta in 427 AD

Ancient Buddhist monastery famous for ‘Great Stupa

Famous for Stupas where Buddha preached his first sermon


Famous for its carvings and ar chitecture of Hindu and Mughal art.

Ancestral h ouse of the Nehru family which Mrs. Indira Gandhi gifted for conversion into a national memorial.

Mausoleum built by Aurangazeb in 1660

AD in memory of his wife Rabia Durrani.

Birla House where Mahatma Gandhi was assas- sinated

Muslim University founded by Dr Zakir Hussain

Historical venue where Gandhiji gave Quit In-

dia call in 1942.

Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi on th e banks of the Yamuna.

Situated on the banks of Yamuna where Mrs. Indira Gandhi was cremated

Near Rajghat where Pt Jawaharlal Nehru was cre-


Residence of the first Prime Minister of India, Pt

Jawaharlal Nehru. Now converted into a national


Domed structure famous for paving of multicol- oured marble.

Domed structure

Samadhi of Lal Bahadur Shastri on the bank of the Yamuna.


Built in 1414 AD, its pillars have Hindu emblems.

60 m high temple built by Ashoka, the Great.

Site where Buddha attained enlightenment. Stone temples

Jain temple lavishly decorated with carvings.


Golden Temple

Jagannath Temple

Juma Masjid Khajuraho Temples Mahabalipuram Temples

Mahakali Temple

Meenakshi Temple

Moti Masjid

Sun Temple



Omkar Temple

Amritsar,Punjab Puri, Orissa



Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh


Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu


Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Konark, Orissa



Omkarji, Madhya Pradesh

Sacred shrine of the Sikhs.

Dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of


Biggest mosque in India built by Mughal Em-

peror, Shahjahan

Famous sculptures depicting art of love built

some time in 950 AD – 1050 AD

Also called ‘Seven Pagodas’

Shiva Mandir

Dedicated to the Goddess Meenakshi

Built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan

The mythological conception of the Sun God

riding a Konark Temple twenty - four wheeled

chariot drawn by seven h orses, carved in stone. Shiva Temple on an island in the Narmada river, also called ‘Black Pagoda’.

Other Structures - Gates / Towers / Pillars

Buland Darwaja Gateway of India Qutab Minar


Gol Gumbaz



Sanchi Stupa


Sarnath Stupa

Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Mumbai, Maharashtra New Delhi


Bijapur, Karnataka



Sanchi, Bhopal


Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

38 m high gate built by Akbar, is India’s highest gate

Built in 1911 AD to commemorate the visit of

King George V of UK

72.5m high stone tower, tallest minaret in India

built by Qutab-ud-din Aibak. as a Victory Tower

India’s largest dome built on the tomb of Sultan Mohammed Adil Shah covering an area of 1630 sq m

One of the earliest stupas, 17 m high and 36.5 m in diameter, made of bricks and sandstone.

22m high and 28 m in diameter, stone structure built on the spot where Lord Buddh a delivered his first sermon.

Important Forts & Gardens

Agra Fort

Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Originally built by Akbar and additions made by



Sh ah jah an contain ing famous buildin gs like



Royal Palace Shish Mahal, Moti Masjid, Diwan-



i-Aam and Diwan -i-Khas.

Gwalior Fort

Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

On e of th e biggest for ts con tain in g famous



building like Man Mandir, Palace of Man Singh,




Hawa Mahal

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Multi-stor eyed pink coloured building

Hindodla Mahal

Mandu, Madh ya Pradesh

The walls sloping at an angle of over 770   create



an illusion that the entire building sways.

Jantar Mantar

New Delhi

Ancient observatory

Red Fort

New Delhi

Built by Shahjahan, made of red stone

Rashtrapati Bhawan

New Delhi

India’s biggest residential building

Moghul Gardens

New Delhi

Garden of Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Shalimar Gardens

Srinagar, J & K

Pleasure resort in Kashmir.

Vrindavan Gardens

Mysore, Karnataka

Unique gardens adjacent to the Krishnarajasagar






India’s longest corridor - 1,220 m long.


Tamil Nadu


Gomateswara statue

Sravanabelagola, Karnataka

India’s tallest stone statue of th e Jain Sage


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