|Nilgiri (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Part of Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur & Madumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley & Siruvani hills in Tamil Nadu, Kerala & Karnataka.||Tropical forest; Mixed Mountain and highland systems||Tiger, Elephant, Nilgiri Tahr, Lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Langur||Cholanaikans-only surviving hunter-gatherers of the Indian subcontinent|
|Nanda Devi (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Part of Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Almora districts & Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand.||Herbaceous species and scrub communities such as Rhododendron. Plant species including lichens, fungi, bryophytes and pteridophytes||Snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Brown Bear, Musk deer, Bharal/blue Sheep, Asiatic black bear, Himalayan Tahr, Koklas Pheasant.||Bhotia tribe|
|Nokrek (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Part of East, West and South Garo Hill districts in Meghalaya.||Evergreen and semi-evergreen deciduous forests dominate the landscape||Slow Loris, Giant flying squirrel, Pig-tailed macaque, Red Panda (Sighted only once), leopards, elephants, Hoolock gibbons.||Garo (Achikmande), Banias or Hajjons|
|Manas||Part of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamprup and Darang districts in Assam.||Golden Langur, Red Panda, Pygmy Hog, Hispid Hare|
|Sundarbans (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Part of delta of Ganges & Brahmaputra River system in West Bengal.||Tropical humid forest; Mangroves, Sundari Tree||Royal Bengal tiger, Salvator Lizard, Bengal Monitor Lizard.|
|Gulf of Mannar (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Part of Gulf of Mannar extends from Rameswaram island in North to Kanyakumari inSouth of Tamil Nadu. There are 21 Islands||Islands including coastal/marine components; coral reefs and mangrove, seagrass beds (Halophila gas), coral reefs||Dugong or Sea Cow, Sea cucumber, Sea Fan||Marakeyars, local people mainly engaged in fishing|
|Great Nicobar (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Southernmost island of A&N Islands. It incorporates two national parks Campbell Bay National Park and Galathea National Park.||Part of Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot, Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests.||Saltwater Crocodile, Edible-nest swiftlet, Nicobar tailed macaque, Giant Leatherback sea turtle (Only breeding site), Nicobar tree shrew, Nicobar scrub fowl, Serpent Eagle, Crab Eating Macaque||Shompen and Nicobarese|
|Similipal (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Part of Mayurbhanj district in Orissa.||The park derives its name from abundance of semul (red silk cotton trees) that grow here. Orchids, medicinal plants,etc.||Asiatic Elephant,Gaur, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild elephant. Mugger Crocodile management program was launched here.||Erenga Kharias and Mankirdias, Ho, Gonda and Munda, etc.|
|Dibru-Saikhova||Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts in Assam.||Riverine island amid Brahmaputra||Golden Langur, Only Place in India to find wild horses|
|Dehang-Dibang||Part of Upper Siang, West Siang and Dibang Valley districts in Arunachal Pradesh.||Mishmi takin, Red goral, musk deer, Red Panda, Asiatic Black bear, Green Pit Viper, Takin.|
|Pachmarhi (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Satpura Hills runs across it. Covers three protected areas – Satpura National Park, Bori and Pachmarhi Wildlife Sanctuary||Sal Forests||Barasinga, Gaur, Bears, Tigers and leopards, Giant Squirrel and Crested, Flying Squirrel.||Gond, Korkus- tribes introduced the cultivation of potatoes and made use of honeycombs to produce honey in significant quantities for commercial use. Most primitive Bhariya Tribe are found here.|
|Khangchendzonga (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Part of North and West districts in Sikkim.||Snow Leopard, Red Panda|
|Agasthyama-lai (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Covers Peppara and Shendurney wildlife sanctuaries and parts of Neyyar sanctuary in Kerala and Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu.||Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests.||Lion Tailed Macaque, Slender Loris, Great Pied Hornbill, Nilgiri Tahr, Elephants, Tiger||Kani tribes from both Tamil Nadu and Kerala|
|Achanakmar- Amarkantak (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Maikala hills of Satpura range passes through it. It separates the rivers that drain into the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. Source of three rivers: Narmada, Son and Johila.||Four horned antelope, Indian wild dog, Saras crane , Asian white-backed vulture, Sacred grovebush frog ,striped Hyaena, , Chital, Wild Bear, Leopard.||Amarkantak the site for origin of Son, Johilla and Narmada rivers is in it.|
|Kachchh||Part of Kachchh, Rajkot, Surendranagar and Patan districts in Gujarat.||Banni Grasslands, Prosopis juliflora (Native of Central America, Invasive Alien Species).||Indian Wild Ass, Site for Flamingo breeding (Flamingo City), Chinkara, Caracal, Desert Cat, Desert Fox||Fossil Park at Khadir Bet, Maldhari pastoralists|
|Cold Desert||Pin Valley National Park, Chandratal, Sarchu Kibber Wildlife sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh.||Deodar tree||Snow Leopard|
|Seshachala–m||Seshachalam hill ranges in Eastern Ghats.||Tropical dry deciduous forests, Red Sanders||Slender Loris, Indian giant squirrel, Mouse deer Golden Gecko, Yellow throated bulbul.||Tirupati Balaji temple is located here.|
|Panna (Included in MAB list of UNESCO)||Part of Panna & Chhatarpur districts in Madhya Pradesh||Dry deciduous forests of Teak, Salai, Kardhai.||Tiger, Chital, Chinkara, Sambhar, Sloth bear||Gond, Famous temple of Prannathji of Pranami Sect.|
Natural World Heritage Sites
Created in 1972, the primary mission of the Convention is to identify and protect world’s natural and cultural heritage considered to be of Outstanding Universal Value.
It is governed by World Heritage Committee supported by UNESCO World Heritage Centre, it meets annually. IUCN is Advisory Body on natural heritage.
40 sites from India are on the World Heritage List.
Natural World Heritage Sites from India
Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, Himachal Pradesh
- This national park is in Western Himalayan region. It is characterized by alpine peaks, alpine meadows & riverine forests.
- Its glaciers are sources of rivers like Sainj, Jiwa Nal, Tirthan and Parvati Rivers (all tributaries of Beas River). Covers: Great Himalayan National Park, Sainj Wildlife Sanctuary and Tirthan Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Important Flora & Fauna: Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Himalayan Serow. Himalayan Yew forms the undergrowth of forests.
Kaziranga National Park, Assam
- Last unmodified natural areas in northeast India. This park accounts for 2/3rd of world population of one-horned rhinoceros.
- West alluvial grassland formed by elephant grass occupies most of the area. It is also a tiger reserve.
- Fauna: Tiger, One-Horned Rhinoceros, Wild Water Buffaloes, Ganges River Dolphin, Hoolock Gibbon.
Keoladeo National Park
- This former duck-hunting reserve of the Maharajas is one of the major wintering areas for large numbers of aquatic birds from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, China and Siberia.
- Some 364 species of birds, including the rare Siberian crane, have been recorded in the park.
Manas Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located on the borders of Bhutan and spans districts of Kokrajhar, Chirang, Buxa and Udalgiri in North-West Assam. It is separated from the Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan by the River Manas, and it is separated by Buxa Tiger Reserve of West Bengal by River Sankosh.
- It forms part of a large conservation landscape which includes Buxa-Nameri-Pakke-Namdapha tiger and protected areas of Bhutan and Myanmar.
- Flora: Sal Forests, Bhabar Savannah, Dry deciduous forests.
- Fauna: Tiger, Pygmy Hog, One-horned Rhinoceros and Elephant, Bengal Florican. Wild Buffalo population is probably the only pure strain.
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks
- Valley of Flowers National Park is renowned for its meadow of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty.
- The landscape is dominated by Nanda Devi peak which approached through Rishi Ganga gorge.
- Fauna: Asiatic Black Bear, Snow Leopard, Brown Bear and Blue Sheep, Himalayan Musk Deer.
Sundarbans National Park
- It is a biosphere reserve, national park and tiger reserve.
- It houses saltwater crocodiles. Some common species of plants which are found include Sundari tree, Gulati, Champa, Dhundul, Genwa and Hetal. Apart from the Royal Bengal Tiger, other animals found in these areas are fishing cats, macaques, leopard cats, Indian grey mongoose, wild boar, flying fox, pangolin, and Indian grey mongoose.
- The chital deer and rhesus monkey are common sightings.
- A species of river turtles called Batagurid Baska (which are classified as endangered by the IUCN) are found on the Mecham Beach. They are identified by their small head, a snout which always goes upwards and an olive brown colored carapace.
- The barking deer also deserves a special mention, as it is found at a place called Halliday Island.
- It has an exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism and is recognized as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity.
- The forests of the site include some of the best representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere. The Ghats traverse the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Khangchendzonga National Park
NATURAL SITES AS PART OF TENTATIVE SITES
These sites do not have World Heritage Status as of now but have been submitted by India for inclusion in the list.
Majuli River Island, Assam
- It is a fluvial riverine island. It is the first island to be made a district in India. The island is formed by Brahmaputra River in the South and Kherkutia Xuti, a branch of Brahmaputra, joined by Subansiri in the north.
- The island is the cultural capital of Assamese culture whose foundation is laid by Srimanta Sankardeva.
- Jadhav Payeng, an environmental activist, also known as forest man of India, has planted Molai Forest which one of the largest afforested this forest to protect Majuli from riverine erosion.
Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
- This national park along with Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary is in the eastern extremity of Arunachal Pradesh, close to trijunction of India, China & Myanmar. Located between Patkai bum and Mishmi hills.
- The park has northernmost lowland evergreen rainforests in the world along with alpine forests in the higher reaches.
- It is the fourth largest national park in India by area. Dihing River, tributary of Brahmaputra passes through it. Dapha Bum (4571 m) is the highest point of this national park.
- Fauna: Namdapha Flying Squirrel (IUCN status: Critically Endangered) is endemic it. The park boasts of four large cats: Snow Leopard (IUCN status: Vulnerable), Leopard, Tiger and Clouded Leopard (IUCN status: Vulnerable).
Wild Ass Sanctuary, Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
One of the last places where endangered wild ass sub-species Indian Wild Ass (IUCN Status: Near Threatened) can be spotted.
Neora Valley National Park, Kalimpong, West Bengal
It is a compact patch of virgin late succession forests, rich in biodiversity located in the Eastern Himalayan region. Altitude varies between 183 m to 3200 m. It has Temperate & Sub-tropical forests. Fauna: Red Panda (IUCN Status: Endangered)
Desert National Park, Rajasthan
- It is one of the Hot deserts of the world with highest human density. It is spread across two districts of Jaisalmer and Barmer.
- Fauna: Only landscape having breeding population of Great Indian Bustard. Spiny Tailed Lizards. Desert Fox, Chinkara, Desert Cat Flora:
- Sewan Grass found here which is a major source of nutrition for birds and animals found here. Rohida state flower of Rajasthan is found here.
- Orans are grasslands found here. Khejri tree is commonly found here and protected by local community called Bishnois. There are settlements in the National Park called Dhanis.
Apatani Cultural Landscape
Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh
Chilika Lake (Odisha)
- It is a brackish water lake & a shallow lagoon with estuarine character spread across districts of Puri, Khurda & Ganjam. Located on the mouth of Daya River.
- It the largest coastal lagoon in India & largest brackish water lagoon in the world and largest saltwater lake in India.
- Fauna: Irrawaddy Dolphins
Narcondam Island, A&N islands
- It is a separate island part of A&N islands.
- This volcanic island has a endemic population of Narcondam Hornbill (Only found here) which has the smallest range of all Asian Hornbills.
Cold Desert Cultural Landscape of India
- It stretches in the Himalayas from Ladakh to Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh. This region is known for its harsh climate due to its high altitude and location on the leeward side of Himalayas, which makes it a rain-shadow zone.
- This area is inhabited by Indo-Mongoloid people who are Buddhist in faith. Buddhist monasteries known as Gompas with a trademark prayer flag fluttering on top.
Satpura Tiger Reserve, MP
- It is a prime example of central Indian highland eco-system. Species from both Himalayan and Western Ghats meet here.
- Pachmarhi a famous tourist destination is located near it and Dhoopgarh the highest peak of Madhya Pradesh are located in it. Pandav Caves which are group of 5 caves.
- This lake was added to Montreux Record in 1993 as a result of ecological problems such as deforestation in the catchment area, an infestation of water hyacinths, and pollution.
- Thick, floating mats of weeds covered with soil (phumdis) are a characteristic feature
Garo Hills Conservation Area
- It accompanies three protected areas: Nokrek National Park, Bapakram National Pak & Siju Sanctuary. Garo mountains and its caves gives an idea about earth’s evolutionary history.
- Fauna: Insectivorous plants such as Sundew and Pitcher Plant. Bhedaghat-Lametaghat in Narmada Valley, MP:National Citrus Gene Sanctuary in Nokrek is noted for wild varieties of citrus fruits. Indian Wild Orange found here is considered to be progenitor of all citrus species in the world. Fauna: Hoolock Gibbon.
Bhedaghat-Lametaghat in Narmada Valley, MP
- Bhedaghat (Dhuandhar waterfalls), known as Grand Canyon of India, is in Jabalpur, MP. It appears as if smoke is coming out of the river.
- The site has outstanding beauty of marble rocks. These magical marble mountains assume different colors and even shapes of animals and other living forms as one moves through them.
Living Root Bridges Cultural Landscapes
- Locally known as Jingkieng Jri. They are ficus based rural connectivity and livelihood solutions within dense moist forests in Meghalaya.
- Roots of Indian Rubber Tree are engineered for the construction of these structures. They are grown by Khasi tribal communities
Geoglyphs of Konkan region
- Geoglyphs are rock art produced on the surface earth (open-air) either by positioning rocks, rock fragments or by carving out or removing part of a rock surface to form a design. The geoglyphs found in the Konkan region are the only evidence of prehistoric human occupation in this region.
- The geoglyphs have been prominently made in the period starting from Prehistoric to Mesolithic period. Important sites where Geoglyphs are found in Konkan region.
- Important sites where geoglyphs are found in Konkan region: (a) Jambhrun (Maharashtra) (b) Ukshi (Maharashtra) (c) Kasheli (Maharashtra): Largest rock engraving in India (18X13 in Elephant) (d) Rundhetali (Maharashtra) (e) Devi hasol (Maharashtra) (f) Barsu (Maharashtra) (g) Devache Gothane (Maharashtra) (h) Kudopi (Maharashtra).
Note: Despite being older than the Himalayas and the Western Ghats, the Eastern Ghats, an ancient discontinuous low mountain range that spreads along the East coast of the Indian Peninsula, never got its due. The geographical extent of the Eastern Ghats is about 75,000 kms spread over the states of Odisha (25 %), Andhra Pradesh (40%), Telangana (5%), Karnataka (5%) and Tamil Nadu (25%). Though it is bestowed with rich biodiversity and is home to different tribal communities, there has never been a clear policy in place for its conservation.