UNESCO World Heritage Site Current Affairs - 2019

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ASI identified 138 monuments as ‘Must See Monuments’: Govt

The Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Patel, informed Parliament that Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has identified 138 monuments as ‘Must See Monuments’. This information has been made available on ‘Must See’ portal of ASI.

World Heritage Sites (WHS) in India & ‘Must See’ List

WHS is a landmark or area selected by UNESCO (a UN specialized agency) as having historical, cultural, scientific or any other form of significance. Such site is legally protected by international treaties.

There are 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, which includes 30 cultural sites, 7 natural sites and 1 mixed-criteria site. India has 6th largest number of sites in world. Out of 38, the 22 cultural sites including monuments, buildings and caves are under protection of ASI. Therefore, the ‘Must See’ list features outstanding Indian monuments and archaeological sites, under protection of ASI, including those that feature on World Heritage List of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Such buildings, monuments and sites are a unique testimony to civilization in past, as they display exceptionality in terms of arts and architecture, planning and design as well exemplary engineering skills.

About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

It is an Indian government agency that is responsible for archaeological research, conservation and preservation of cultural monuments in country. It functions under Union Ministry of Culture. It was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who was also the first Director-General of ASI.

Tourism Minister inaugurates 1st-ever architectural LED illumination at Qutb Minar

Prahalad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, inaugurated first-ever architectural LED illumination at Qutb Minar, the 12th-century monument, in New Delhi. Now with bottom to top illumination, the architectural beauty of historic Qutb Minar will display its historic majesty after sunset.

This step towards promotion of tourism is in line with Prime Minister’s goal of doubling foreign and domestic tourists in next 5 years.

Key Highlights

Objective behind illuminating historic monuments: To showcase monuments during late evenings, thereby enhancing visitor experience.

A total of 358 technologically advanced LED lights have been used to highlight architectural beauty including arches and minarets of Qutb Minar. These will consume 62% less electricity than conventional light fixtures.

New illumination comprises lighting that accentuates the silhouette of monument with interplay of light and shade. The monument will be illuminated from 7 pm to 11 pm.

Significance: Qutb Minar complex is a true reflection of India’s culture and contains history of several eras, therefore illumination of this magnificent monument will highlight true beauty of its elements and will not only increase the footfall of visitors but also benefit communities around it.


To highlight archaeological magnificence of India’s historical monuments, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has taken up the project to illuminate important monuments of Delhi. The illumination of Red Fort, Purana Qila, Safdarjung Tomb and Humayun’s Tomb has already been completed and Tughlakabad Fort is also expected to be illuminated in coming time.

Also, as part of efforts to increase footfall in evening, public entry timings at Safdarjung Tomb, Humayun’s Tomb and Red Fort have been extended to 9 pm and Qutb Minar is already open till 10 pm.

Qutb Minar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) and is one of most visited historical site in national capital.