It’s the ‘Age of The List’, of sorts.
And nowhere else is this truer than in the Blogosphere.
Top 5 Places to Visit in… Ten Reasons to Fall in Love with… 50 Foods to Try in… 100 Reasons for…
The list of “lists” on the internet would be never-ending.
Heck, there are even multiple lists on Why We Love Lists!
Having dabbled in some of these lists too here on the blog, like my post on 8 Fabulous Ways to Experience New York, or the one on 8 Reasons Why Brooklyn is Pretty Awesome; I decided I wanted to keep going with the list-making.
So when I celebrated my 27th birthday a few months ago, I began on another one: my list of ‘30-Things-I-Want-To-Accomplish-Before-I-Turn-30’. AKA my 30-Before-30 List!
While the larger 30-Before-30 List is still a Work-in-Progress, I thought I’d introduce you to two of the items that are certainly on that list, a Challenge that I’m putting myself through. We all know how much I love a good challenge: I’m already on the verge of completing the Take12Trips Challenge (10 down, 2 to go; Yea – ME!). So what do you get when you combine a love for lists and a love of challenges? You get what I’m calling the 30-Before-30-UNESCO-Challenge!
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is one of the United Nations’ Specialized Agencies. UNESCO has been operating since 1945 with the main aim of promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture.
Here’s a little bit of history for you: one of the first things UNESCO did in the area of culture was the Nubia Campaign in 1960. After the construction of the Aswan Dam in Egypt, a 20-year project was undertaken in which 22 monuments and architectural complexes were relocated, so as to prevent the Great Temple of Abu Simbel from getting swamped by the Nile. The success of this campaign as well as subsequent similar projects in places like Fez (Morocco) led to the Convention on Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1972. The World Heritage Committee was established in 1976 and the first sites inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1978 (Source: Wikipedia).
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place (such as a forest, mountain, lake, island, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is listed by UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance.
I have been visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, both in India and abroad, long before I thought of undertaking this challenge; in fact many moons before I even started writing this blog. It adds a wonderful dimension to your travels, in my opinion. As of 2014, there are a total of 1007 historic monuments and culturally significant places that are designated with World Heritage Status.
The 30-Before-30 UNESCO Challenge: India
When I first thought of undertaking this challenge, there were exactly 30 sites in India enjoying World Heritage status, so the idea sort of fit perfectly. But in 2014, two additional sites have been added to the list. So as per the revised 30-32-Before-30 UNESCO Challenge, I propose that I would have visited all UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India before my 30th Birthday! I’ve visited 13 of these sites so far, and I have three years to visit the remaining 19. Got to start planning the rest of my vacations accordingly!
Total Number of Sites: 32
Number of Sites Visited: 13
- Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi
- Qutub Minar and its Monuments, New Delhi
- Red Fort Complex, New Delhi
- Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), Maharashtra
- Keoladeo National Park – Bharatpur, Rajasthan
- Jantar Mantar, Jaipur
- Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu (partially)
- Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh
- Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh
- Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh
- Western Ghats (partially)
- Hill Forts of Rajasthan (partially)
The 30-Before-30 UNESCO Challenge: Rest of the World
1007 is a whopping number, and that’s a task for another day! But I’m attempting a baby-step in that direction: I’m going to try to visit at least 30 sites across the world from UNESCO’s World Heritage List before my 30th Birthday. I’m at 12 so far!
Total Number of Sites: 1007
Total Number of Sites to be visited: 30
Number of Sites Visited so far: 12
- Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg, Austria
- Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn, Austria
- Historic Centre of Vienna, Austria
- Historic Centre of Prague, Czech Republic
- Palace and Park of Versailles, France
- Paris, Banks of the Seine, France
- Works of Antoni Gaudi, Spain
- Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville, Spain
- Historic Areas of Istanbul, Turkey
- Palace of Westminster & Westminster Abbey, United Kingdom
- Tower of London, United Kingdom
- Statue of Liberty, United States of America
Follow along, I’ll keep updating this section as and when I visit more sites in India and the rest of the world.
What about you? Do you visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites when you travel? How many have you been to? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
I’m linking this post up to the #SundayTraveler weekly blog party, co-hosted by some awesome bloggers.
You can link your travel posts here or here, or you can join the party by following #SundayTraveler on Social Media!
So, where are you off to next?