Discover the most exceptional and underrated UNESCO sites
UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has been promoting education and culture since its inception in 1921. In the year 1972, world’s heritage sites were included in the work of UNESCO and since then almost 936 sites have been added to the list. Although many of them are well known all over the world and are famed for what they stand for, like the Statue of Liberty or the Pyramids at Giza; a few of them remain untouched, rather unknown or underrated – no less incredible by any means. We give you one more reason to travel and explore one of the most underrated UNESCO world heritage sites that will take your breath away!
Dinosaur Provincial Park – Alberta, Canada: Foray 75 million years back into the time and witness odd land formations that are sculpted by wind and water resulting in a stunning display of spectacular shapes covered in terra cotta, bronze and amber. In addition to the scenery, the park contains important fossil discoveries made so far including 35 species of dinosaurs. This is an unmatched property in terms of quality and quantity of specimens – over 60 of which represent 14 families of dinosaurs. Visit the spectacular badlands topography and discover un – excavated dinosaur bones all around the park.
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway – Darjeeling, India: Unofficially known as the Toy Train, a journey to this place will take you back in the 1800’s. The “Queen of Hills” – Darjeeling is nestled among the mountains in the West Bengal state of India. It is considered an ultimate destination for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life and provides enriching experience to those seeking relaxation amidst peaceful landscapes. The Toy Train, named aptly was built on 2 ft. narrow gauge railway. The narrow train runs appallingly close to the roadside and markets within the hill resort. The structure and functioning of the train makes it look like a model toy train. It’s a must visit if you have little ones in the family to experience the charm of the vintage Toy Train.
Plitvice National Park – Croatia: This is the largest national park in Croatia and the oldest in southeast Europe. It is nestled in the Karst area at the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The beauty of the national park can be explored through its sixteen lakes through Mala Kapela Mountain and Pljesevica Mountain, which are interlinked by a series of majestic waterfalls. The geological process of the formation of natural dams – that have created caves, waterfalls and lakes – is caused due to the deposition of travertine barriers through the water flow over limestone and chalk continues even today. This area is rich in fauna and flora where you can find European bear, wolves, eagle owl and rare bird species. It has a mix vegetation of Alpine and Mediterranean.
The Potola Palace – Tibet: The Potola Palace is located in Lhasa in the autonomous region of Tibet, China. It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century and remained so until the 14th Dalai Lama who fled to India. The entire complex is made up of the White and Red palaces with their subsidiary buildings that are situated on the Red Hill in Lhasa. It is the highest palace in the world – at a height of 3,767.19 m. the palace contains 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, 200,000 statues and is 13 stories high. The palace symbolizes the world renowned and famed Tibetan Buddhism. What sets apart the Potola Place from the rest of the palaces is the originality and beauty of the religious complex structure and also it represents rich harmony and peaceful abode against the backdrop of gorgeous mountains providing a spectacle of natural wonder. Tourists who have interest in religion and culture, this attraction is a must see.
Itchan Kala, Uzbekistan: The city Khiva in Uzbekistan has a population of 50,000. Itchan Kala – named UNESCO world heritage site in 1991 – is an old and the inner town which is sheltered by brick walls 10 m in height. Itchan Kala is also known as an open air museum that has been turned into a State Historical Archaeological Museum. The most striking part of this attraction is that around 300 families live here and are mostly indulged in craftsmanship. This inner walled town contains 60 monuments of historical importance which date back to 18th and 19th century. Some of the grandiose structures to explore are Djuma Mosque, the Tash Chauli Palace, the Minaret of Caltha Minor and the madrasas and the mausoleums. This city provides a rich testimony to the lost civilization of Khorezm. All the structures here represent the typical Muslim architecture which is unique to Central Asia.
With this comprehensive list of some of the underrated UNESCO’s world heritage sites in mind, mix your travel plans and blend in the local culture.