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Three Hoysala temples declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: TH


The temples’ inclusion as World Heritage Sites signifies global recognition for their cultural and architectural significance and is likely to promote tourism in the region.


Hoysala architecture, developed between the 11th and 14th centuries in southern Karnataka under the Hoysala Empire, is characterized by:

  • A unique style blending elements of Dravida and Nagara architectures.
  • Influences from Bhumija, Nagara, and Karntata Dravida architectural traditions.
  • Distinctive ‘Hoysala Temple’ form with multiple shrines around a central pillared hall in a star-shaped layout.
  • The use of soapstone, allowed intricate carving of sculptures, especially in the jewelry adorning temple walls.


What is a World Heritage site?

A World Heritage Site is an area or object listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, recognized for its “outstanding universal value” under the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972.

These sites, categorized into three types – Cultural, Natural, and Mixed, are internationally acknowledged for their cultural, natural, or combined significance.

As of 2023, there are 42 World Heritage Sites located in India. Out of these, 34 are cultural, 7 are natural, and one, the Khangchendzonga National Park, is of mixed type. India has the sixth-largest number of sites in the world.