Chandigarh's Capitol Complex, Sikkim's Khangchendzonga National Park and Nalanda University in Bihar have been added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Word Heritage List at a committee meeting underway in Istanbul.
The Sikkim national park is the first mixed heritage site from India, which means it has both natural and cultural importance.
The three Indian sites are among the 21 additions to the list around the world.
India now has a total of 35 sites on the Word Heritage List: 27 cultural sites, seven natural ones and one mixed site.
Here's what the 21 additions around the world look like, and UNESCO's explanations for why they were chosen.
Capitol Complex, Chandigarh
Chandigarh's Capitol Complex was listed in transnational serial nomination as part of the outstanding contribution to the Modern Movement in architectural work by Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier which are spread over six other countries – Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan and Switzerland.
The sites were built over a period of a half-century, in the course of Corbusier's "patient research". The architect is a "testimonial to the invention of a new architectural language that made a break with the past." Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier, had planned Chandigarh in the 1950s.
According to the UNESCO site, the Capitol Complex is a reflection of the solutions that the "Modern Movement sought to apply during the 20th century to the challenges of inventing new architectural techniques to respond to the needs of society. These masterpieces of creative genius also attest to the internationalisation of architectural practice across the planet."
Khangchendzonga National Park, Sikkim
"The Khangchendzonga National Park contains a unique diversity of plains, valleys, lakes, glaciers and spectacular, snow-capped mountains covered with ancient forests. Located at the heart of the Himalayas, the park also plays host to the world’s third-highest peak, Mount Khangchendzonga.
The park extends from the cold deserts of Lhonak Valley and the ridges of Lachen in the North District to the historical place at Yuksom. The western boundary of the park runs along the international boundary with Nepal and China. The park covers an area of 1,784 sq kms and occupies as much as 25.14% of the total geographical area of Sikkim."
Nalanda University, Bihar
"The archaeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara in Bihar comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. From stupas to shrines, the remains also feature important art works in stucco, stone and metal."
The university, which functioned for 800 years, also played a key role in the development of Buddhism.
The other sites that have been included in this year's list are:Antequera Dolmens Site, Spain
Located in the heart of Andalusia in southern Spain, the site comprises three megalithic monuments: the Menga and Viera dolmens and the Tolos of El Romeral. It also has natural monuments: the Peña de los Enamorados and El Torcal mountainous formations.
Antigua Naval Dockyard, Antigua and Barbuda
"The site consists of a group of Georgian-style naval buildings and structures, set within a walled enclosure. The natural environment of this side of the island of Antigua, with its deep, narrow bays surrounded by highlands, offered shelter from hurricanes and was ideal for repairing ships."
Archaeological Site of Ani, Turkey
"This medieval city combines residential, religious and military structures, characteristic of a medieval urbanism built up over the centuries by Christian and then Muslim dynasties. The city flourished in the 10th and 11th centuries CE when it became the capital of the medieval Armenian kingdom of the Bagratides and profited from control of one branch of the Silk Road."
Archaeological Site of Philippi, Greece
"The remains of this walled city lie at the foot of an acropolis in the present-day region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, on the ancient route linking Europe and Asia. Founded in 356 BC by the Macedonian King Philip II, the city developed as a “small Rome”. The remains of its basilicas constitute an exceptional testimony to the early establishment of Christianity."
Gorham's Cave Complex, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
"The steep limestone cliffs on the eastern side of the Rock of Gibraltar contain four caves with archaeological and paleontological deposits that provide evidence of Neanderthal occupation over a span of more than 125,000 years."
Nan Madol: Ceremonial Centre of Eastern Micronesia, Federated States of Micronesia
"Nan Madol is a series of 99 artificial islets off the south-east coast of Pohnpei that were constructed with walls of basalt and coral boulders. These islets harbour the remains of stone palaces, temples, tombs and residential domains built between 1200 and 1500 CE."
Pampulha Modern Ensemble, Brazil
"The Pampulha Modern Ensemble was the centre of a visionary garden city project created in 1940 at Belo Horizonte, the capital of Minas Gerais State. The buildings were designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, in collaboration with innovative artists."
Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia
"This serial property combines 30 sites, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, western Serbia, western Montenegro and central and southern Croatia, representing these cemeteries and regionally distinctive medieval tombstones, or stećci. The cemeteries, which date from the 12th to 16th centuries CE, are laid out in rows, as was the common custom in Europe from the Middle Ages. The stećci are mostly carved from limestone."
The Persian Qanat, Islamic Republic of Iran
"Throughout the arid regions of Iran, agricultural and permanent settlements are supported by the ancient qanat system of tapping alluvial aquifers at the heads of valleys and conducting the water along underground tunnels by gravity, often over many kilometres. The 11 qanats representing this system include rest areas for workers, water reservoirs and watermills."
Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, China
"Located on the steep cliffs in the border regions of southwest China, these 38 sites of rock art illustrate the life and rituals of the Luoyue people. They date from the period around the 5th century BCE to the 2nd century CE."
Archipiélago de Revillagigedo, Mexico
Located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, this archipelago is made up of four remote islands and their surrounding waters: San Benedicto, Socorro, Roca Partida and Clarión.
Hubei Shennongjia, China
"Located in Hubei Province, in central-eastern China, the site consists of two components: Shennongding/Badong to the west and Laojunshan to the east. It protects the largest primary forests remaining in Central China and provides habitat for many rare animal species."
Lut Desert, Iran
"The Lut Desert, or Dasht-e-Lut, is located in the south-east of the country. Between June and October, this arid subtropical area is swept by strong winds, which transport sediment and cause aeolian erosion on a colossal scale."
Mistaken Point, Canada
This fossil site is located at the south-eastern tip of the island of Newfoundland, in eastern Canada. It consists of a narrow, 17 km-long strip of rugged coastal cliffs.
Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park, Sudan
"The property consists of two separate areas: Sanganeb is an isolated, coral reef structure in the central Red Sea and the only atoll, 25 km off the shoreline of Sudan. The second element of the property is made up of Dungonab Bay and Mukkawar Island, situated 125 km north of Port Sudan."
Western Tien-Shan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
The transnational site is located in the Tien-Shan mountain system, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world.
Ennedi Massif: Natural and Cultural Landscape, Chad
"The sandstone Ennedi Massif has been sculpted by water and wind erosion over time into a plateau featuring canyons and valleys that present a spectacular landscape marked by cliffs, natural arches and pitons."
The Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Refuge of Biodiversity and the Relict Landscape of the Mesopotamian Cities, Iraq
"The Ahwar is made up of seven sites: three archaeological sites and four wetland marsh areas in southern Iraq."