Newest wonders of the world, 2013
Hill Forts of Rajasthan, India. (Photo: Courtesy of UNESCO/DRONAH)
Each summer, UNESCO convenes to announce new picks for the World Heritage List, chosen for their cultural, historical, and environmental importance, from vast sand dunes and mountains towering 22,000 feet high to magnificent palaces. The Hill Forts of Rajasthan, India, over 1,000 years old, became one of 19 new inscriptions that bring the total to 981 sites in 160 countries (Fiji and Qatar debuted this year).
MORE FROM TRAVEL + LEISURE
Check out this year’s new crop of wonders and see which ones speak to you.
Hill Forts of Rajasthan, India
These six forts are set among the rocky outcroppings of the Aravalli Mountains in India’s “land of kings” and remain a standing testament to the power that Rajput princes enjoyed from the 8th to 18th century. The defensive walls—up to 12 miles around and incorporating natural defenses such as hills, deserts, and rivers— protected the ornate palaces, temples, and other buildings within.
University of Coimbra–Alta and Sofia,
(Photo: Courtesy of UNESCO/Manuel Ribeiro)
If you thought your professors were tough, consider that this university, founded in 1290, once had its own court of law and, naturally, its own prison for students and scholars (under the library). One of the oldest continuously operating universities in the world, the institution grew and evolved for more than 700 years within the old town. It now includes the 12th-century Cathedral of Santa Cruz, the Royal Palace of Alcáçova, and several 16th-century colleges.
Honghe Hani Rice Terraces,