1.         Taj Mahal (India) (C 252)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1983

Criteria  (i)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/252/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1986-1994)
Total amount approved: USD 35,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/252/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount provided to the property: USD 236,735 under the UNESCO/Aventis project “Preservation of Taj Mahal and other Monuments in Agra”.

Previous monitoring missions

2004: Joint World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

In 2003: Development project negatively impacting the World Heritage value of the properties of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort (‘Taj Heritage Corridor Project’). The project was suspended by the Indian authorities in 2004. 

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/252/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2007

At its 29th session in 2005, the World Heritage Committee encouraged the State Party to continue its efforts towards the establishment of an integrated management plan for the three World Heritage properties of the Agra district, with the full and direct involvement of all stakeholders. The Committee also recommended that, in developing such an integrated management plan, the State Party define the ultimate form and extent of a possible re-nomination of the three sites as a single World Heritage property.

Following the request of the World Heritage Committee to submit a report on the progress made on this plan, the State Party submitted a report on 27 January 2007.

It states that following discussions with experts of heritage management, proposals to invite interested parties to prepare the integrated management plan for the sites of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort are being drafted. The plan will facilitate a participatory planning, conservation, and management process involving regular consultation and inclusion of stakeholders associated with the site. It will also include a Visitor Management Plan. In order to better manage the rapidly growing number of visitors and to enhance the visitor experience, a Visitor Facilitation Centre has been built that will open shortly. Located at the southeast corner of the Taj Mahal, the Centre is equipped with a proper security system and visitor amenities. Furthermore, steps have been taken to create a “green belt” - a protective area - between the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort.

The World Heritage property of Fatehpur Sikri which is at a distance from the city of Agra is considered a separate entity whose management issues will be addressed separately.

At the same time, following careful considerations, consultations and studies, the State Party considers it inappropriate to re-nominate the three World Heritage properties of the Agra district as a single World Heritage property. This would adversely affect the management and publicity of the sites. In addition, as three separate sites, monitoring methods can be upgraded and urban development pressures controlled with more ease. The World Heritage Centre and ICOMOS accept this view.

Within the framework of the Retrospective Inventory project, aimed at defining the boundaries of World Heritage sites, the World Heritage Centre asked the State Party of India for the following information: confirmation of the boundaries of the sites of Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, and indication of the area in hectares of the three inscribed sites in the Agra district. This information was not yet provided.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

N/A

Decision Adopted: 31 COM 7B.80

The World Heritage Committee,

1.       Having examined Document WHC-07/31.COM/7B.Add,

2.       Recalling Decision 29 COM 7B.59, adopted at its 29th session (Durban, 2005),

3.       Endorses the State Party’s Decision to develop two separate management plans, one for the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort, and another one for Fatehpur Sikri;

4.       Notes the progress that has been made by the State Party in the development of an integrated management plan for the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort and for a Visitors Facilitation Centre;

5.       Endorses the State Party’s position not to re-nominate the three World Heritage properties in the Agra district as a single World Heritage property, and encourages it to continue its effort to ensure both site-specific as well as integrated management of the three properties;

6.       Requests the State Party to provide the information to the World Heritage Centre concerning the boundaries and area of the three World Heritage properties in the Agra District, as requested by the World Heritage Centre within the framework of the Retrospective Inventory project in 2006;

7.       Also requests the State Party to submit a progress report to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2010 for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its 34th session in 2010.