Hill Forts of Rajasthan, India. (Photo: Courtesy of UNESCO/DRONAH)
Newest Wonders of the World Named
JULY 02, 2013Deb Hopewell, Travel + LeisureEach 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).
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.
Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, China
For the past 1,300 years, the Hani people in southern Yunnan have used a sophisticated system of channels to funnel water from the top of the Ailao Mountains to the terraces below. These 41,000 acres of terraces also form a unique integrated farming system—using buffalo, cattle, ducks, fish, and eel to support the production of red rice, the staple crop. The Hani still live in thatched houses between the mountaintops and terraces, much like they have for a millennium, worshipping mountains, rivers, forests, fire, and other natural forces.Read more: Yahoo News