Recently, concerns were raised against the Centre’s proposed monetisation of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railways (DHR).

Important points:

  • DHR was built in the British era between 1879 and 1881.
  • It is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in West Bengal.
  • It is the most outstanding example of a hill passenger railway. Opened in 1881, its design applies bold and ingenious engineering solutions to the problem of establishing an effective rail link across a mountainous terrain of great beauty.
  • It was declared a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site in 1999.


  • Nilgiri Mountain Railways located in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu (South India) (2005)
  • Kalka Shimla Railway located in the Himalayan foothills of Himachal Pradesh (Northwest India) (2008)

UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites

  • A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by UNESCO for its special cultural or physical significance.
  • The list of World Heritage Sites is maintained by the international ‘World Heritage Programme’, administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
  • This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.
  • India has 40 world heritage sites, 32 cultural, 7 natural and 1 mixed.
  • In 2021, Dholavira (Gujarat) and Ramappa Temple (Telangana) have been declared as world heritage sites.


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