Six sites likely to make it to World Heritage Sites

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After UNESCO includes a property in the Tentative List, that country has to be prepare a nomination document that will be considered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Recently, six Indian places have been added to the tentative list of UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage sites. The submissions were made by Archaeological Survey of India, which is responsible for the conservation and preservation of Indian monuments. Let’s learn more about heritage sites and their importance…

A World Heritage Site is a location with an “outstanding universal value”. This signifies “cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity”.

According to the World Heritage Convention’s operational guidelines, a tentative list is an “inventory” of properties a country believes deserves to be a World Heritage Site. After UNESCO includes a property in the Tentative List, that country has to be prepare a nomination document that will be considered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Tentative list
As per Operational Guidelines, 2019 of UNESCO, it is mandatory to put any monument/site on the Tentative List (TL) for one year before it is considered for the final nomination dossier. Once the nomination is done, it is sent to the World Heritage Centre (WHC). India has 48 sites in the TL as of now.

Six new places in tentative list
Satpura Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh): Home to 26 species of the Himalayan region including reptiles, and 42 species of Nilgiri areas. It is the largest tiger-occupied forest and also has the largest tiger population.

Ghats of Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh): The ghats date back to the 14th century but most were rebuilt, along with Varanasi, in the 18th century by Maratha rulers. They have special significance in Hindu mythology, and are primarily used for bathing and Hindu religious rituals.

Megalithic Site of Hire Benkal (Karnataka): This 2,800-years-old megalithic site is one of the largest prehistoric megalithic settlements where some funerary monuments are still intact. The granite structures are burial monuments that may also have served many ritual purposes. Due to the extremely valuable collection of Neolithic monuments, the site was proposed for recognition.

Maratha Military Architecture in Maharashtra: There are 12 forts in Maharashtra dating back to the era of the 17th century Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji. These forts offer new insight in various forms of architecture including rock cut features, construction of perimeter walls in layers on hill tops and slopes, temples and almost every form of medieval architecture.

Bhedaghat-Lametaghat in Narmada Valley– Jabalpur (MP): Bhedaghat, referred to as the Grand Canyon of India, is a town in the Jabalpur district. It is known for its marble rocks and their various morphological forms on either side of the Narmada river which flows through the gorge. Several dinosaur fossils have been found in the Narmada valley, particularly in the Bhedaghat-Lameta Ghat area of Jabalpur.

Temples of Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu): Kanchipuram is known for its spirituality. It is situated on the banks of River Vegavathi. This historical city once had 1,000 temples, of which only 126 (108 Shaiva and 18 Vaishnava) now remain. Its rich legacy has been the endowment of the Pallava dynasty, which made the region its capital between the 6th and 7th centuries.

There are three types of sites: cultural, natural and mixed
India has 38 world heritage sites, including 30 cultural properties, 7 natural properties and 1 mixed site.
April 18 is celebrated as ‘World Heritage Day’.
The theme for the year 2021 – “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures”.

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