India is a country that is replete with heritage sites dotted all over its land and is known for having a rich cultural heritage. And India’s riches have gotten recognized on the world forum yet again with 6 more Indian heritage sites making it to the Tentative Lists of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
These 6 sites include-
– The Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh,
– The mesmerizing Ganga ghats in Varanasi,
– The alluring temples of Kaanchipuram in Tamil Nadu,
– Megalithic site of Hire Benkal in Karnataka,
– Bhedaghat-Lametaghat of Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh
– Maratha Military Architecture in Maharashtra
The submission that was filed by the Archaeological Survey of India included a total of 9 sites, out of which, these 6 sites got picked by UNESCO for inclusion in the tentative list.
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.
For getting its heritage site considered for inscription on the World Heritage List, the country makes an inventory of important natural and cultural heritage sites located within its boundaries. This ‘inventory’ is known as the Tentative List.
Making it to the tentative list thus is the first step for any site which seeks final nomination for becoming a World Heritage site. With 6 more Indian sites joining this inventory, the total number of proposals from India in the tentative list now stands at 48.
It is a matter of immense pride that on the World stage, among 167 countries, India stands at 5th position with 38 UNESCO World Heritage sites, after Italy and China with 55 sites, Spain with 48 sites, Germany with 46 and France with 45 Sites.
It was in the year 1983 that the first set of Indian sites were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. These were the Agra Fort, the Ajanta Caves, Ellora caves and one of the ‘wonders of the world’, and the Taj Mahal.
Some other sites that followed and became World Heritage sites are
– Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Sun Temple & Sunderbans National Park in 1984
– Kaziranga National Park in 1985
– Fatehpur Sikri & Khajuraho monuments in 1986
– Qutab Minar & Humayun’s Tomb in 1993
These were followed by Mahabodhi temple, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Hill Forts of Rajasthan, Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Red Fort, Jantar Mantar, Rani-Ki-Van, the western ghats, the walled city of Jaipur and others.
Going by states, Maharashtra ranks number one with 6 of these heritage sites, followed by Tamil Nadu with 5 sites and Rajasthan with 4. Of the total 38 Indian World Heritage sites, 30 are Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties, and 1 mixed site.