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Six UNESCO heritage sites added in India

  Jun 10, 2021

Six UNESCO heritage sites added in India

Q. What is the news? 

Six sites have been added to India’s tentative list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

Q. Which are the 6 sites?

  1. Ganga ghats in Varanasi
  2. Temples of Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu
  3. Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh
  4. Maratha military architecture in Maharashtra
  5. Hire Bengal megalithic site in Karnataka and
  6. Bhedaghat-Lametaghat of Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh

Q. What are the details of these site?

[1] Ghats of Varanasi

  • The Ganges riverfront of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, has been vying for the UNESCO tag for several years now.
  • The Ganga river with its riverfront ghats also fulfil the criteria of Cultural Landscapes as designated in Article 1 of the Convention and specifically that of a cultural landscape/
  • It retains an active social role in contemporary society closely associated with the traditional way of life, and in which the evolutionary process is still in progress.

[2] Temples of Kanchipuram

  • Synonymous with spirituality, serenity, and silk, the temple town of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu, is dotted with ancient temples that are architectural marvels and a visual treat, states
  • 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 it’s capital between the 6th and 7th centuries and lavished upon its architectural gems that are a fine example of Dravidian styles.

[3] Satpura Tiger Reserve

  • Located in Madhya Pradesh, the Satpura National Park is 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.
  • The website also states the place has more than 50 rock shelters with paintings that are 1500 to 10,000 years old.

[4] Maratha Military Architecture in Maharashtra

  • There are 12 forts in Maharashtra dating back to the era of the 17th-century Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji.
  • They are namely Shivneri (the birthplace of Shivaji); Raigad (the capital fort rebuilt for the coronation of the Maratha king), Torna (the first fort of the Maratha empire), Rajgad, Salher-Mulher, Panhala, Pratapgad, Lohagad, Sindhudurg, Padmadurga (Kasa), Vijaydurg and Kolaba.
  • This highlight how the formation of Military Landscape in the form of hill and sea forts as a response to hilly terrain in the area is of outstanding universal value.

[5] Megalithic site of Hire Benkal

  • The 2,800-years-old megalithic site of Hire Benkal in Karnataka 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.

[6] Bhedaghat-Lametaghat in Narmada Valley- Jabalpur

  • Bhedaghat, often referred to as the Grand Canyon of India, is a town in the Jabalpur district, around 25 km from Jabalpur.
  • It is known for its marble rocks and their various morphological forms on either side of the Narmada River which flows through the gorge states
  • It has also been observed that the magical marble mountains assume different colours and even shapes of animals and other living forms as one moves through them.
  • Several dinosaur fossils have been found in the Narmada valley, particularly in Bhedaghat-Lametghat area of Jabalpur. In 1828, the first Dinosaur fossil was collected from Lameta Bed by William Sleeman.
  • River Narmada narrows down on its way through marble rocks and plunges in a waterfall giving out the appearance of a smoke cascade.

Q. What is World Heritage Site? 

  • 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.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
  • 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 38 world heritage sites that include 30 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties and 1 mixed site.