Three sites included in the tentative list of World Heritage Sites
- Recently three new sites of India have been included in the tentative list of World Heritage Sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
- The provisional list includes Vadnagar city of Gujarat, the iconic Sun Temple at Modhera and the rock cut sculptures of Unakoti in Tripura.
- UNESCO’s Provisional List is a list of properties that each country party aspires to have World Heritage status. After being included in this list, UNESCO considers giving them the status of World Heritage.
- Now 52 places of India have been registered in the provisional list.
About the three new sites
Vadnagar City (Gujarat)
- Vadnagar is a municipality under the Mehsana district of Gujarat. Sharmishtha Lake is situated on its north-eastern side.
- It is a multi-layered and multi-cultural trading settlement. The history of this city dates back to around 8th century BC. starts from
- Two major ancient trade routes intersected each other in Vadnagar.
- One of them connected central India with Sindh and further north-west regions. The second route connected port cities on the Gujarat coast with northern India.
- The Chinese Buddhist traveler Hiuen Tsang visited the city in 640 AD and is said to have mentioned it in his travelogue.
- The remains of a Buddhist monastery were also found at Vadnagar during excavations in the year 2008-09.
- Tana Riri Performing Arts College is in Vadnagar, which was named in honor of the bravery of two sisters, Tana and Riri.
- She sacrificed her life when asked by Akbar to sing in his court as it was against her custom.
Sun Temple of Modhera (Gujarat)
- It is situated on the left bank of Pushpavati river in Mehsana district of Gujarat. Pushpavati is a tributary of Rupan river.
- This temple was built during the reign of Chalukya (Solanki) king Bhimdev I (1022 -1063 AD) in 1026-27
- This temple is built in the Maru-Gurjara architectural style.
- The main temple consisted of the sanctum sanctorum, an auditorium (garhamandapa), an outer hall (sabhamandapa or rangamandapa) and a holy tank (kund), now called Ramkund.
- It is made of bright yellow sandstone.
- The sculpture of this temple includes life size images of three deities. These deities are the Adityas, the Lokpals and the Goddesses.
- Ramkunda is a huge rectangular terraced tank which is probably the grandest temple tank in India.
- Every year at the time of equinoxes, the rays of the sun fall directly on the center / womb of this temple.
Rock sculptures and reliefs in the Unakoti series
- It is situated in the north-eastern region of Tripura. Unakoti literally means “one less than a crore”.
- It presents ancient evidence of Shaiva worship in Tripura from 8th-9th century AD.
- The idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses have been engraved on the rocks at this place.
- This sculpture of Unakoti can be classified into rock-cut sculptures and individual sculptures.
- Famous figures and sculptures include- Unakotishvara Kala Bhairava, Gangadhara, depiction of Bodhisattva, Chaturmukhalinga and Ekamukhi Linga etc.
- A stream in Unakoti forms three kunds. These three kunds are part of the annual Ashokastami fair.
- A grand fair known as ‘Ashokastami Mela’ is held every year in the month of April, which is attended by thousands of pilgrims.
The World Heritage Site
- The World Heritage List is embodied in an international treaty called the ‘Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage’ adopted in the year 1972 by UNESCO.
- It promotes the conservation of natural and cultural sites of outstanding universal value throughout the world.
It includes three types of sites:
- Cultural: These sites include historical buildings, city sites, important archaeological sites, monumental sculpture and painting works.
- Natural: These include outstanding ecological and evolutionary processes, unique natural phenomena, habitats of rare or endangered species, etc.
- Mixed: Mixed heritage sites include important elements of both natural and cultural types.
- There are a total of 40 heritage sites (32 cultural, 7 natural and 1 mixed) recognized by UNESCO in India. The Harappan city of Dholavira and the Kakatiya Rudresvara (Rampappa) temple are the newest of these.
Source – The Hindu