Three sites included in the tentative list of World Heritage Sites

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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

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