According to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), 3 new cultural sites in India have been added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) provisional list of World Heritage Sites. They are as follows:
- Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat and its surrounding monuments
- Vadnagar – A multi-layered historical city, Gujarat, which is also the birthplace of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi
- Rock-cut sculptures and reliefs of Unakoti, Unakoti Range, Unakoti District, Tripura
The UNESCO tentative list is “a list of properties that each state party wants to consider for nomination,” and it highlights India’s vast natural and cultural heritage diversity.
- Additionally, India currently has 52 sites on UNESCO’s interim list.
3 Details about cultural sites
Sun Temple, Modhera, Gujarat
The Sun Temple in Modhera, Gujarat, is dedicated to the Sun God and is located on the left bank of pushpavati river, a tributary of rupan river.
- It is the first of such temples, which establishes trends in architectural and decorative features and fully depicts the Solanki style.
ii. Its components—the main temple temple (sanctum sanctorum), a hall (Garhmandap), an outer hall or assembly hall (Sabhamandap or Rangmandap), and a sacred pool (Kunda), now known as Ramkund—are all built in the Maru-Gurjar architectural style.
- This temple is built of bright yellow sandstone.
Vadnagar – A multi-layered historical city, Gujarat
Vadnagar is a municipality in Mehsana district of Gujarat.
- It is a multi-layered historical city that has been inhabited continuously for more than 2,700 years, about 8th century BCE (Before Common Era).
ii. The city still has a significant number of historic buildings, which are mostly residential and religious in nature.
- Unlike places like Harappa and Kalibangan, which were eventually abandoned, the existence of the historic city demonstrates its resilience and exceptional universal value.
Rock-cut sculpture and reliefs of Unakoti, Tripura
Unakoti, the fabricated “Angkor Watt of the North-East”, is a series of Shaiva rock sculptures found in the northern region of Tripura.
- It is famous as an ancient holy site associated with Shaiva worship.
ii. Unakoti, located in the Raghunandan hills, about 180 kilometres from Agartala, is home to huge base-relief sculptures dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries.
52 “sites on tentative list” as defined by UNESCO, temples at Bishnupur in West Bengal (added to the list in 1998), Mattancherry Palace in Kerala (added in 1998), wild donkey sanctuary, and Small Rann of Kutch in Gujarat (added in 2006) are also included.
ii. So far in 2022, 6 Indian sites have been included in the tentative list.
iii. There are 40 sites in India that have been designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO .
- These include 32 “cultural sites” such as Agra Fort in Uttar Pradesh, Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh, Harappan era site in Dholavira in Gujarat, Elephanta Caves in Maharashtra, Red Fort complex in Delhi and Mahabodhi Temple complex in Bodh Gaya in Bihar.
Recent related news:
In November 2022, the “2022 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation” (Heritage Awards) were presented to 13 award-winning projects from 6 different countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The 6 nations are Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Nepal and Thailand.
ii. The “Award of Excellence” at the “2022 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation” has been conferred on the heroic restoration of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) Museum in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
About the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
Director General – Audrey Azoulay
Established – 1945 (implemented in 1946)
Members – 193 Members and 10 Associate Member
Headquarters – Paris, France