The Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel recently announced that around six cultural heritage sites have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
- Six of the nine sites submitted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had been accepted by UNESCO for inclusion in the Tentative List (TL), which is a requirement before the final nomination of any site.
Note: As per Operational Guidelines, 2019, it is mandatory to put any monument/site on the Tentative List (TL) before it is considered for the final nomination dossier.As per rules, any country can submit the nomination dossier after one year of it being on the TL.
The six sites that have successfully entered the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites are as follows.
- Maratha military architecture in Maharashtra
- Hire Bengal megalithic site in Karnataka
- Ganga ghats in Varanasi
- Temples of Kancheepuram
- Bhedaghat-Lametaghat of Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh.
- Satpura Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
With the addition of these six sites, the UNESCO has 48 proposals in tentative list of India.
About the Sites:
Maratha Military Architecture:
- There are more than 500 forts of various hybrid eras making Maharashtra one of the richest places in military architecture in the world. They were built between 1500 and 1800.
- During this period, the architecture conceived were largely military defensive architecture.
- There are 12 forts in Maharashtra dating back to the era of the 17th-century Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji. They are:
- 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),
- Padmadurga (Kasa),
- Vijaydurg and
Hire Benkal Megalithic Site:
- It is located in Karnataka.
- Megalithic site is a large pre-historic stone that is used to construct a monument or structure.
- There are more than 400 megalithic funerary monuments in Hire Benkal Megalithic site.
- According to scholars, the granite structures are burial monuments that may also have served many ritual purposes.
Ganga Ghats of Varanasi:
- The Ghats of Varanasi are the riverfront steps that lead to the banks of river Ganges.
- There are 88 ghats.
- Most of these ghats were built in the 18th century when the city was under the rule of Marathas.
Temples of Kanchipuram:
- The temple town of Kanchipuram is located in Tamil Nadu.
- It is dotted with ancient temples that are architectural marvels and a visual treat.
- 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 its capital between the 6th and 7th centuries. It lavished upon its architectural gems that are a fine example of Dravidian styles.
Satpura Tiger Reserve:
- It is located in Madhya Pradesh.
- The other major attractions of Satpura Tiger Reserve are Pandav Caves, Bee falls, Dhoopgarh Peak, Denwa Backwaters and rock paintings.
- The Denwa backwaters are the reservoir formed by the dam built on Denwa River.
Bhedaghat Lametaghat of Narmada Valley:
- This site is located in a town in the Jabalpur district, around 25 km from Jabalpur.
- It is referred to Grand Canyon of India.
- One can experience the outstanding beauty of marble rocks and their glittering forms on the other side of the Narmada River.
- 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 fossil fuels have been found here.
- In 1828, the first Dinosaur fossil was collected from Lameta Bed by William Sleeman.
- Here the Narmada river flows into a thirty-meter-deep gorge and flows between marble rocks.
- These marble rocks are formed by the metamorphic mechanism of limestone.