At present, about 287 cities around the world are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage City list, but there is not a single city from India. Only Bhaktapur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka have been declared as World Heritage Cities from the Indian subcontinent. After initial clashes between Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai in India, the government has decided that it will stake claim to register Ahmedabad as a heritage city. But it will be known only in June 2017 whether any city from India can become the first heritage city or not. At present, the truth is that no city from India is in the World Heritage City list.
What are the benefits of being a heritage city?
If UNESCO declares a city as a World Heritage City, then its name immediately shines in the world and the number of tourists there also increases very fast. Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat, is a city settled in the 11th century and there are about 36 such places which are in the list of Archaeological Survey of India. It is said that the proposal to declare Delhi and Mumbai as a World Heritage City was not sent because the proposal of Delhi is stuck with the Ministry of Urban Development while the proposal of Mumbai was not very good.
Before this, many efforts were made to make Banaras a World Heritage City but things did not work out. In the year 1992, the merits of the city of Banaras were first mentioned in front of UNESCO but it did not manage to attract attention. A similar attempt was made in 2002 but that too was unsuccessful. After this, Varanasi Development Authority and Municipal Corporation made many efforts but things did not work out. In 2012, the World Bank and the central government’s Ministry of Urban Development made plans with Ajmer-Pushkar, Varanasi and Hyderabad in mind. Similar efforts were made regarding Delhi, but the truth is that no city from India could make it to the list of World Heritage City. So the government is still trying for it.
Two places selected in ten years
UNESCO selects a city as a heritage city on the basis of how important heritage sites are treated there and the seriousness shown in their conservation. Along with this, it is also seen how this city has saved its heritage while being modern. Evidence of the heritage being ancient is important, but the attachment to the heritage of the institutions of that city matters more. It is certainly a matter of relief that the number of sites included in the World Heritage List from India is good. In 2014, Rani Ki Vav in Patan, Gujarat and the Great Himalayan National Park of Kullu were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
After a gap of about 10 years, two sites from India were selected together in the World Heritage List. A cultural heritage and a natural heritage. Very few places from India have been included in the list of natural heritage. The government is also trying to include the Rann of Kutch and the Kangchenjunga National Park in Sikkim in this list. 44 years after the World Heritage Convention held in the year 1972, 161 countries are now standing together to save the heritage of themselves and other countries.
Heritage is the mirror of civilization
The importance of ancient heritage is not only from the point of view that the sources of an important event in history are hidden in them, but they are also important in the sense that the new generation can learn a lot from them. Does the town plan of Mohenjodaro not provide essential lessons for modern city planning? Doesn’t the Taj Mahal of Agra still compel the onlookers to think how this beautiful building must have been realized? Looking at them, we come to know that how man has traveled step by step.
Looking at these heritage, the eye falls on all the steps through which the world has reached till today. Before today’s generation can boast of its progress, it has to remember what kind of things have been created in the past and there is a lot to learn by seeing their beauty. These heritages show that the world was not created suddenly, but it has traveled hundreds of years till this era.
These monuments also include places that remind man that everything is not necessarily on his own. There are also many natural surroundings that remind man of his limitations. Tells him what to save.
Mandu and Sarnath in probable list
Many places of historical and cultural importance from India are included in the potential heritage list. Among these, Mandu is located in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh and Harmandir Sahib is also located in Amritsar, Punjab. The remains of Nalanda found in the excavation are also in this list. Places like Silk Route, Shantiniketan, Mughal Garden of Kashmir, Cellular Jail of Andaman are also in the race to be World Heritage. Only once it is included in the Prospective List does a heritage qualify for a place in the Main List.
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