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Indian Heritage & Culture

Nominations for the World Heritage List 2020

  • 03 Mar 2020
  • 6 min read

Why in News

  • Recently, the Minister of State of Culture and Tourism has informed Lok Sabha that India has submitted two nomination dossiers namely ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City’ and ‘Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate’ for inclusion in the World Heritage List for the year 2020.

Dholavira: A Harappan City

  • The City of Dholavira located in Khadir island of the Rann of Kutch (Gujarat) belonged to the mature Harappan phase.
  • It was excavated by R.S Bisht in 1985.
  • It demonstrates a highly organised system of town planning with perfected proportions, street-pattern and an efficient water conservation system that supported life for more than 1200 years (3000 BCE to 1800 BCE) against harsh hot arid climate.
    • The water conservation methods of Dholavira are unique and measures as one of the most efficient systems of the ancient world.
  • The presence of a three-tier zonation comprising of a distinct upper (citadel, bailey) and middle (having a distinct street-pattern, large scale enclosure and a ceremonial ground) towns enclosed by a lower town (with narrower streets, smaller enclosures and industrial area) – distinguishes the city of Dholavira from other metropolises of the Indus Valley Civilisation.

Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate

  • The ‘Monuments of the Deccan Sultanate’ demonstrates the convergence of national and international styles of Islamic architecture and their intersections with the prevalent Hindu architecture of the period southern Indian in present-day Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh,
  • It comprises of four components namely,
    • Bahmani Monuments at Gulbarga, Karnataka
      • It primarily comprises the Gulbarga Fort with the Great Mosque in the Fort, Jami Masjid and the Haft Gumbad complex with seven tombs.
      • Gulbarga was the first capital of the Bahmani dynasty.
    • Bahmani and Barid Shahi Monuments at Bidar, Karnataka
      • It includes monuments at Bidar dating from late 15th to the early 16th centuries comprise of the Bidar Fort, the Madrasa Mahmud Gawan, the Bahamani tombs at Ashtur and the Barid Shahi tombs.
      • The significant feature of Bidar is the sophisticated system of gates and sluices (A sluice is a water channel controlled at its head by a gate.) that could be used when required to flood segments of the moat and thus preserve water.
    • Adil Shahi Monuments at Bijapur, Karnataka
      • These monuments date from the late 15th to the late 17th centuries.
      • These are an ensemble of 80 small and big monuments including the fortifications, gates, water systems and tanks, several mosques and tombs and palatial structures.
      • The most remarkable monuments within the fort include the Gol Gumbaz which is the second largest dome in the world.
    • Qutb Shahi Monuments at Hyderabad Andhra Pradesh
      • It comprises of Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs and Charminar that symbolize the Qutb Shahi Dynasty.
      • Golconda is a fortified citadel and an early capital city of the Qutb Shahi dynasty.
      • The tombs of Qutb Shahis are a mausoleum complex comprised of the tombs of the Royal family and the officials who faithfully served them.
      • Charminar is a ceremonial Gateway built to celebrate the foundation of Hyderabad, a new Millennial City, in 1591 A.D.

Indus Valley Civilisation

  • The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC), which is now more popularly referred to as the Harappan civilisation after Harappa, the first of its sites to be excavated in the 1920s by British archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler.
  • Harappan civilisation emerged on the banks of the river Indus in the second half of the third millennium BCE and spread across large parts of western India.
  • Harappa and Mohenjo–Daro – the two major sites of this civilization – are among the earliest and finest examples of urban civic planning.
  • The planned network of roads, houses and drainage systems indicate the planning and engineering skills that developed during those times.
  • The Harappan Civilisation was widespread as it covered parts of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • Harappan civilisation was a trade based civilization which had overseas trade links with Mesopotamia attested by the discovery of Harappan seals there and Mesopotamian carnelian beads here.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
  • This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.
  • A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by UNESCO for its special cultural or physical significance. The list of World Heritage Sites is maintained by the international 'World Heritage Programme', administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Source: PIB

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