UNESCO World Heritage Sites
United Nations Educational,Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris,France which was formed in 1946
- Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, culture and communication.
- UNESCO has 193 member countries (including India) and it pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.
- The agency’s permanent headquarters are in Paris, France.
World Heritage Site
- A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area, selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, which is legally protected by international treaties.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention,1972
- The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage is an international agreement that was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1972.
- It is based on the premise that certain places on Earth are of outstanding universal value and should therefore form part of the common heritage of humankind.
- It basically defines the kind of natural or cultural sites which can be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List.
- Cultural sites include monuments, such as architectural structures, art and science pieces, while natural sites include formations that are of outstanding universal value from the aesthetic or scientific point of view.
- In addition to these, UNESCO designates some sites as Mixed heritage sites which contain elements of both natural and cultural significance.
- The Convention sets out the duties of State Parties in identifying potential sites and their role in protecting and preserving them.
- By signing the Convention, each country pledges to conserve not only the World Heritage sites situated on its territory, but also to protect its national heritage.
- It explains how the World Heritage Fund is to be used and managed and under what conditions international financial assistance may be provided.
World Heritage Sites in India:
- There are 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The sites are broken down into the following categories
Cultural Sites (32)
- Agra Fort (1983),Uttar Pradesh
- Ajanta Caves (1983),Maharashtra
- Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar (2016)
- Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989), Madhya Pradesh
- Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004),Gujarat
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004), Maharashtra
- Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
- Elephanta Caves (1987), Maharashtra
- Ellora Caves (1983), Maharashtra
- Fatehpur Sikri (1986), Uttar Pradesh
- Great Living Chola Temples (1987,2004), Tamilnadu
- Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986),Karnataka
- Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984), Tamilnadu
- Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987), Karnataka
- Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)
- Historic City of Ahmedabad (2017), Gujarat
- Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
- Jaipur City, Rajasthan (2019)
- Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986), Madhya Pradesh
- Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002), Bihar
- Mountain Railways of India Darjeeling,(1999), Nilgiri (2005), Kalka-Shimla(2008)
- Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
- Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014)
- Red Fort Complex (2007), Delhi
- Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003), Madhya Pradesh
- Sun Temple, Konârak (1984), Odisha
- Taj Mahal (1983), Uttar Pradesh
- The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016), Chandigarh
- The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010), Rajasthan
- Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018), Maharashtra
- Ramappa Temple(2021), Telangana
- Harappan city of Dholavira(2021), Gujrat
Natural Sites (7)
- Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014), Himachal Pradesh
- Kaziranga National Park (1985), Assam
- Keoladeo National Park (1985), Rajasthan
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985), Assam
- Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988,2005), Uttarakhand
- Sundarbans National Park (1987), West Bengal
- Western Ghats (2012), Karnataka,Kerala,Tamilnadu, Maharashtra
Mixed Site (1)
- Khangchendzonga National Park (2016), Sikkim
Why in the news?
- The 13th century Ramappa temple in Palampet, Telangana was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site recently.
About Ramappa temple
- The Ramalingeswara Temple which is popularly known as the Ramappa temple dates back to 1213 AD, was built by the patronage of the Kakatiya ruler Ganapathi Deva under the authority of his Chief Commander Recherla Rudra at the place known as Ranakude in the Atukuru province.
- The temple is situated in Palampet village of the Venkatapur mandal, in Mulugu District of Telangana.
- The temple got its name Ramappa because of its chief sculptor Ramappa.
- The temple is known for its unique features like ‘floating bricks’, sandbox foundations and exquisite carvings.
- The temple, known for its exquisite craftsmanship and delicate relief work, is a savvy blend of technical know-how and materials of its time.
- The foundation is built with the “sandbox technique”, the flooring is granite and the pillars basalt.
- The lower part of the temple is red sandstone while the white gopuram is built with light bricks that reportedly float on water.
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