We have been looking at various sites that find a mention in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. I’m extremely sorry to have kept postponing the last part of the series for so long again. But I was really caught up in work. Hope you guys are still interested in knowing the latest additions to the UNESCO list from India.
The Architectural Work Of Le Corbusier: (2016)
The architectural work of Le Corbusier across many countries, including the Capital Complex of Chandigarh, was recognised as a World Heritage Site as part of an outstanding contribution to Modern Movement.
The Capitol Complex in Chandigarh hosts the legislative assembly for both the states of Haryana and Punjab, High Court and the Secretariat. Located in Sector 1, Chandigarh, this capitol complex was built when Chandigarh was being developed as the capital of Punjab in 1950 after the partition of India.
The dream city of India’s first Prime Minister, Sh. Jawahar Lal Nehru, was planned by the famous French architect Le Corbusier. Urban and Architectural Work of Le Corbusier in Chandigarh, is home to numerous architectural projects of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Matthew Nowicki and Albert Mayer.
Chandigarh also happens to be modern India’s first planned city! Have you ever visited it?
Historic City of Ahmedabad: (2017)
The walled city of Ahmedabad, founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah I in the 15th century is the first city of India to enter the UNESCO list. Ahmedabad was declared as the World Heritage City on July 8, 2017. The city of Ahmedabad has close to 25 structures that are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
According to a statement from UNESCO “The urban fabric is made up of densely-packed traditional houses in gated traditional streets with characteristic features such as bird feeders, public wells and religious institutions. The city continued to flourish as the capital of the State of Gujarat for six centuries, up to the present”. Ahmedabad is a walled city on the banks of Sabarmati where communities following Hinduism, Islam and Jainism have co-existed for centuries.
Situated on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods. Today, despite having become extremely crowded and dilapidated, it still serves as the symbolic heart of metropolitan Ahmedabad.
The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai: (2018)
Added to the list of Heritage Sites in June 2018, The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai is a collection of 94 buildings of great cultural importance, located in the Fort Area of Mumbai, set around the Oval Maidan, previously known as Esplanade.
The Oval is flanked on the east by 19th-century Victorian Neo-Gothic constructions, like Bombay High Court, The Fort Campus of the University of Mumbai and the Old Secretariat Building among others. A famous landmark of the Rajabai Clock Tower is also part of the Ensemble, along with Watson’s Hotel, David Sassoon Library and the Elphinstone College.
On the west stand the 20th century Art Deco buildings right along the Arabian Sea. These consist of mostly privately-owned residential buildings and the famous Eros Cinema – the building that marked the beginning of the Back Bay reclamation along the Marine Drive back in 1935.
The difference in the style of the two separate segments of the Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai represents an abrupt shift in the creative aspirations that reflects in the cityscape brilliantly and has thereby rightfully earned its place in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Pink City of Jaipur: (2019)
The walled city of Jaipur, known globally as Pink City, has finally become a Unesco world heritage site. It is India’s first planned city founded by Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727, and is only the second Indian city to feature on the prestigious list. Unlike other cities in the region located in hilly terrain, Jaipur was established on the plain and built according to a grid plan interpreted in the light of Vedic architecture.
It is one of the largest cities in India and is surrounded by walls and gates decorated with drawings. On the backdrop of a beautiful pink hue, Jaipur, the pink city successfully manages to retain its old-world charm. Home to a few other UNESCO World Heritage sites including Amer Fort and Jantar Mantar, Jaipur is home to many magnificent forts, palaces, temples and museums. Jaipur is filled to the brim with bustling local bazaars where you can shop for local handicrafts and trinkets to your heart’s content. Popular bazaars in the city include Bapu Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar and Johri Bazaar.
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.
And it’s indeed an honour that India has so many World Heritage Sites. Obviously India is much than these internationally recognised sites. Being an Indian, we know how much more of history and cultural is yet to be discovered. But as we continue to strive to make lesser own sites world famous, let’s rejoice and pledge to preserve and conserve the beautiful melange of traditions and cultural that India is!
Happy World Heritage Week to all of you!!
By the way, Out of all these sites here’s the list of places I have visited so far. To name them:
- Agra Fort
- Taj mahal
- Humayun’s Tomb
- Qutb Minar
- Nilgiri Mountain Railway and Matheran too but Matheran’s claim is still pending.
- CST Station (visit it literally EVERYDAY)
- Red Fort
- Western Ghats (obviously not the whole of ghats, but definitely in parts as I have trekked a lot in the Sahyandris and also if you have go anywhere in western Maharashtra you travel exclusively through the ghats)
- Just Jaiselmer in Rajasthan, rest I have to visit
- Ahmedabad (I was a kid when we visited the city, so don’t remember much)
- Mumbai (obviously, every day)
Wow, 19/38. Hmmmm… not a bad score, isn’t it? But I would love to revisit every single one of them. What about you guys? Where all have you visited? Comment away….
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