World Heritage Day: 5 heritage sites in India that you may not know about

Here is a list of five heritage sites in India which despite being strong contenders for UNESCO’s heritage tag are not yet popular.

GN Bureau | April 18, 2016


#world heritage day   #sabarmati ashram   #majuli   #satyragrah   #weavers  
Sabarmati Ashram which is one of the sites of Saytagrah during freedom struggle of India
(Photo: www.gandhiashramsabarmati.org)

As many as 46 sites in India, including cities, monuments and archaeological sites are on the UNESCO's tentative list awaiting world heritage status. Here is a list of five heritage sites in India which despite being strong contenders for UNESCO’s heritage tag are not yet popular.

Majuli island on Brahmaputra

The island is in river Brahmaputra in Assam. It is a riverine delta, a unique geographical occurrence and a result of the dynamics of this vast river system. It was formed in that stretch of the river where the largest number of tributaries drains out and forms their deltas on the Northern and the Southern banks. The island is culturally and spiritually significant. Once ranked as the largest river island in the world, Majuli today has lost this position owing to severe erosion by the river. Originally spread over 1265 sq km, the island has lost about a third of its landmass and only about 525 sq km of land remains stable.

Cold desert landscape

The proposal of cold desert cultural landscape of India was submitted by permanent delegation of India to UNESCO. The landscape in Himalayas stretches from Ladakh to Kinnaur. The region constitutes a cold desert biome with harsh climatic conditions. The area has a unique culture of its own which is an amalgamation of Indian and Tibetan influences, is reflective in the form of Buddhism practiced here and further manifest in its art, architecture, lifestyle, food, clothing, dance, and music.

Sites along the Uttarapath, Badshahi Sadak, Sadak-e-Azam, Grand Trunk Road

This includes Sarai, kos minars (milestones), forts, gardens and bridges along the Grand Trunk Road, one of longest and oldest roads in Asia, built by Sher Shah Suri. The road was upgraded in the British period. The road is comparable with the Route of Santiago de Compostela in Spain and Chinese section of the Silk Route. It is the only important route that has survived over a very long period of history and is still functional.

Sites of Saytagrah during freedom struggle

This includes, Sabarmati Ashram, Khadi Pratishthan and Ashram at Sodepur, Dandi March route (from Sevagram Ashram to Dandi village), Champaran Satyagrah sites (Sadaqat/Bapuji Ashram in Patna; Champaran Ashram; Courtroom in Motihari) universities like Santiniketan, Banaras Hindu University, Jamia Milia Islamia, Gujarat Vidyapeeth. The nomination has been pending in the UNESCO world heritage list since 2014.

Saree Weaving Clusters of India

This includes traditional looms and technological advances in weaving sarees in states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. The series highlights diversity throughout the country and each cluster comprising at least one of the attributes as outstanding on its own as compared to the other cluster (in terms of settlement pattern, scale, category, loom types, woven fabric, motifs, colours and design etc.)

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