UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria set by UNESCO.
- Based on UN Cultural Heritage Convention, 1972.
- India has 38 World Heritage Sites, including 30 Cultural properties, 7 Natural properties, and 1 mixed site.
- Most recent addition: Pink City Jaipur.
News: The government of India submitted two nominations for inclusion in the World Heritage List for 2020: Dholavira, and Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate.
1. Dholavira: A Harappan City
- Located at Khadir Island in Rann of Kutch, Gujarat.
- It had access to the sea prior to the decrease in sea level.
- Largest Harappan sites in the subcontinent: Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, and Ganweriwala (all in Pakistan) and Rakhigarhi and Dholavira (both in India).
- Two seasonal streams: Mansar and Manhar
- Three zones:
- Upper Town or the citadel
- Middle Town: ceremonial ground.
- Lower Towns: area where commoners lived.
2. Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate
Indo Islamic monuments at 4 sites in Gulbarga, Bidar, Bijapur and Hyderabad.
- Bahmani Monuments, Gulbarga, Karnataka:
- built-in the 14th century.
- The Gulbarga Fort and Great Mosque in the Fort
- Gulbarga was the first capital of the Bahmani dynasty.
- The Haft Gumbad complex with seven tombs: It includes tombs of Mujahid Shah, Daud Shah, Ghiyath al-Din Shah, and Shams al-Din Shah.
- Bahmani and Barid Shahi Monuments at Bidar, Karnataka
- Adil Shashi Monuments at Bijapur, Karnataka
- The most remarkable monument is the Gol Gumbaz. Itis the 2nd largest dome in the world. It is the tomb of Muhammad Adil Shah.
- Qutb Shahi Monuments at Hyderabad, Telangana
- Golconda Fort, Qutb Shahi Tombs, and Charminar.
Vision 2024 of Ministry of Culture
- Fixed timeline for completing work of enlisting and preserving invaluable heritage and culture of country’s monuments and traditions.
Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)
- These are the practices, expressions, knowledge, etc.; transmitted from generation to generation within communities
- Created and transformed continuously by them
- Depending on their interaction with nature, environment, and history.
Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Diverse Cultural Traditions of India
- The Scheme cover all recognized domains of ICH
- Scheme by Ministry of culture.
UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the ICH, 2003
- The first binding multilateral instrument intended to safeguard and raise the heritage profile.
Elements of India in UNESCO Representative List of ICH
- Ramman: Religious festival of Uttarakhand
- Kalbelia: The folk dance of Rajasthan
- Chhau Dance: West Bengal
- Mudiyettu: Ritual theatre and dance drama of Kerala
- Kutiyattam: Sanskrit Theatre of Kerala
- Vedic Chanting
- Sankirtana: ritual singing, drumming, and dancing of Manipur
- Buddhist chanting of Ladakh
- Kumbh Mela
- Traditional brass and copper craft: of Jandiala Guru, Punjab (utensil making among the Thatheras)
Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
- Founded in 1950 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
- He was the first Education Minister of independent India.
- Involved in India’s external cultural relations through cultural exchange.
- Responsibility of celebrating International Yoga Day abroad.
Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Art)
- President conferred 61st Annual Lalit Kala Akademi Awards.
- Inaugurated in New Delhi in 1954, by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
- Statutory authority in 1957 under the Societies Registration Act 1860.
- Established in pursuance of cultural and national identity.
- It is the youngest of three Government Academies: the other two Sahitya Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
- The nodal agency for archaeological research, conservation, and preservation of cultural monuments.
- Founded in 1861.
- It is an attached office of the Ministry of Culture.
- It regulates
- Ancient Monuments Act, 1958. (Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act)
- Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.
- Publications: Epigraphical surveys in Sanskrit, Dravidian, Arabic, etc.
Heritage Management in India
News: NITI Aayog released a report on ‘Improving Heritage Management in India’.
The Constitution has divided the jurisdiction over heritage as follows:
- Union: Parliament can declare these to be of national importance. Under this provision union has enacted two acts:
- Ancient Monuments Act of 1958
- Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972: to regulate the export trade.
- State: Monuments other than those declared by Parliament to be of national importance through state Departments of Archaeology.
- Concurrent list: both the Union and States have concurrent jurisdiction over such sites other than those declared by law and Parliament to be of national importance.
- Article 253: Parliament can legislate for the implementation of any international treaty, agreement, or convention.
- Article 51-A (f): fundamental duty to preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
NGOs in Heritage Conservation in India
- Aga Khan Trust for Culture
- Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage
- International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
- Only global NGO of this kind, which is dedicated conservation of cultural heritage.
- World Monuments Fund
- Heritage conservation projects and awareness programmes in India.
Government Initiatives to conserve heritage
National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana
- By the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
- To revitalize the unique character of twelve heritage cities in India.
Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive
- By Ministry of Tourism (MoT)
- For development and beautification of 40+ pilgrimage sites.
Swachh Iconic Places
- Under Swachh Bharat Mission
- To transform monuments as model ‘Swachh Tourist Destination’
Swadesh Darshan scheme
- By Ministry of Tourism
- to develop theme-based tourist circuits & world-class infrastructure.
- Religion: Spiritual, Ramayana, Krishna, Buddhist, Tirthankar, Sufi.
- Region: Coastal, Desert, Himalayan, North East
- Lifestyle: Eco, Heritage, Rural, Tribal, and Wildlife.
Incredible India 2.0 campaign
- International tourism promotion campaign
- By Ministry of Tourism
Adopt A Heritage
Apni Dharohar, Apni Pehchaan
- to engage private sector and individuals as “Monument Mitras”
- ASI identified 100 monuments to be developed as Model Monuments.
- Upgradation of facilities like Wi-Fi, cafeteria, brail signage, etc.
- Aim: to re-connect and re-establish cultural connect between countries of the Indian Ocean world, and in the regional maritime milieu.
- By Ministry of Culture.
- Implemented by: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
Ahom Kingdom (1228 to 1824)
Ahom Kingdom (1228 to 1824)
- Founded by Chaolung Sukapha. He established a capital at Charaidau, Assam.
- In the 13th century, they migrated from present-day Myanmar to Brahmaputra valley.
- Suppressed the older political system of the bhuiyans (landlords)
- Administration: Ahom society was divided into clans or khels and a Khel often controlled several villages.
- A Census system was present.
- The system of forced labor was prevalent. Laborers were called ‘paiks’.
- The Ahoms worshipped their tribal gods originally, but during the mid-eighteenth century, Hinduism became a predominant religion.
- Buranjis: written first in the Ahom language and then in the Assamese.
- Contemporary scholars trace his roots to Myanmar.
- He is known as the architect of “Bor Asom” or “greater Assam” due to his successful efforts of assimilation of different communities.
- In a recent controversy Chaolung Sukapha, the founder of Ahom kingdom, was referred to as a “Chinese invader”.
- A 9th century’s sandstone Shiva idol of Rajasthan temple
- Smuggled out of the country in 1998 was recently returned to India.
- The idol of the Pratihara Style of architecture in Rajasthan.
Ayodhya Ram temple
- Prime Minister recently laid the foundation for the Ayodhya Ram temple, which is to be built with the Nagara style of architecture.
Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh
- Treasures unearthed: chariots, legged coffins, shields, sword, and helmets of around 2,000 BCE.
- The Site and remains are declared by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to be of national importance.
- The Discovery of a horse chariot can challenge the Aryan invasion theory.
- The theory claims that horses were brought in around 1500 to 1000 BC.
- Horses provided Aryans edge over Dravidians to conquer North Indian plains.
- Weaving practiced in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu.
- The body of the sari and the border are woven separately.
- Interlocked by skillful weaving.
Bon Bibi'r Palagaan
- Folk theatre from the Sundarban islands.
- Based on the stories of Bon Bibi, the deity of the Sunderbans.
Pulikkali (Tiger Dance)
- Folk art of Kerala.
- Introduced by the ruler of Cochin, Maharaja Rama Varma Sakthan Thampuran.