Six Hill Forts of Rajasthan accorded World Heritage Status

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The "Hill Forts of Rajasthan", group of Six Forts- Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Jaisalmer, Ranthambhore (Sawai Madhopur), Gagaron (Jhalawar) and Amber (Jaipur), have been accorded the status of "World Heritage Sites" by UNESCO

  • They are the 30th World Heritage site of India (see FULL LIST )
  • Even though located in different cities, they were recognised as a 'serial cultural property' by UNESCO
  • located on the rocky terrains of the Aravali mountains
  • The decision was taken at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It came after extensive survey of the site's architecture, following their nomination, by the team of International Council on Monuments and Forts (ICOMOS- advisory body to the Unesco on Heritage Listing). State archaeology department, the Archaeological Survey of India and the Indian Advisory Committee on World Heritage under the Ministry of Culture were the consulting bodies.
  • Built between 8th and 19th centuries, the forts are excellent example of Rajput military hill architecture, which are found in palaces, temples, memorials and even in villages. UNESCO took special note of the distinct architecture typology based on traditional Indian principles. Of special mention was the use of surrounding landscape like hills, deserts, rivers, and dense forests as natural defence besides extensive water harvesting structures.
  • Buoyed by the decision Rajasthan government is also considering Stepwells of Abhaneri, Bandikui, Bundi and the fresco paintings of Shekhawati region for Nominations to the Unesco list
  • India's other proposal under 'natural site' category 'Great Himalayan National Park' in Himachal Pradesh has been put on 'referral list'( This means India will have to address certain concerns raised in the evaluation and then resubmit the proposal).
  • Some Other Forts of architectural value : Kalinjar in Uttar Pradesh, Mandu in Madhya Pradesh
    Pravin Srivastava : Director General, ASI

New Inscribed Properties at the 37th session

Total 19 New inscriptions and 3 Extensions :

NEW INSCRIBED PROPERTIES AT 37TH MEET
Al Zubarah Archaeological Site Qatar*

CULTURAL SITE (14)

Ancient City of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora Ukraine
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe Germany
Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces China
Fujisan, sacred place and source of artistic inspiration Japan
Golestan Palace Iran
Hill Forts of Rajasthan India
Historic Centre of Agadez Niger
Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong S. Korea
Levuka Historical Port Town Fiji*
Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany Italy
Red Bay Basque Whaling Station Canada
University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia Portugal
Wooden Tserkvas of the Carpathian Region Poland and Ukraine
El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve Mexico NATURAL SITE (5)
Mount Etna, Sicily  Italy
Namib Sand Sea Namibia
Tajik National Park (Mountains of the Pamirs) Tajikistan
Xinjiang Tianshan China

*(FIRST UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE PROPERTY FOR QATAR and FIJI)

3 Extensions
Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines, Poland (extension to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, inscribed on the Heritage List in 1978) ; CULTURAL SITE
Mount Kenya-Lewa Wildlife conservancy, Kenya ( extension to Mount Kenya Natural Park) ; NATURAL SITE
Maloti Drakensberg Tranboundary World Heritage Site ,in Lesotho and South Africa, MIXED PROPERTIES (NATURAL+CULTURAL)

With these additions the current status:
World Heritage List-- 981 properties ("having outstanding universal value")
759 cultural , 193 natural and 29 mixed properties in 160 States Parties
190 States Parties have ratified the "World Heritage Convention" as of September 2012

  • Italy has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites 
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