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18 April was celebrated as a “World Heritage Day” to raise awareness about monuments and other sites which form a part of our history and culture.

Key data’s:

  • World Heritage Day is celebrated every year on April 18.
  • The day is also known as “the International Day for Monuments and Sites”.
  • Theme’19: Rural Landscape.
  • Theme’18: Heritage for Generations.
  • The day is celebrated to raise the awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage, monuments, its relevance, how vulnerable it can be and what are the needs and benefits of its conservation.
  • On this day different types of activities, including visits to monuments and heritage sites, conferences are organised.
  • As of 2018, India has 36 World Heritage Sites including Western Ghats, Sundarbans National Park, Historic City of Ahmadabad, Taj Mahal in Agra, Nalanda University, Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar and Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh.

What is World Heritage site?

  • World Heritage site is a natural or man-made site, area, or structure recognized as being of outstanding international importance and therefore as a deserving special protection. Sites are nominated to and designated by the World Heritage Convention (an organization of UNESCO).
  • They have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.
  • According to the sites ranked by country, Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites with 51 sites, followed by China (48), Spain (44), France (41), Germany (40), Mexico (33), and India (36- As of 2018).

History of this day:

  • The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in 1982 announced April 18 as the World Heritage Day. UNESCO approved of this day in the year 1983 and since then the day is dedicated to informing people about the sites which have achieved the status of heritage, their importance and the problems involved in protecting these sites.
  • This day is to raise awareness about monuments and other sites which form a part of our history and culture.
  • World heritage day also aims to seek recognition for the people involved in preserving these sites, especially scientists, archaeologists, geographers and engineers.
  • Every year, ICOMOS proposes a theme for the celebrations and activities which are to be organised on the World Heritage Day.

Some of the sites in India;

  1. Nalanda Mahavihara, Bihar
  2. Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam
  3. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
  4. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
  5. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat
  6. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh
  7. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai
  8. Sun Temple, Konarak
  9. Mountain Railways of India
  10. Sundarbans National Park, etc.,

The sites in Tamil Nadu are;

  • Great Living Chola Temples
    • Airavateshwara Temple, Kumbakonam
    • Brihadeeshwara Temple, Tanjavur
    • Gangaikonda Chola Puram, Jayakondan
  • Group of monumanets, Mahabalipuram.

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