The Pink City in India’s Rajasthan and Babylon, now in Iraq, are among the sites designated as World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. “Just inscribed as @UNESCO # WorldHeritage Site: Jaipur City in Rajasthan, Bravo,” the global body tweeted on Saturday.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee now underway in Baku in Azarbeijan from June 30 to July 10 made the announcement after its 43rd session, where the nomination of Jaipur was examined.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the decision and wrote on the micro blogging site saying, “Jaipur is a city associated with culture and valour. Elegant and energetic, Jaipur’s hospitality draws people from all over. Glad that this city has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.”
Jaipur, also called the Walled City, is known worldwide for its architectural marvel and a rich cultural heritage. The historic city was founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II and became a key centre of culture and trade in South Asia. It was known for its excellent town planning and architecture.
Jaipur, now the capital city of Rajastan, is also associated with exquisite art and craft.
Earlier on Friday, according to the UNESCO News, the World Heritage Committee inscribed five new sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Among them are two natural sites, one in France and one in Iceland, a mixed, ie natural and cultural, site in Brazil and two cultural sites in Burkina Faso and Iraq.
The committee also approved the extension of the trans-boundary natural and cultural heritage site of the Ohrid region (Albania/North Macedonia).
Here are the new entrants to World Heritage Sites list:
French Austral Lands and Seas (France): The French Southern Lands and Seas comprise the largest of the rare emerged land masses in the southern Indian Ocean: the Crozet Archipelago, the Kerguelen Islands, Saint-Paul and Amsterdam Islands as well as 60 small sub-Antarctic islands. This “oasis” in the middle of the Southern Ocean covers an area of more than 67 million ha and supports one of the highest concentrations of birds and marine mammals in the world. In particular, it has the largest population of King Penguins and Yellow-nosed albatrosses in the world. The remoteness of these islands from centres of human activity makes them extremely well-preserved showcases of biological evolution and a unique terrain for scientific research.
Vatnajökull National Park dynamic nature of fire and ice (Iceland): This iconic volcanic region covers an area of over 1,400,000 ha, nearly 14 per cent of Iceland’s territory. It numbers ten central volcanoes, eight of which are subglacial. Two of these are among the most active in Iceland. The interaction between volcanoes and the rifts that underlie the Vatnajökull ice cap takes many forms, the most spectacular of which is the jökulhlaup – a sudden flood caused by the breach of the margin of a glacier during an eruption. This recurrent phenomenon has led to the emergence of unique sandur plains, river systems and rapidly evolving canyons. Volcanic areas are home to endemic groundwater fauna that has survived the Ice Age.
Paratyand Ilha Grande – Culture and Biodiversity (Brazil): Located between the Serra da Bocaina mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean, this cultural landscape includes the historic centre of Paraty, one of Brazil’s best-preserved coastal towns, as well as four protected natural areas of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one of the world’s five key biodiversity hotspots. Paraty is home to an impressive diversity of species, some of which are threatened, such as the jaguar (Panthera onca), the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari) and several primate species, including the woolly spider monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides), which are emblematic of the site. In the late 17th century, Paraty was the end-point of the Caminho do Ouro (Gold Route), along which gold was shipped to Europe. Its port also served as an entry point for tools and African slaves, sent to work in the mines. A defence system was built to protect the wealth of the port and the town. The historic centre of Paraty has retained its 18th century plan and much of its colonial architecture dating from the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Ancient Ferrous Metallurgy Sites of Burkina Faso (Burkina Faso): This property is composed of five elements located in different provinces of the country. It includes about fifteen standing, natural-draught furnaces, several other furnace structures, mines and traces of dwellings. Douroula, which dates back to the 8th century BCE, is the oldest evidence of the development of iron production found in Burkina Faso. The other components of the property – Tiwêga, Yamané, Kindibo and Békuy – illustrate the intensification of iron production during the second millennium CE. Even though iron ore reduction – obtaining iron from ore – is no longer practiced today, village blacksmiths still play a major role in supplying tools, while taking part in various rituals.
Babylon (Iraq): Situated 85 km south of Baghdad, the property includes the ruins of the city which, between 626 and 539 BCE, was the capital of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It includes villages and agricultural areas surrounding the ancient city. Its remains, outer and inner-city walls, gates, palaces and temples, are a unique testimony to one of the most influential empires of the ancient world. Seat of successive empires, under rulers such as Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon represents the expression of the creativity of the Neo-Babylonian Empire at its height. The city’s association with one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—the Hanging Gardens—has also inspired artistic, popular and religious culture on a global scale.
Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region (Albania) [extension of “Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid region”, North Macedonia]: The part of Lake Ohrid located in Northern Macedonia and its hinterland, including the town of Ohrid, has been inscribed on the World Heritage List since 1979. With this extension, the site now encompasses the the north-western, Albanian, part of Lake Ohrid, the small Lin Peninsula and the strip of land along the shoreline that connects the peninsula to the Macedonian border. The peninsula is the site of the remains of an Early Christian church founded in the middle of the 6th century. In the shallow waters near the shores of the lake, three sites testify to the presence of prehistoric pile dwellings. A superlative natural phenomenon, the lake provides a refuge for numerous endemic species of freshwater fauna and flora dating from the Tertiary period.
During its morning session on Friday, the World Heritage Committee, meeting in Baku until 10 July, inscribed two natural sites in China and in the Islamic Republic of Iran on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List:
Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I) (China): The site features an intertidal mudflat system considered to be the largest in the world. These mudflats, as well as marshes and shoals, are exceptionally productive and serve as growth areas for many species of fish and crustaceans. The intertidal areas of the Yellow Sea/Gulf of Bohai are of global importance for the gathering of many migratory bird species that use the East Asian-Australasian flyway. Large gatherings of birds, including some of the world’s most endangered species, depend on the coastline as a stopover to moult, rest, winter or nest.
Hyrcanian Forests (Islamic Republic of Iran): Hyrcanian forests form a unique forested massif that stretches 850 km along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The history of these broad-leaved forests dates back 25 to 50 million years, when they covered most of this Northern Temperate region. These ancient forest areas retreated during the Quaternary glaciations and then expanded again as the climate became milder. Their floristic biodiversity is remarkable: 44pc of the vascular plants known in Iran are found in the Hyrcanian region, which only covers 7pc of the country. To date, 180 species of birds typical of broad-leaved temperate forests and 58 mammal species have been recorded, including the iconic Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana).
(With UNI inputs)