Harmandar Sahib on tentative Unesco list for heritage status

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 21, 2015 20:36 IST
Harmandar Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar. (HT Photo)

Amritsar’s Harmandar Sahib, Sikhism holiest shrine, is among 46 Indian places on the Unesco (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) tentative list for consideration for nomination as world heritage site.

Culture and tourism minister Mahesh Sharma told the Lok Sabha about it in a written reply on Monday. “Once any city is on that heritage list, you can’t construct anything under the city plans and land-use plans,” the culture minister was quoted as saying.

From India, 32 cultural and natural sites already are on the world heritage list. Sarnath in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, where Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, Assam’s river island Majuli, and Srinagar’s Mughal Gardens are on the new shortlist. The list also includes the Bishnupur temples of West Bengal; Mattanchery Palace, Ernakulam, Kerala; monuments at Mandu, Madhya Pradesh; ancient Buddhist site, Ekamra Kshetra, the temple city in Bhubaneswar; Bahai house of worship in New Delhi; and Jaipur, Rajasthan.

Replying to another query, he said the nomination proposals on “Delhi’s Imperial Capital Cities” and “The Victorian and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai” had been submitted to World Heritage Centre in January 2014, and Delhi had received priority. Before the 39th Session of World Heritage Committee in July, however, the proposing state party had requested the Unesco Secretariat for postponement of the consideration of Delhi’s nomination.

Delhi’s Red Fort, Qutub Minar, and Jantar Mantar; Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya; Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta caves in Maharashtra; the Western Ghats; monuments of Hampi; and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus are among the Unesco-designated world heritage sites in the country.

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