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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

India lists Statue of Unity as a ‘wonder’

The 597-feet tall statue of former deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was nominated as India’s choice for ‘Eight Wonders of the SCO’ after the Prime Minister’s office’s approval, the people added.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2019 04:23 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Beijing
Six of the remaining countries nominated ancient and historical sites while one chose the natural beauty of a lake for the campaign.
Six of the remaining countries nominated ancient and historical sites while one chose the natural beauty of a lake for the campaign.(HT image)
         

India has chosen the world’s tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, in Gujarat as its “wonder” for an ongoing tourism campaign of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), an eight-member China-led security bloc, according to people aware of the development.

The 597-feet tall statue of former deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was nominated as India’s choice for ‘Eight Wonders of the SCO’ after the Prime Minister’s office’s approval, the people added.

It was chosen ahead of three options the Union tourism ministry initially suggested for nomination as India’s wonder – the UNESCO world heritage sites of Hampi (Karnataka) and the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra and the iconic Taj Mahal, which is among the most recognised monuments in the world.

Six of the remaining countries nominated ancient and historical sites while one chose the natural beauty of a lake for the campaign.

The final nominations were made after the SCO secretariat in Beijing requested its member countries earlier this year to suggest a tourism destination that could be promoted, the people added.

The Time magazine has mentioned the statue as among the 100 places to visit in 2019. It is built on an island in the Narmada river and overlooks the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

SCO secretary-general Vladimir Norov, a former foreign minister of Uzbekistan, launched the ‘Eight wonders” initiative.

Speaking at the 8th summit of the World Tourism Cities Federation in Helsinki in Finland earlier this month, Norov said the campaign was aimed at “creating a common tourism space in all member countries”.

Norov said that the project was developed by the SCO secretariat and supported by all the members.

On the sidelines of the Helsinki summit, the SCO Secretariat set up an exhibition named the ‘Eight Wonders of the SCO’ to promote the sites featuring photos and video clips on the landmarks.

The remaining seven wonders of the SCO are: the Archaeological complex Tamgaly (Kazakhstan), the Imperial Palace of Damin (China) Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan), the heritage of the Great Mughals (Lahore, Pakistan), the Golden Ring (Russia), Palace Navruz (Tajikistan) and the historical spiritual centre (Bukhara, Uzbekistan).

Tourism cooperation is an important aspect of economic cooperation among SCO member states and officials say it will be conducive to consolidating and developing good neighbourliness among them.

In 2017, tourists from the other SCO members made 3.62 million trips to China, up 11.75% year on year.