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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Push to get Mauryan-age wall at Rajgir, Unesco heritage status

The Bihar archaeology department has recommended to the ASI that the Mauryan age fortification wall at Rajgir should be included in the list of the UNESCO sites.

patna Updated: Jun 03, 2019 14:20 IST
Reena Sopam
Reena Sopam
Hindustan Times, Patna
According to officials, the 40 km long wall which encircled the entire city of Rajgriha in ancient times, was erected by the Mauryans over a period of time to protect Magadhan kingdom from invaders and enemies.
According to officials, the 40 km long wall which encircled the entire city of Rajgriha in ancient times, was erected by the Mauryans over a period of time to protect Magadhan kingdom from invaders and enemies. (HT Photo )
         

Efforts are being made to get Cyclopean wall, a more than 2,500 years old structure at Rajgir, as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In a letter sent to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) a few weeks ago, the Bihar archaeology department has recommended that the Mauryan age fortification wall should be included in the list of the UNESCO sites and has requested the ASI to forward the proposal to the UNESCO .

The directorate has also explained that the 40 km long wall which encircled the entire city of Rajgriha in ancient times, was erected by the Mauryans over a period of time to protect Magadhan kingdom from invaders and enemies and though only some portions of the structure exist now, it reminds one of the great administrative abilities of the mighty Magadhan empire and that it deserves to get the world heritage monument status.

 The Cyclopean wall which is already a Nationally protected monument under the ASI, drew attention for UNESCO status when CM Nitish Kumar visited the site during one of his visits to the Rajgir in November 2017. It was announced there that government would take efforts to bring this structure among the UNESCO sites.

Hardly a few months before chief minister’s Rajgir visit that year, ruins of the ancient age Nalanda University were declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO while the Mahabodhi temple, the site where Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya had achieved this status in June 2002.

“It’s great that state government has initiated the work to get fortification wall in UNESCO list. Two monuments of the state, the Mahabodhi and Nalanda University ruins are already in this list and if the new initiatives get materialised, the region will have three world heritage monuments,” H S Naik, superintending archaeologist, Patna Circle, ASI, said.   

“This time also state archaeology has been consulting with the facts and details of the fortification wall and has provided us a copy of proposal as well. If things materialise and it makes into the tentative list, we will work together to prepare the dossier needed for the final declaration,” he said.

Atul Kumar Verma, the state archaeology director said, the department had this structure in mind for the recommendation to be made for UNESCO status. “The Great Wall of China is already in the list and for this wall it was chief minister’s announcement which put it on the priority list,” he said.

First there’s an effort for the tentative list. There already exist over 50 (recommended by the countries from around the world) monuments and sites and only one piece is chosen from that tentative list in a year for the world status by UNESCO, he added. “We had submitted the Rajgir proposal to the ASI in April this year and are now waiting for the response,” he said.

First Published: Jun 03, 2019 14:20 IST

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