Natural to cultural: New wonders in Unesco's world heritage list

Updated On Jul 06, 2014 09:30 PM IST
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The Unesco World Heritage Committee’s 38th session started on June 15 and went on till June 25, in Qatar. And when it ended, the world got 26 new additions on the World Heritage List, including two from India — Rani-Ki-Vav from Gujarat, and The Great Himalayan National Park from Himachal Pradesh. Now, find out why the committee chose to inscribe some of these sites. (Text: Sneha Mahale) Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah (Saudi Arabia): From the 7th century AD it was established as a major port for Indian Ocean trade routes, channelling goods to Mecca. It was also the gateway to Mecca for Muslim pilgrims, who arrived by sea. View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 06, 2014 09:30 PM IST

The Unesco World Heritage Committee’s 38th session started on June 15 and went on till June 25, in Qatar. And when it ended, the world got 26 new additions on the World Heritage List, including two from India — Rani-Ki-Vav from Gujarat, and The Great Himalayan National Park from Himachal Pradesh. Now, find out why the committee chose to inscribe some of these sites. (Text: Sneha Mahale) Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah (Saudi Arabia): From the 7th century AD it was established as a major port for Indian Ocean trade routes, channelling goods to Mecca. It was also the gateway to Mecca for Muslim pilgrims, who arrived by sea.

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Erbil Citadel (Iraq): It is a fortified settlement on the top of a ‘tell’ — a hill that was created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot. A continuous wall of 19th century facades conveys the visual impression of an impregnable fortress. View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 06, 2014 09:30 PM IST

Erbil Citadel (Iraq): It is a fortified settlement on the top of a ‘tell’ — a hill that was created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot. A continuous wall of 19th century facades conveys the visual impression of an impregnable fortress.

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Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites (Japan): Established in 1872 in the Gunma Prefecture, it was built by the Japanese Government with machinery imported from France. It consists of four sites attesting to the different stages in the production of raw silk — production of cocoons in an experimental farm; a cold storage facility for silkworm eggs; reeling of cocoons and spinning of raw silk in a mill; and a school for the dissemination of sericulture knowledge. View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 06, 2014 09:30 PM IST

Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites (Japan): Established in 1872 in the Gunma Prefecture, it was built by the Japanese Government with machinery imported from France. It consists of four sites attesting to the different stages in the production of raw silk — production of cocoons in an experimental farm; a cold storage facility for silkworm eggs; reeling of cocoons and spinning of raw silk in a mill; and a school for the dissemination of sericulture knowledge.

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Rani-ki-Vav (India): Located on the banks of the Saraswati River in Patan, Gujarat, this Queen’s Stepwell was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD. Designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water, it has more than 500 principle sculptures and over 1,000 minor ones. View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 06, 2014 09:30 PM IST

Rani-ki-Vav (India): Located on the banks of the Saraswati River in Patan, Gujarat, this Queen’s Stepwell was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD. Designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water, it has more than 500 principle sculptures and over 1,000 minor ones.

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Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands (Israel): This ‘city under a city’ is characterised by man-made caves, excavated from the thick and homogenous layer of soft chalk in Lower Judea. It is situated below the ancient twin towns of Maresha and Bet Guvrin that bore witness to a succession of historical periods of excavation and usage stretching over 2,000 years — from the Iron Age to the Crusades. View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 06, 2014 09:30 PM IST

Caves of Maresha and Bet-Guvrin in the Judean Lowlands (Israel): This ‘city under a city’ is characterised by man-made caves, excavated from the thick and homogenous layer of soft chalk in Lower Judea. It is situated below the ancient twin towns of Maresha and Bet Guvrin that bore witness to a succession of historical periods of excavation and usage stretching over 2,000 years — from the Iron Age to the Crusades.

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Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru): A network of roads covering 30,000 km, it was constructed by the Incas over several centuries. It cuts through one of the world’s most extreme geographical terrains, including rainforests and absolute deserts, and links snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the coast. View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 06, 2014 09:30 PM IST

Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru): A network of roads covering 30,000 km, it was constructed by the Incas over several centuries. It cuts through one of the world’s most extreme geographical terrains, including rainforests and absolute deserts, and links snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the coast.

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Okavango Delta (Botswana): Home to some of the world’s most endangered species — the white and black rhinoceros and African wild dog — this delta comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. The annual flooding here occurs during the dry season, and native plants and animals have synchronised their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods. View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 06, 2014 09:30 PM IST

Okavango Delta (Botswana): Home to some of the world’s most endangered species — the white and black rhinoceros and African wild dog — this delta comprises permanent marshlands and seasonally flooded plains. The annual flooding here occurs during the dry season, and native plants and animals have synchronised their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods.

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