14 Intangible Cultural Heritage in India

Posted By Prapti Upadhayay
Published Sept 21, 2022

Hindustan Times


In Focus

Almost a year after Kolkata's Durga Puja festival was included in the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list, the Indian government nominated Garba for the same

Credits: Wikimedia

UNESCO created the Intangible Cultural Heritage List to ensure better conservation of significant intangible cultural heritage across the globe

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Here is a list of all Indian entries on the UNESCO World List of Intangible Cultural Heritage

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Kutiyattam, which dates back over 2,000 years, represents a synthesis of Sanskrit classicism and reflects Kerala's indigenous traditions

Kutiyattam, Sanskrit theatre

Credits: Flickr

The Vedas, regarded as the prime source of knowledge and the holy foundation of Hinduism, reflect one of the world's oldest surviving cultural traditions

The tradition of Vedic chanting

Credits: UNESCO

Ramlila, literally "Rama's play," is a reenactment of the Ramayana epic in a series of acts that include song, storytelling, recital, and dialogue


Credits: Wikimedia

It is a religious festival and ritual theatre in the Garhwal Himalayas honoring the tutelary god, Bhumiyal Devta, a local divinity whose temple contains most of the activities


Credits: Wikimedia

Chhau dance is an eastern Indian art that enacts scenes from epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, as well as local folklore and abstract concepts

Credits: Wikimedia

Chhau dance

They represent the way of life of the Kalbelia, who used to be professional snake handlers and now reflect their old profession via music and dance

Kalbelia folk songs and dances

Credits: Wikimedia

Mudiyettu is a Kerala ritual dance drama based on the legendary tale of a battle between the goddess Kali and the demon Darika


Credits: Wikimedia

Buddhist priests recite sacred texts embodying the Buddha's spirit, philosophy, and teachings at monasteries and communities throughout the Ladakh region

Buddhist chanting of Ladakh

Credits: Wikimedia

Sankirtana refers to a variety of arts performed to commemorate religious occasions and different phases in the life of the Vaishnava people of the Manipur

Sankirtana of Manipur

Credits: Wikimedia

Nowruz is the Persian term for the first day of the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year. Many communities in India celebrate it with zeal


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The concept behind the ancient Indian practise of yoga has influenced many aspects of how Indian culture operates, including health and medicine, education, and the arts


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The Kumbh Mela (the festival of the holy Pitcher) is the world's biggest peaceful gathering of pilgrims, during which participants bathe or swim in a sacred river

Kumbh Mela

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Durga Puja is an annual celebration held in September or October, most notably in Kolkata. It commemorates the worship of the Hindu mother-goddess Durga

Durga Puja in Kolkata

Credits: Unsplash

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