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Need to Protect Monuments and Sites
5/4/2019 11:09:00 PM

Dr.Banarsi Lal & Dr. Pawan Sharma

World Heritage Site is a place such as a building, desert, forest, island, monument etc. which is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as being of special importance. Every year 18th of April is celebrated as the World Heritage Day around the world by a wide range of organisations and many national and international committees. On this day we share the cause of protecting the endangered heritage. On this day awareness and campaigns are organized across the globe to educate public about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are needed to protect and conserve it. World Heritage is defined as the shared wealth of humankind. This day reminds us of our rich past. Firstly the seeds of World Heritage Day were sown on 18th of April 1982.It was firstly proposed by the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on 18th of April, 1982 and approved by the General Assembly of UNESCO in 1983. The International Council for Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) organized a symposium in Tunisia. The calls were made for celebration of an "International Day for Monuments and Sites" all over the world. This idea picked up the pace and the committee approved the suggestion. The proposal for the celebration of this day was then moved to UNESCO General Conference where a resolution was passed in November 1983.Since that day, the people across the globe have been celebrating the "International Monuments and Sites Day" also known as "Word Heritage Day" on 18th of April. There is need to recognize the people involved in preserving the sites and monuments, especially scientists, geographers, archaeologists and engineers.
Our monuments and sites can only be protected with our collective efforts. World Heritage Day is celebrated on the diversity of heritage throughout the world. Heritage sites are vulnerable to several factors and we must do our own efforts to protect these valuable assets. This day is celebrated in different ways. Monuments and sites are highlighted with the objective of their preservation and protection. The public is invited at these monuments and sites. Discussions, debates, conferences, seminars, exhibitions, symposium, press conferences, excursions etc. are organised by different organisations. Awareness is created among the masses by writing the articles in newspapers and through the electronic media. Special awards are given to the persons who make remarkable contribution in the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage or produced excellent efforts for the preservation of monuments and sites. Inaugurations of newly restored sites are inaugurated. Special awareness programmes on protection, preservation and propagation of heritage monuments are organised for the school children and youths.
Jammu and Kashmir is also rich in its ancient monuments and sites that remind us about the rich historical background of the State. There is immense scope of tourism in the state if these monuments and sites are highlighted, promoted and preserved. Strenuous efforts are needed for the preservation and conservation of the rich heritage of this beautiful state and listing and grading of heritage should be done accordingly. Future generations respect those nations and civilizations who protect their culture and environment for posterity. Archaeological Survey of India has notified 28 protected sites in J&K state which includes 13 in Kashmir Valley and 15 in Jammu. 69 monuments have been included in the list of National importance. Jammu and Kashmir framed its own Heritage Conservation and Preservation Act in the year 2010 and constituted Heritage Conservation and Preservation Authority and Executive Committee .The major objective of legislating the Act and constituting the Authority was to frame the rules, survey the heritage sites and approve them for listing in the state heritage inventory. It is hoped that with the awareness about the protection and preservation of monuments and sites of J&K, tourists across the globe will visit them.
India is full of monuments and sites that signify our rich culture and heritage. Some of these sites are highly popular such as the world-famous Taj Mahal in Agra or the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai. There are various other structures that give us a peek into the bygone era. UNESCO has listed 35 sites in India as part of its World Heritage Sites and that makes India among the top countries in the world in terms of heritage sites. Monuments and sites are the places of importance of cultural or natural heritage as defined by the UNESCO. However, many of us aren't too familiar with all this. Some of the world famous heritage sites are situated in India.
(1)Taj Mahal: It is an ode to love immortalized in stone, the marble mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Taj Mahal is known among the Seven Wonders of the World. One of the most iconic buildings, the mausoleum attracts a large number of visitors across the globe.
(2)Elephanta Caves: These caves are in Maharashtra. These caves have been carved out of single solid basalt rock. The caves are filled with beautiful stone carvings of Hindu gods and goddess. The sculpture of Mount Kailash, Parvati, Ravana and especially of Lord Shiva, which shows his three moods as the creator, the destroyer and the preserver, are the masterpieces.
(3)Kaziranga National Park: This park has been established in Asam. It was started in 1905 at the orders of British Viceroy Lord Curzon following a request from his wife. This wildlife park is famous for its one-horned rhino population.
(4)Mahabodhi Temple: This Park is situated in Bihar. This temple is known for the spot where Lord Buddha got enlightenment. At this sacred place monks take their pledge and wear their ceremonial robes for the first time. The temple has been built in Dravidian architecture style around the original Bodhi tree which sheltered Lord Buddha.
(5)Fatehpur Sikri: This is situated in Uttar Pradesh. It was found in 1569 and the city served as the Mughal capital. The city is the manifestation of Mughal Emperor Akbar's dream to build a grand capital for his empire. The Great Munhall's grand city was abandoned just 16 years after it was built due to the acute shortage of water.
Heritage sites are valuable assets of human civilization. There is need to create awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage of humanity, their vulnerability and the efforts needed for their protection and conservation. It is our responsibility to protect our rich heritage and offer it to the next generations.
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