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Report Dated July 19, 2016 3:46 PM
The listing of the World Heritage sites by UNESCO that was announced at the 40th session of the WHC currently underway in Turkey, has chosen Kahchendzonga National Park (KNP) in Sikkim as the first mixed heritage site from India. The mixed site exhibits qualities of both natural and cultural significance.
The Park exhibits one of the widest altitudinal ranges of any protected area, as it has a unique diversity of lowlands, valleys, and snow-clad mountains, including the worlds highest peak, Mt Khanchendzonga, besides numerous lakes and glaciers.
Earlier the archaeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) in Bihar was also marked as a heritage site.
The Capital Complex in Chandigarh also made it to the list. It includes the legislative Assembly, Secretariat and High Court designed by French architect Le Corbusier.
This is the first time any country got three sites inscribed in the World Heritage List at a single session of the committee meeting.
India now has 35 sites, including 27 cultural properties, seven natural sites and one mixed site on the list.
Report Dated July 16, 2016 3:19 PM
The ruins of the third century BC Nalanda University have been declared a World Heritage Site by the United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
UNESCO’s committee met in Istanbul to inscribe 4 new sites, in China, Iran, and Micronesia, as well as the archaeological site of the Nalanda Mahavihara University in Bihar on the World Heritage list.
Nalanda comprises of the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BC to the 13th century AD. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas, and art works in stucco, stone and metal. It is the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent.
The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion with monastic and educational traditions.
Report Dated May 31, 2016 2:59 PM
Scientists from IIT-Kharagpur and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have discovered evidence that the Indus Valley Civilization is at least 8000 years old and not 5,500 year old. They have also found evidence of a pre-Harappan civilisation that existed for some 1000 years before this.
The scientists believe that climate change ended the civilisation, as they recovered the oldest pottery from the time. They took their dig to an unexplored site, Bhirrana and unearthed something bigger as it yielded large quantities of animal remains from cows, goats, deer and antelope that were analysed to decipher antiquity and climatic conditions in which the civilisation flourished.
The researchers believe the Indus Valley Civilisation spread over a vast expanse of India. Also while earlier phases were represented by pastoral and village farming communities, the mature Harappan settlements were urbanised with organised cities and they had regular trade with Arabia and Mesopotamia.
They concluded hat the pre-Harappan humans inhabited the area as the climate was favourable for human settlement and agriculture. Deshpande Mukherjee of Deccan College explained that the monsoon was stronger and probably fed the rivers making them mightier with vast floodplains.
Report Dated April 9, 2016 12:25 AM
Begum Hazrat Mahal, who rebelled against British colonial rule in India from 1857-59, was commemorated by India’s Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae, who laid a wreath on her tomb to commemorate her 137th death anniversary in Kathmandu.
Noting that Mahal was one of the freedom fighters of the first freedom movement in India, Ambassador Rae also offered to provide necessary assistance to protect and preserve the one and a half century old Hazrat Mahal tomb.
Begum Hazrat fiercely fought the British East India Company during the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58, with the help of her commander Raja Jailal Singh. When her forces regained power of Lucknow for a brief stint, her son Brijis Qadra was declared ruler of Awadh.
When the British forces re-captured Lucknow and most of Awadh, she was forced to retreat and took refuge in Kathmandu along with son Qadra, then 10-years-old, and other loyal supporters.
Begum’s rebellion was ignited by the demolition of temples and mosques by the East India Company, to make way for roads.
Report Dated January 13, 2016 3:03 PM
The Japan Foundation and filmmaker and art-historian Benoy K Behl collaborated to hold an exhibition at a Museum in Kolkata to throw light on the country’s long lost history that survives in Japan.
The research that accompanies Behl’s photography reveals startling facts about the importance of Indian heritage in Japan, an example of which shows that Hindu deities are worshipped in Japan where hundreds of shrines to Goddess Saraswati and innumerable representations of Lakshmi, Indra, Brahma, Ganesha, Garuda and others exist.
An example is the 6th century Siddham script that is preserved in Japan where the Sanskrit alphabet is regarded as holy. Some Japanese tombs are also adorned with the Sanskrit alphabet. In Koyasan a school still teaches Sanskrit. A number of words in Japanese have their roots in Sanskrit and in supermarkets a brand of milk products are called ‘Sujata’.
National Geographic had carried a story on ancient India art revealed through Behl’s photography. The exhibition in Kolkata will also explain India’s relationship with Japan.