World Heritage Day 2018:
18th April of every year is celebrated as the World Heritage Day. The aim is to spread awareness among masses about the importance of maintaining and preserving our cultural heritage, monuments, and historic sites. Every nation makes sure to preserve its cultural heritage that has been built over the years as it is an asset for any country. In 1982, The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) announced that 18th April of every year would be celebrated as the World Heritage Day. In 1983, it was approved by UNESCO with an aim to spread awareness about the importance of cultural heritage and the need to preserve them.
On this day, conferences are organized where people talk about the importance of preserving cultural heritage. Lectures, round-table discussions, and training sessions are conducted for the same.
World Heritage Day 2018 Theme:
Every year, there is a theme. The World Heritage Day 2018 Theme was ‘Heritage for Generations’. In 2017, the theme was ‘Sustainable Tourism.’
World Heritage Day In India:
Heritage Day in India holds great importance as our nation has several heritage sites that attract lakhs of tourists every year and also preserves our ancient history. The World Heritage Sites are listed by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation) which holds special physical or cultural relevance. In India, there are a total of 36 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which includes 1 mixed, 7 Natural, and 28 Cultural sites. This puts India on number 6 with the most number of Heritage sites. Italy tops the list with 53 sites followed by China with 52 sites. There are a total of world heritage sites in the whole world. Out of these, 814 are cultural sites, 203 are natural and 35 are a mix.
Let’s have a look at the 36 World heritage sites in India as per UNESCO:
- Qutub Minar, Delhi
- Red Fort, Delhi
- Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
- Taj Mahal, Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
- Agra Fort, Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
- Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh)
- Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (Rajasthan)
- Sun Temple, Konark (Odisha)
- Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
- Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
- Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
- Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam
- Kaziranga, Assam
- Historic City of Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad (Gujarat)
- The Architectural Work Of Le Corbusier, Chandigarh (Punjab)
- Khangchendzonga National Park, (Sikkim)
- Nalanda, Bihar
- Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh
- Hills Forts in Rajasthan. This includes Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Ranthambhore, Amber Sub-Cluster, Gagron.
- Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand
- Mountain Railways Of India. This includes Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in West Bengal, Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Kalka-Shimla Railway in Himachal Pradesh.
- Raani ki Vaav, Patan (Gujarat)
- Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamilnadu
- Great Living Chola Temples in Tamil Nadu. They include Brihadeeswarar temple in Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Airavateshwarar Temple in Darasuram, Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur.
- Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur (Rajasthan)
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Maharashtra
- Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh
- Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
- Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka
- Group of Monuments at Hampi in Karnataka
- Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park in Gujarat
- Churches and Convents Of Goa
- Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, Bihar
- Great Himalayan National Park, Himachal Pradesh
- The Western Ghats. These include Agasthyamalai Sub-Cluster, Periyar Sub-Cluster, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster, Talakaveri Sub-Cluster, Kudremukh Sub-Cluster, Sahyadri Sub-Cluster
The Historic monuments and sites play an important role. They make a proud history of any nation. Plus, it promotes tourism and thus boosting the economy of that nation. Tourism contributes a lot to GDP. Every year, the government allocates a budget to maintain these monuments. As a citizen, it is our responsibility not to destroy the property and keep it clean. In India, it is a common sight that uneducated people write names or spit paan and gutkha on the walls of these monuments. These things create a bad impression of our nation in front of foreign tourists.
Over time, ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Sites) has suggested various ideas to celebrate the day which would help in spreading awareness about preserving cultural heritage.
- Send out awareness messages on radio and television and print articles in newspapers and magazines.
- Banners around the city to catch the attention of people to make them aware about this day and its importance.
- Organizing conferences and interviews and inviting experts and famous personalities to speak on this day.
- Organize small events, exhibitions etc in public places.
These are just a few ideas that can be implemented to raise awareness about World Heritage Day and its importance.