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Jaipur Designated As World Heritage Site

The historic walled city of Jaipur just got inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jaipur bagged the honor at the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting on 6 July 2019. With this, Jaipur becomes the 38th site in India to get the UNESCO World Heritage Status. It’s now the second Indian city to earn the title. Last year, the Walled City of Ahmedabad became the first Indian city to win the UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Image result for jaipur night look

What is a world heritage site?

A World Heritage Site is a location having an “Outstanding Universal Value”. According to the World Heritage Convention’s Operational Guidelines, an Outstanding Universal Value signifies “cultural and/or natural significance which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.”

The Sites fall into three categories: cultural heritage, natural heritage, and mixed heritage (cultural as well as natural). Cultural heritage entails an Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of history, art or science, and includes monuments, groups of buildings, and sites which are the combined work of nature and human agency. Examples include the Taj Mahal, the Statue of Liberty, and the Sydney Opera House. The Sites under natural heritage are those having an Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty, such as the Sundarbans Natural Park or the Victoria Falls.

The much-photographed Rose Gate in Jaipur
                                                 The much-photographed rose gate in Jaipur

Not that Jaipur needs any more endorsement, but UNESCO World Heritage Status will help attract an even greater number of tourists to the city, boosting the local economy. Other destinations in Rajasthan from Ranthambore to Udaipur also stand to benefit. The UNESCO certification will also help attract funds towards cultural projects and conservation initiatives. A World Heritage Status also typically brings with it certain restrictions and obligations specifically around construction and infrastructure. This could place certain limitations, hopefully for the better, on construction activity within the walled city of Jaipur.

Ankurit kachori in Jaipur offers a twist on the traditional option, which is worth a heritage status by itself

The Pink City, Jaipur was selected for inscription because despite being a region surrounded by cities located in hilly terrain, the city Jaipur was established on plain and was build according to grid plan interpreted according to the Vedic architecture.

The UNESCO website mentioned that the streets of Jaipur feature continuous colonnaded businesses that run along the center, creating large public squares known as ‘Chaupars’. The construction is beautiful as the markets, stalls, residences, and temples have uniform faces and are build in such a manner that all face the main streets. The City has remarkable urban planning the gives the aroma of the idea of its planning is a representation of the ancient Hindu and modern Mughal cultures with finch of Western cultural influence. The city which was designed to be a commercial capital has maintained its local essence of commercial and cooperative traditions to this day said UNESCO describing the city.

The other places which were declared World Heritage Sites include — Dilmun Burial Mounds (Bahrain), Budj Bim Cultural Landscape (Australia), Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City (China), Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto (Indonesia), Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group: Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan (Japan), Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhouang — Plain of Jars (Lao People’s Democratic Republic).

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