A wealth of heritage


If you happen to pass by India International Centre in Lodhi Colony any time soon, do make it a point to visit their latest exhibition ‘World Heritage Monuments in India.’

A total of 34 photographs of UNESCO-designated heritage sites in the country have been taken from the collections of Archaeological Survey of India and displayed at the Quadrangle Garden here. It’s a virtual tour of the architectural marvels dotting India while basking in the winter sun right here in IIC.

Of the 962 heritage sites recorded by UNSECO across the world, 30 are housed in India. These include 24 cultural properties and six natural properties. After the convention concerning the protection of heritage properties world over was adopted by UNESCO in 1997, India got its first two World Heritage sites in 1983. These were the Agra Fort and the Ajanta Caves. Over the years, 28 more sites have been added, the latest being the Hill Forts of Rajasthan. A tentative list of 30 more properties have been submitted by India for recognition by UNESCO.

Beautiful bird’s-eye views of these sites, as well as close-ups, are included in this exhibition. For example, there is a magnificent shot of the Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra – a circular ring of foliage and hills with the caves, cut from hill rocks, nestled in between. It is accompanied by a picture of one of the most famous murals at Ajanta – that of bodhisattva Padmapani. A photograph of Ellora Caves, showing its distinct black stone, and one of Elephanta Caves, with a three-faced Buddha, is also included.

Several temples of South India, which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, find place of prominence here. The group of monuments, Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, exhibits the Pancha Rathas – Dharmaraja Ratha, Arjuna Ratha, Bhima Ratha, Draupadi Ratha and Nakula Sahadeva Ratha. A wide shot of Hampi in Karnataka shows not just its dozen odd shrines but also the Tungabhadra river and the Hemkuta hills encasing them. Then there are pictures of group of temples, Pattadakal, Karnataka; Chola temples, Thanjavur; Khajuraho temples, Madhya Pradesh and the Sun temple, Konark.   

The majestic forts and palaces of northern India are the pride of this exhibit. The Agra Fort shines in all its Mughal and Rajputana glory with large stoic sandstone columns and wide parapets. Taj Mahal couldn’t be missed in such a display, of course. Then there are also pictures of Buland Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri; Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi; Red Fort, Delhi and the five hill forts of Rajasthan – Gagroh, Amber, Kumbhalgarh, Chittorgarh, Ranthambore and Jaisalmer forts.

Incredible India shines through in this showcase.

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