World Heritage tag to be sought for monuments

World Heritage tag to be sought for monuments

The monuments and forts of the Deccan Sultanate in the districts of Bidar, Kalaburagi and Vijayapura, are inching closer towards the much sought-after United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) World Heritage tag.

The cluster of monuments which are already in the list of tentative sites for recognition (2014) by the Unesco World Heritage Committee, might end up making Karnataka prouder, if India succeeds in getting them included in the 2019’s World Heritage List.

Only three other places in Karnataka enjoy the famed World Heritage tag. While the Group of monuments at Hampi and Aihole and Pattadakal were included in the list (under Culture category) in the years 1986 and 1987, respectively, the Western Ghats were inscribed (under Natural category) in the year 2012.

Karnataka, which hasn’t been dogged enough in it’s persuasion of the tag, despite it being an ideal destination for heritage tourism, has finally made some progress.

The state is planning to submit its final proposal to the Ministry of Culture, seeking the inclusion of the monuments in the list.

Speaking to DH, T Venkatesh, Commissioner, department of Archeology, Museums and Heritage, said that the final dossier of the monuments would be submitted to the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) by the end of August.

“The ASI in turn will submit the same to the Centre. We are very hopeful that the Deccan Sultanate monuments will get inscribed on the World Heritage list, next year,” he said.

Venkatesh said that the Unesco heritage tag would increase the tourism potential in the north Karnataka region.

“Moreover, we can regularise monument protection. There are encroachments in many of these forts and tombs, which the department hasn’t been able to clear in all these years,” he added.

The dossier preparation has been entrusted to the Indian Heritage Cities Network (IHCN), which is expected to submit the document by mid-August.

The department had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IHCN on September 14, 2017.

Archeology Director Gavisiddaiah said that IHCN was given the 4G exemption under the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurements (KTPP) Act for this purpose. The department has spent Rs 95 lakh for the dossier preparation.

Historical significance

The series of monuments built between the 14th and 17th centuries in Karnataka and present day Telangana, showcases the convergence of national and international styles of Islamic architecture and their intersections with the prevalent Hindu architecture of southern India.

The group of monuments have been broadly classified as the Bahmani monuments at Kalaburagi; Bahmani and Barid Shah monuments at Bidar; Adil Shahi monuments at Vijayapura; and Qutb Shahi Monuments at Hyderabad.

The Bahmani and Barid Shahi Monuments at Bidar dating from the late 15th to the early 16th centuries, comprise of the Bidar Fort, the Madrasa Mahmud Gawan, the Bahamani tombs at Ashtur and the Barid Shahi tombs.

The Adil Shahi monuments at Bijapur date from late 15th to the late 17th centuries. These are an ensemble of 80 small and big monuments including the fortifications, gates, water systems and tanks, several mosques and tombs and palatial structures. The most remarkable monuments within the fort include the Gol Gumbaz and one of India’s finest mosques - the Jami Masjid. Gumbaz, which is the tomb of Muhammad Adil Shah, is the second largest dome in the world.

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