Santiniketan recommended for inclusion in UNESCO world heritage list: Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy
Santiniketan — the abode of Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore — has been recommended for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List by an international advisory body, Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy said. India has been striving for long to get a UNESCO tag for this cultural site in West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
“Great news for India on the Jayanti of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. Santiniketan in West Bengal has been recommended for inscription to the World Heritage List by ICOMOS, the advisory body to UNESCO World Heritage Centre,” Reddy said in a late-night tweet on Tuesday.
The France-based International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is an international non-governmental organisation that comprises professionals, experts, representatives from local authorities, companies and heritage organisations and is dedicated to the conservation and enhancement of the architectural and landscape heritage around the world.
“This furthers the vision of PM Narendra Modi to showcase our rich cultural heritage to the world. This will formally be announced in the World Heritage Committee meeting to be held at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in September 2023,” the minister said in his tweet.
Santiniketan, a university town over 160 km from Kolkata, was originally an ashram built by Rabindranath Tagore’s father Debendranath Tagore, where anyone, irrespective of caste and creed, could come and meditate on the one Supreme God, according to a description of the landmark on the official website of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Debendranath Tagore, also known as ‘Maharshi’, meaning one who is both a saint and sage, was a leading figure of the Indian Renaissance, it says.
“Among the structures built by the Maharshi was the Santiniketan Griha and the beautiful stained glass Mandir, or temple where worship is non-denominational.
“Both structures built in the second half of the 19th century are important in their association with the founding of Santiniketan and the universal spirit associated with the revival and reinterpretation of religious ideals in Bengal and India,” the website says.
Visva Bharati, located in Santiniketan, is one of the most prestigious universities in India with degree courses in humanities, social science, science, fine arts, music, performing arts, education, agricultural science and rural reconstruction.
The university was founded by Rabindranath Tagore. It was declared a central university and an institution of national importance by an Act of Parliament in 1951. Visva-Bharati is the sole central university of West Bengal and the prime minister is its chancellor.
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