Dholavira gets UNESCO World Heritage tag, India now has 40 sites on prestigious list
Dholavira is an exceptional example of a proto-historic Bronze Age urban settlement
Dholavira, a Harappan-era metropolis situated in Gujarat, has been accorded the World Heritage tag by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The site, which was on UNESCO's tentative list since 2014, is one of the very few well preserved urban settlements in South Asia dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE.
It is the 6th largest of more than 1,000 Harappan sites discovered so far and is an exceptional example of a proto-historic Bronze Age urban settlement.
India has now joined the list of countries with 40 or more World Heritage sites which includes Italy, Spain, Germany, China and France.
"Dholavira: A Harappan City, in India, just inscribed on the @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List. Congratulations!" UNESCO tweeted.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Absolutely delighted by this news.Dholavira was an important urban centre and is one of our most important linkages with our past. It is a must visit, especially for those interested in history, culture and archaeology.”
Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy tweeted, "Another feather in India’s cap as we now enter the Super-40 club for World Heritage Site inscriptions".
Gujarat so far had three world heritage sites - Champaner near Pavagadh, Rani ki Vav in Patan and the historic city of Ahmedabad.
India has added 10 new world Heritage sites since 2014.
With this successful nomination, India now has 32 cultural, 7 natural and one mixed category UNESCO World Heritage property.
According to the Ministry of Culture, Dholavira not only witnesses the entire trajectory of the rise and fall of this early civilization of humankind, but also demonstrates its multifaceted achievements in terms of urban planning, construction techniques, water management, social governance and development, art, manufacturing, trading, and belief system.
With extremely rich artefacts, the well preserved urban settlement of Dholavira depicts a vivid picture of a regional centre with its distinct characteristics that also contributes significantly to the existing knowledge of Harappan Civilization as a whole.
The property comprises two parts: a walled city and a cemetery to the west of the city. The walled city consists of a fortified Castle with attached fortified Bailey and Ceremonial Ground, and a fortified Middle Town and a Lower Town. A series of reservoirs are found to the east and south of the Citadel. The great majority of the burials in the Cemetery are memorial in nature.
The configuration of the city of Dholavira, during its heyday, is an outstanding example of planned city with planned and segregated urban residential areas based on possibly differential occupational activities, and a stratified society.