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Harappan city of Dholavira listed among UNESCO World Heritage sites

India had submitted the nomination dossier for ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City to the World Heritage Centre’ in January, 2020. The site was on the UNESCO’s tentative list since 2014

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad, New Delhi |
July 27, 2021 4:08:58 pm
Dholavira, Dholavira world heritage site, Dholavira unesco, UNESCO World Heritage List, UNESCO World Heritage List indiaRuins of Harappan city Dholavira in Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

The Harappan city of Dholavira in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch has found a place in UNESCO’s World Heritage list, making it the 40th world heritage property in the country. The UNESCO announcement on Dholavira, which was made Tuesday, follows the agency’s announcement listing Rudreswara Temple, also known as the Ramappa Temple, in Telangana as a world heritage site.

India had submitted the nomination dossier for ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City to the World Heritage Centre’ in January, 2020. The site was on the UNESCO’s tentative list since 2014.

It is one of the very few well-preserved urban settlements in south Asia dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE. Spread over 22 hectare, the Harappan-era metropolis is the fifth largest archaeological site of the Indus Valley Civilisation, dating back to around 3000 BC and is believed to have been occupied till 1500 BC. It draws its name from present-day village Dholavira.

Locally known as Kotda Timba, the expansive site was discovered in the 1960s by archaeologist Jagat Pati Joshi, who served as director general of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) between 1987 and 1990. The site was excavated under the supervision of ASI archaeologist Ravindra Singh Bisht in the 1990s.

Talking to The Indian Express, Bisht: “This is recognition of my work. I am surely very happy. It is also a great thing as Dholavira is the first Harappan site from India to be inscribed on the world heritage sites list of UNESCO. I am doubly happy because I worked on Rani Ki Vav in Patan which has also been declared as world heritage site of UNESCO.” The 77-year-old retired as joint director general of ASI in 2004.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said: “It is a matter of immense pride that the @UNESCO has conferred the World Heritage tag to Dholavira, a Harappan city in Kutch. This shows the firm commitment of our Honourable Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji towards promoting Indian culture and heritage.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the site as an important link to India’s past. “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. I first visited Dholavira during my student days and was mesmerised by the place. As CM of Gujarat, I had the opportunity to work on aspects relating to heritage conservation…”

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