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India won UNESCO's Award of Excellence 2015 for conserving Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple

Sep 2, 2015 17:04 IST

India on 1 September 2015 won the UNESCO prize Award of Excellence 2015 for the conserving the Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple of Kerala. The award was given in the category of UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

While, the Xieng Thong Temple in Luang Prabang won the UNESCO Award of Merit and became the first project in Lao PDR to receive the UNESCO Asia‐Pacific Heritage Award.

The Award of Excellence for the Conservation of Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple at Thrissur in Kerala recognizes the remarkable conservation effort undertaken at the sacred site which employed age‐old rituals and conservation techniques drawn from vastu shastra.

As such, the tangible attributes of the temple are inextricably linked with its intangible heritage which dates back to generations, thus ensuring that spirit of place resonates throughout the site.

Other Awardees

A total of 12 winning projects from five countries India, China, Lao PDR, Australia and Thailand have been recognized in 2015 Heritage Awards of UNESCO. These Awardees are:

Awards of Distinction:

  • Saltpans of Yim Tin Tsai, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • JN Petit Institute, Mumbai, India

Awards of Merit:

  • Cangdong Heritage Education Centre, Kaiping City, Guangdong Province, China
  • Pingyao Courtyard House, Shanxi Province, China
  • Xieng Thong Temple, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR
  • Baan Luang Rajamaitri, Muang District, Chantaburi, Thailand

Honourable Mention:

  • Wanslea Cancer Wellness Centre, Cottesloe, Western Australia, Australia
  • Sanfang Qixiang, Fuzhou, Fujian, China
  • Parvati Nandan Ganapati Temple, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel, Hong Kong SAR, China

Award for New Design in Heritage Contexts:

  • Port Arthur Penitentiary, Tasmania, Australia

About Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple
• Vadakkunnathan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at city of Thrissur, Kerala.
• This temple is a classic example of the architectural style of Kerala and has monumental towers on all four sides and also a kuttambalam.
• Mural paintings depicting various episodes from Mahabharata can be seen inside the temple. The shrines and the Kuttambalam display vignettes carved in wood.
• The temple was declared as a National Monument by India under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958.

About UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation
• The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation were established in 2000 to recognize and encourage private efforts and public-private initiatives in successfully restoring structures of heritage value in the region.
• Since 2000, UNESCO has received 562 entries from 24 countries and a total of 174 projects have received UNESCO Heritage awards for conservation till now.
• The winning projects have set high technical and social standards for conservation in the region. They have increased local preservation efforts as well.

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