18 April: World Heritage Day
The world on 18 April 2014 celebrated the World Heritage Day to celebrate the International Day for Monuments and Sites. Theme for 18 April 2014 is Heritage of Commemoration.
At present, there are 981 World Heritage Sites spread across 160 countries (listed till January 2014). The heritage site across the world reflects the rich diversity of the world’s cultural heritage.
In context of India, the UNESCO on this day put 15 additional sites located across the country in its tentative list of world heritage sites. Earlier, India had submitted a list of 33 sites to UNESCO and this addition of 15 more sites in the tentative list means that in future 48 sites of India are in the race being listed in the list of Heritage sites.
Indian properties inscribed on the World Heritage List are 30 of which 24 are cultural and 6 are Natural
Cultural Sites are
• Agra Fort (1983)
• Ajanta Caves (1983)
• Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
• Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
• Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
• Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
• Elephanta Caves (1987)
• Ellora Caves (1983)
• Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
• Great Living Chola Temples (1987)
• Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
• Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
• Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)
• Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)
• Humayun's Tomb, Delhi (1993)
• Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
• Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
• Mountain Railways of India (1999)
• Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
• Red Fort Complex (2007)
• Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
• Sun Temple, Konârak (1984)
• Taj Mahal (1983)
• The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
Natural Sites are
• Kaziranga National Park (1985)
• Keoladeo National Park (1985)
• Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
• Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988)
• Sundarbans National Park (1987)
• Western Ghats (2012)
The 22nd UNESCO General Conference in 1983 approved establishment of 18 April as International Monuments and Sites Day traditionally called as the World Heritage Day. The first Heritage Day was celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites on 18 April 1982 by ICOMOS in Tunisia.
Aim of observing World Heritage Day
World Heritage Day or the International Day for Monuments and Sites is observed with an aim to encourage local communities and individuals throughout the world to consider the importance of cultural heritage in their lives, identities and communities. It is also aimed to promote awareness of its diversity and vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve it.
The day generally is celebrated across the world by organizing several events like exhibitions, excursions, scientific conferences and symposia, photography competitions, excursions and others.