8.1. WORLD HERITAGE SITES
Why in news?
6 monuments/historical sites in the North Eastern states have been identified tentatively for listing under World Heritage Site.
What is world heritage site?
• Under Convention concerning the protection of the world culture and natural heritage, 1972, UNESCO encourages identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
• Apatani Cultural Landscape, Arunachal Pradesh:
o Apatani civilisation existed in Zero Valley, Arunachal Pradesh.
o The hallmark of the valley is judicious utilization of limited land area. The relatively flat land in the valley is used for wet-rice cultivation where fish is also reared.
o The Apatanis are also known for their effective traditional village council called bulyañ, which supervises, guides and have legal oversight over the activities of individuals that affect the community as a whole.
• Iconic Saree Weaving Clusters of India: This pan-India cluster comprises of sites from five Indian states: Madhya Pradesh (Chanderi, the 13th cent. Moroccan traveler Ibn Batuta also visited here), Uttar Pradesh (Banaras and Mubarakpur), Maharashtra (Paithan and Yeola), Andhra Pradesh (Koyyalagudem and Pochampalli, the silk city of India famous for Ikat sarees) and Assam (Sualkuchi for muga and mulberry silk).
• Moidams - the Mound - Burial System of the Ahom Dynasty, Assam
o Moidams are vaulted chamber (chow-chali), often double storied entered through an arched passage, used for burying the royals in Choraideo landscape of the foothill of Patkai hills. The Changrung Phukan (canonical text developed by the Ahoms) discusses that Moidams were made of woods, and later of burnt bricks.
• Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh
o It is only park in the World to have the four Feline species of big cat namely the Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and Clouded Leopard. The area lies close to the Indo-Myanmar-China tri-junction.
• River Island of Majuli in midstream of Brahmaputra River in Assam
o The Majuli Island is a fluvial landform (a riverine delta). The formation of islets locally called as Chaporis around the majuli island is its another significant feature. It is the largest mid river delta system in the world.
• Thembang Fortified Village, Arunachal Pradesh
o Thembang bears an exceptional testimony to the living cultural traditions of the Monpa tribe, which depicts influences of diverse cultures - the Bhutanese, the Tibetans and the indigenous North East Indian. This includes their social structure and practices, rites, rituals and their vernacular building knowledge systems such as Dzongs or the fortress which are also found in Bhutan and Tibet.
8.2. KONARK TEMPLE
Why in News?
• A state-of-the-art interpretation and tourist facilitation centre was recently inaugurated at the Sun temple at Konark, Odisha.
About Sun Temple, Konark
• The Temple was built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva I of the Ganga dynasty.
• It has a gigantic chariot of the Sun god, with 12 pairs of exquisitely ornamented wheels pulled by seven horses.
• It is a UNESCO World Heritage site under Cultural category.
• is the third link of Odisha's Golden Triangle. The first link is Jagannath Puri and the second link is Bhubaneswar (Capital city of Odisha).
• It is also known as 'Black Pagoda' due to its dark color.
|Other Famous Sun Temples in India|
|Name of Temple||Other Details|
|Sun Temple, Modhera||• Gujarat |
• Situated on the bank of the Pushpavati river
|Surya Narayan Temple, Arasavalli||• Andhra Pradesh |
• Constructed during 7th Century by Kalinga king Devendra Varma
|Sun Temple, Martand||• Jammu and Kashmir |
• Listed as national importance in Jammu and Kashmir and protected monuments of India
|Sun Temple, Gwalior||• Madhya Pradesh |
• Architecture is inspired by the Sun temple in Konark
|Brahmanya DevTemple, Unao||• Madhya Pradesh |
• known for unique architecture and design
|Sun Temple, Ranchi||• Jharkhand|
|Sun Temple, Khatarmal||• Uttrakhand |
• Noted for its magnificent carved pillars and wooden doors
|Surya Pahar Temple, Assam||• Assam |
• Has rock-cut Shivalingas, sculpture of twelve-armed Vishnu and remains of the Ganesha and Hari Hara
|Surya Narayan Temple, Domlu||• Karnataka|
|Dakshinaarka Temple, Gaya||• Bihar |
• Images of Sun God Aditya are found here
|Suryanar Temple, Kumbakonam||• Tamil Nadu |
• One of the nine Navagraha temples in Tamil Nadu
8.3. MADHUBANI PAINTING
Why in News?
• Recently, Madhubani/Mithila Painting was used to decorate Madhubani railway station in Bihar which also became one of the cleanest railway stations in India.
About Madhubani Paintings
• It derives its name from the Madhubani town in Bihar where this art form was done traditionally.
• Its origin is believed to be during the period of Ramayana.
• Characteristic features
o line drawings filled in by bright colours and contrasts or patterns.
o Major theme: geometric patterns; religious motifs of Hindu such as Krishna, Rama, Tulasi plant, Durga, Sun and Moon etc.; auspicious occasions like marriages, birth etc.
o Floral, animal and bird motifs are also drawn and symbolic in nature, for example- fish depicts good luck and fertility.
o commonly includes double line border, bold use of colours, ornate floral patterns and exaggerated facial features.
o Two-dimesional with no shading.
• It is done on freshly plastered walls using rice paste and vegetable colours on a base of cow dung and mud. For commercial purposes, the work is now being done on paper, cloth, canvas etc. and men have also got involved along with women.
• It has been given Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
8.4. NATIONAL CULTURE FUND
Why in News?
• A total of 34 projects have been successfully completed under National Culture Fund (NCF) scheme since its inception.
About National Culture Fund
• It was established as a funding mechanism distinct from the existing sources and patterns of funding for the arts and culture in India.
• It was created as a Trust under the Charitable Endowment Act, 1890.
• It aims at inviting individuals as well as private institutions in the task of promoting, protecting and preserving India’s cultural heritage.
• A council headed by Union Culture Minister manages and administers the Fund and decides the policies while an Executive Committee headed by Secretary, Ministry of Culture actualizes those policies.
• The Government granted a one-time corpus fund to NCF. Apart from this, there is no fund allocated by the Government to National Culture Fund. It receives contributions and voluntary donations as endowments from many other sources.
• All the projects undertaken by the NCF are completed within a specified period, in accordance with an MoU signed by NCF with the concerned donor organization.
8.5. UNESCO ATLAS OF THE WORLD’S LANGUAGES IN DANGER
Why in News?
• Recently, first ever dictionary of Gondi language was launched.
More on news
• The project aims to create a standardized and unified language and was supported by Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, an autonomous body under ministry of culture.
• At present, Gondi is spoken by two million people in 6 states (Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh). It has six different dialects but can be written by only 100 people.
• UNESCO has put it in the ‘vulnerable’ category in its Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger.
UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger
• The Atlas aims to raise awareness about language endangerment and the need to safeguard the world’s linguistic diversity.
• It also serves as a tool to monitor the status of endangered languages and the trends in linguistic diversity at the global level.
• It uses nine factors to determine the vitality of a language.
• It segregates language based on Degree of Endangerment as Safe, Vulnerable, Definitely endangered, Severely endangered, Critically endangered and Extinct.