Cheer spread in the tourism as well as the art and culture sector today in Rajasthan when its 6 hill forts were selected to be in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The hills forts are – Amber, Chittorgarh, Gangron, Jaisalmer, Kumbhalgarh and Ranthambore. The Tourism, Art & Culture Minister, Ms. Bina Kak said: “the selection of these forts is a reflection of our work done in the past. We stand by our commitment towards conservation and protection of our rich cultural heritage, of which we are immensely proud.”
Amer Fort, Jaipur
These hill forts were approved in the 37th Meeting of the World Heritage Committee in Cambodia on 21 June. The selection of these forts, located in different cities, as a serial cultural property, is the first of its kind ever by UNESCO.
Now with the selection by UNESCO these six forts will receive enhanced international recognition the way the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur did after being selected in the World Heritage List in 2010. This selection will also pave way for other monuments to be nominated for being included in the World Heritage List. In fact, the work relating to Stepwells of Abhaneri, Bandikui, Bundi as well as the Fresco paintings of Shekhawati region for being submitted for consideration to UNESCO list has already started.
All these efforts will sure reinforce positioning of Rajasthan on the world tourism map as a favored tourist destination.
It is to be recalled that several missions of ICOMOS (advisory body to UNESCO) visited Rajasthan since 2011 and discussed the nomination in great detail with State Archaeology Department, ASI and the Indian Advisory Committee on the World Heritage under the Ministry of Culture.
Within the State of Rajasthan, six extensive and majestic hill forts together reflect the elaborate, fortified seats of power of Rajput princely states that flourished between the 8th and 18th centuries and their relative political independence. The extensive fortifications up to 20 kilometres in circumference optimized various kinds of hilly terrain, specifically the river at Gagron, the dense forests at Ranthambore, and the desert at Jaisalmer, and exhibit important phase of development of an architectural typology based on established “traditional Indian principles”.