News: In a major diplomatic triumph, the 13th century Ramappa temple in Palampet, Telangana, was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About Ramappa Temple:
Ramappa Temple also known as the Rudreshswara (Lord Siva) temple, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located at 66 km away from Warangal, 15 km from Mulugu, 209 km from Hyderabad in the state of Telangana in southern India.
It lies in a valley in Palampet village of Venkatapur Mandal of Mulugu district, a tiny village long past its days of glory in the 13th and 14th centuries.
An inscription in the temple dates it to the year 1213 CE and says it was built by a Kakatiya General Recharla Rudra, during the period of the Kakatiya ruler Ganapati Deva.
Marco Polo, during his visit to the Kakatiya Empire, allegedly called the temple “the brightest star in the galaxy of temples”.
The main structure is in a reddish sandstone, but the columns round the outside have large brackets of black basalt which is rich in iron, magnesium and silica.
These are carved as mythical animals or female dancers or musicians, and are “the masterpieces of Kakatiya art, notable for their delicate carving, sensuous postures and elongated bodies and heads”.
Procedure for adding a property in a World Heritage Site list:
Submitting an Inventory:Also known as a “tentative list,” an inventory is an initial list of properties, located within a country’s boundaries, that a state party can submit for inclusion as a World Heritage site. This list can be updated from time to time and is important because the World Heritage Committee can consider for inscription only those properties that are mentioned on this list.
A “state party” is a country which has ratified the World Heritage Convention. India ratified the convention on November 14, 1977. As of October 23, 2020, a total of 194 countries have adhered to the World Heritage Convention.
Presenting the Nomination File:The World Heritage Centre assists a state party in preparing this file, which needs to have the necessary documentation, including maps. The file is then submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review, after which the document is sent to the advisory bodies for evaluation.
The Advisory Bodies:The World Heritage Convention mandates two advisory bodies to independently evaluate a nominated property. These are the International Council on Monuments and Sites, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A third such body is the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property.
The World Heritage Committee:After nomination and evaluation, the final decision to inscribe a site as a World Heritage site is taken by the World Heritage Committee. The committee meets once every year to decide which properties to include on the list. It can also request state parties for further information on a site.
Eligibility criteria:Any nominated site should meet at least one out of ten selection norms. These are updated regularly to reflect the very concept of World Heritage.
About World Heritage Site:
A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain “cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity”.
To be selected, a World Heritage Site must be a somehow unique landmark which is geographically and historically identifiable and has special cultural or physical significance. For example, World Heritage Sites might be ancient ruins or historical structures, buildings, cities, deserts, forests, islands, lakes, monuments, mountains, or wilderness areas.
A World Heritage Site may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, and serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet, or it might be a place of great natural beauty.
The sites are intended for practical conservation for posterity, which otherwise would be subject to risk from human or animal trespassing, unmonitored, uncontrolled or unrestricted access, or threat from local administrative negligence.
Up to 2004, there were six criteria for cultural heritage and four for natural heritage. In 2005, this was modified so that now there is only one set of ten criteria. Nominated sites must be of “outstanding universal value” and meet at least one of the ten criteria.
These criteria have been modified or amended several times since their creation.
“To represent a masterpiece of human creative genius”
“To exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design”
“To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared”
“To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history”
“To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change”
“To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance”
“to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance”
“to be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features”
“to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals”
“to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation”
2. GODAVARI RIVER
News: The authorities issued the first flood warning for the Godavari in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday as the discharge of water reached about 10 lakh cusecs at the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage in Dowleswaram by 7.30 p.m.
About Godavari River:
The Godavari is India’s second longest river after the Ganga.
Its source is in Triambakeshwar, Maharashtra.
It flows east for 1,465 kilometres (910 mi), draining the states of Maharashtra (48.6%), Telangana (18.8%), Andhra Pradesh (4.5%), Chhattisgarh (10.9%) and Odisha (5.7%).
The river ultimately empties into the Bay of Bengal through an extensive network of tributaries.
Measuring up to 312,812 km2 (120,777 sq mi), it forms one of the largest river basins in the Indian subcontinent, with only the Ganga and Indus rivers having a larger drainage basin.
In terms of length, catchment area and discharge, the Godavari is the largest in peninsular India, and had been dubbed as the Dakshina Ganga (Ganges of the South).