April 18 is annually celebrated as the International Day for Monuments and Sites (IDMS). The aim is to bring the attention of the people worldwide to consider how to conserve our cultural heritage and monuments.
UNESCO supports IDMS
The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) is a non-governmental organisation; it functions for the preservation of historical monuments all over the world. The seed for celebrating IDMS was sown in a conference of ICOMOS held in Tunisia on April 18, 1982. The day also gets the support of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The International Day for Monuments and Sites was established by UNESCO in 1983.
Follow Government Instructions due to COVID-19
Seeing the global outbreak of novel coronavirus, all the countries around the globe are trying their best for its containment. In this situation, ICOMOS advises people to celebrate the International Day for Monuments and Sites as per the instructions issued by their governments. Follow the rule of the government at any cost.
UNESCO recognises 38 Indian sites
India is famous all over the world for its rich culture, marvellous architecture and various habitats for centuries. The country has a long history since the ancient age of the Indus Valley Civilisation, diverse geography and demography have made this country unique. Therefore, UNESCO World Heritage has recognised 38 Indian sites in its list as the World Heritage Sites. The sites are separated into three categories- 30-cultural sites, seven natural sites and one mixed as accepted by UNESCO.
Here is the list of some important monuments which entice global tourists:
Sun Temple, Konark (Odisha)
The Sun Temple of Konark was built by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the 13th century. The attraction of the temple is its fantastic Kalinga Architecture that includes the portrait of a mammoth 100 ft high chariot being pulled by six horses; stone wheels were used for the movement of the chariot. The temple is considered as one of the largest sanctuaries for Brahmins in India.
The original temple had 230ft tall sanctum now it doesn’t exist. But the enormous 128 ft high audience hall, dance hall, dining hall are still surviving. The walls of the temple are beautifully carved out of various Hindu gods, images of birds, animals and so on. Erotic sculptures have been depicted on the shikhara of Konark temple.
Chola Temple (Tamil Nadu)
The great Chola empire is famous in the history book. The kings of this empire were known for building three breathtaking temples during the 11th and 12th centuries. Some of the temples are – the Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Brihadisvara Temple at Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. The Temple of Gangaikondacholisvaram was built by Rajendra 1 in 1035. All the temples were proof of the prowess of the Chola empire and showcased their artistic work. In all the Chola age, temples bore excellent work of bronze casting, painting and sculpture.
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram is the fabulous collection of the 7th and 8th centuries. The site is famous for ancient monuments and Hindu temples founded by the Pallava kings. The distinguishing features of the complex are the shape of the temples which look like chariots. The temple of Rivage is another notable monument in the site. Various sculptures of Shiva are the glory of the temple.
Khajuraho Group of Monuments
Khajuraho Group of Monuments were built by the Chandella rulers during 950 AD and 1050 AD. It is a cluster of 85 Hindus and Jain temples currently 25 are still surviving. All the temples are superbly decorated with sculpture and art, carved from the river sandstone. The most attractive thing is the walls of the temple, which is a wonderful exhibition of erotic art. But this art constitutes only 10 per cent of the total sculptures of Khajuraho. Khajuraho is a rare place where all kinds of human emotions have been shown in the sculptures.
Ellora Caves Maharashtra
The Ellora Caves are famous for their Indian-rock cut architecture. It is estimated that there are 34 rock-cut temples and caves there. The beautiful artwork was created from 600 to 1000 AD. The presence of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples and sculptures is the proof of tolerance of the time. The people of different beliefs used to live together. The famous Charanandri Hills entice the tourists a lot along with this Buddhist Hindu and Jain rock-cut temples, Viharas and Maths of 5th and 10th century are worth seeing sites.
India is replete with heritage monuments, and historical places. Recognition of 38 sites from UNESCO is its firm proof.