‘Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas’, the ancient Hoysala temples of Belur, Halebid and Somnathapura in Karnataka, known for their architectural brilliance have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The world body made the announcement in a post on X on Monday, a day after Santiniketan, the famed place in West Bengal where poet Rabindranath Tagore built Visva-Bharati over a century ago, received the coveted tag.
”Just inscribed on the @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List: Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas, #India. Congratulations!, UNESCO posted on X.
The decision was taken during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee currently underway in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
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”More pride for India! The magnificent Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas have been inscribed on the @UNESCO World Heritage List. The timeless beauty and intricate details of the Hoysala temples are a testament to India’s rich cultural heritage and the exceptional craftsmanship of our ancestors,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on X.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah hailed the declaration of Santiniketan in West Bengal and the ‘Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas’ in Karnataka as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, saying these are living testaments to the eternity of India’s culture.
In a post on X, Shah said while Santiniketan, the abode of Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore’s worldview, fosters the infinite evolution of human potential, the Hoysala temples are the manifestation of the pinnacle of the country’s craftsmanship.
”It is a joyous occasion for our nation that two of our cultural legacies have been included in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites. Santiniketan in West Bengal and the Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas in Karnataka are living testaments to the eternity of our culture,” he said.
”Good news keeps coming in. A deserving recognition for our traditional art and architecture,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar posted on X.
‘Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas’ were on UNESCO’s Tentative list since April 2014. India had sent this as a nomination for consideration as world heritage for the year 2022-2023.
They together represent ”one of the highest points of human creative genius and stand testimony to the rich historical and cultural heritage of our country,” the culture ministry had said.
The number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India has grown to 42 with the ‘Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas’ finding a place in the coveted list on Monday, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) said.
Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy also took to X and wrote: ”Congratulations (India) 2 World Heritage Inscriptions in 2 days! The Sacred Ensembles of Hoysalas has been inscribed on the @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List.” ”This is the 42nd @UNESCO World Heritage Site of India. The three magnificent temples – Hoysalesvara Temple, Helebidu, Channakeshava Temple, Belur, and Keshava Temple, Somenathpur in Karnataka reflect the marvellous architectural and artistic creativity.
”It is the vision and direction of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji that India is rejuvenating and reviving its rich cultural heritage as well as showcasing it to the World. Congratulations to all involved in this endeavour, especially @MinOfCultureGoI and @ASIGoI,” he said.
The ‘Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas’ have been nominated as a serial property comprising three temples in Karnataka, namely the Channakeshava temple in Belur, the Hoysaleshvara temple in Halebidu and the Keshava temple in Somanathapura, reflecting the creative brilliance of the 13th-century architects, the ASI said.
”These temples are a culmination of various temple building traditions prevalent in the northern, central and southern India such as the Nagara, Bhumija and Dravida styles,” it added.
India submitted the nomination dossier for ‘The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas’ to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in January 2022.
”The decision to adopt the Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas, as a world heritage the property was taken by the 21-nation World Heritage Committee comprising the following states parties — Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, and Zambia,” the ASI said in a statement after the inclusion.
India is currently a member of the World Heritage Committee for its fourth term (2021-25). The matter came up for discussion on September 18, and was ”adopted without discussion”, it said, adding, ”all Committee members congratulated India for the achievement”.
Santiniketan was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for the cycle 2021-2022.
The Maison Carrée of Nimes in France; the Astronomical Observatories of Kazan Federal University in Russia; and the Cosmological Axis of Yogyakarta and its Historic Landmarks in Indonesia, among other sites, were also inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on Monday, the UNESCO posted on ‘X’.