Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel this morning, on the occasion of World Museum Day, inaugurated the ‘Vadnagar International Conference’, which is a part of the Central government’s initiative Amrut Mahotsav of Independence. This 3-day conference has been organized by the joint venture of the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Culture of the Government of Gujarat and the Union Ministry of Culture.
Union Minister of State Meenakshi Lekhi and Minister for Youth Services and Cultural Activities of the State Government Harsh Sanghvi are present at the occasion. Besides, UNESCO representative from Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka, Eric Falt, as well as archaeologists, historians, students from different universities and history and archaeology enthusiasts from 6 nations of the world are also attending the event.
CM Patel, while addressing the conference said that the state government is completely prepared to promote the state’s archaeological heritage and culture on the global stage. He appreciated support from UNESCO, Archaeological Survey of India and participation of the Government of India, as well as the renowned universities of the country.
Talking about Vadnagar, specifically, CM Patel said that this place is the oldest and glorious city, with rich ancient history. Vadnagar was one of the shining cities of Aryan civilization and has not lost its essence even after trials and tribulations of time.
The Chief Minister also mentioned that Vadnagar has a distinct identity as a carrier of magnificent heritage like Buddhist monasteries, Kirnitoran, Sharmishtha Lake, Samadhi of Tana-Riri. Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attachment to Indian culture and heritage, Gujarat has taken the lead in protecting and nurturing the ancient heritage. CM Patel said that the Archaeological Experimental Museum that is being set up in Vadnagar will be a specialty in this regard.
Furthermore, CM Patel said that Vadnagar has the same glorious history as Varanasi. Buddhist monasteries have been found in Vadnagar. Like Kushinagar, Sarnath, Gaya, Vadnagar is also a part of the Buddhist circuit. He also announced that the Tanariri Mahotsav of Vadnagar, a landmark of Gujarat, would now be celebrated as a national and international festival in collaboration with the Central Government.
CM Patel also insisted that the conference will be known worldwide as an iconic day. “This is an unparalleled opportunity to spread awareness regarding the historical and cultural heritage of Vadnagar, the birthplace of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Today’s young generation must be made to understand this rich history. Although there have been many attempts in the past to destroy our cultural heritage, our heritage is intact today. It is the moral duty of all of us to celebrate it and pass it on to future generations,” he said.
Minister Lekhi added that this international conference, which is being held with the mantra of developing the historical heritage of the birthplace of Prime Minister Modi as the best tourist destination in the world, would give a distinct identity to Gujarat.
Harsh Sanghvi said that many ancient heritages like Vadnagar have given Gujarat global recognition not only in India but also in the field of historical tourism. Gujarat is currently being developed like the Statue of Unity, with thousands of tourists visiting the historic town of Vadnagar in the near future. In this first three-day conference to unveil the glorious heritage of Vadnagar city to the world, archaeologists, experts and students from various universities from all over the world, including India, will conduct research in a total of 6 sessions.
Sanghvi said that the then Chief Minister and Prime Minister Modi has played a vital role in giving a prominent identity to these places by highlighting and developing many well-known and unnamed historical monuments and cultural heritages in Gujarat. It is a matter of pride for us that Vadnagar has given Prime Minister Modi along with his Buddhist heritage. Under the guidance of the Prime Minister, India is doing an excellent job of preserving its historical and cultural heritage all over the world. Archaeological heritage provides not only an overview of history but also a glimpse of the best social, economic, cultural activities and trade from centuries ago.
The Minister said that before independence, Gujarat had magnificent monuments but they were destroyed in the course of time. The pre-independence kingdoms had separate laws and regulations to preserve historical monuments. Gujarat has a rich cultural heritage of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Jains. 15-16th century monuments, temples, mosques are located in Gujarat. In Vadnagar, the historical Kirti Toran, Sharmishtha Lake, the magnificent temple of Hatkeshwar, the centres of Buddhism, and so on, bear witness to its glorious heritage.
Eric Falte, UNESCO Representative from India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka will also be addressing the three-day Vadnagar International Conference being held in Gujarat on World Museum Day.