Dholavira from Gujarat gets UNESCO’s World Heritage Site tag

| Updated: July 28, 2021 12:45 pm

Dholavira, an ancient wonder of Gujarat from the Harappan-era metropolis, was inscribed as World Heritage Site (WHS) by UNESCO on July 27. The declaration came during the ongoing 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, which is currently underway from July 16 – 31. Dholavira is the fourth WHS from Gujarat and 40th site from India, the other three being Champaner located near Pavagadh, Rani ki Vav in Patan and the historic city of Ahmedabad. In 2014, Kakatiya temple in Telangana, along with Dholavira were added to the tentative list of the World Heritage Sites. But they were declared as WHS only on July 25 and July 27, respectively

Dholavira, discovered in 1967-68 by JP Joshi of ASI, also known as Kotada Timba is an archaeological site located at Khadir Bet in Bhachau Taluka of Kutch District. It is the fifth-largest of Harappan’s major sites. Its excavation was initiated in 1989 by ASI under archaeologist RS Bisht who brought light on urban planning and architecture and unearthed several antiquities. It is assumed to be an important port for trading and considered older than the port-city Lothal located in the Bhal region of Gujarat. It is believed that once there existed a coastal route linking Lothal and Dholavira to the Makran coast. 

There are many interesting findings from the Northern gate of Dholavira. As many as 400 scripts have been discovered, which are yet to be deciphered. Harvard Indologist Michael Witzel proposed that the Indus Script was not a writing system at all but merely a collection of picture signs conveying messages visually but not linguistically.

Dholavira Signboard

Other Indus Valley Civilisation Sites

IVC Site NameRegion
SurkotadaKutch, Gujarat
RojadiRajkot, Gujarat
DesalparKutch, Gujarat
LothalAhmedabad, Gujarat
Babar KotSaurashtra, Gujarat
Bet DwarkaDevbhoomi Dwarka, Gujarat
BhagatravBharuch, Gujarat
Gola DhoroKutch, Gujarat
Juni KaranKutch, Gujarat
KajGir Somnath, Gujarat
KanjetarGir Somnath, Gujarat
KhirsaraKutch, Gujarat
Kerala-no-dhoro/PadriSaurashtra, Gujarat
NavinalKutch, Gujarat
PabunathKutch, Gujarat
RangpurAhmedabad, Gujarat
ShikarpurKutch, Gujarat
VejalkaBotad, Kutch
NageshwarKutch, Gujarat

About World Heritage Site list:

The World Heritage Committee selects the sites to be listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and list of world heritage in danger. This committee makes decisions on world heritage property nominations worldwide and plays a vital role in the protection and celebration of natural and cultural sites that hold universal value. Once a site has been listed as a WHS, depending on the funds allocated and the condition of the site, the decision of whether the site goes under the list of world heritage list or list of world heritage in danger is made. 

The benefits of being listed as a world heritage site are:

  • It brings international attention to the need for the preservation and conservation of the site and provide funds for restoration as well as preservation.
  • It boosts tourism to the site and provides economic benefits to the host country.
  • It provides support and promotes close ties with the United Nations system along with access to global project management resources.
  • It facilitates creating partnerships between government, the private sector, and NGOs to achieve conservation goals.

List of World Heritage sites of India: 

  • Agra Fort 
  • Ajanta Caves 
  • Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar
  • Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi 
  • Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park 
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus 
  • Churches and Convents of Goa 
  • Elephanta Caves 
  • Ellora Caves 
  • Fatehpur Sikri 
  • Great Living Chola Temples 
  • Group of Monuments at Hampi
  • Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram
  • Group of Monuments at Pattadakal 
  • Hill Forts of Rajasthan 
  • Historic City of Ahmedabad
  • Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi 
  • Jaipur City, Rajasthan 
  • Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana
  • Khajuraho Group of Monuments
  • Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya 
  • Mountain Railways of India 
  • Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi 
  • Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat 
  • Red Fort Complex 
  • Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
  • Sun Temple, Konârak 
  • Taj Mahal
  • The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement 
  • The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
  • Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018)
  • Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area 
  • Kaziranga National Park 
  • Keoladeo National Park 
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary 
  • Nanda Devi 
  • Sundarbans 
  • Western Ghats 


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