Santiniketan, the hallowed institution for learning in West Bengal where Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore built Visva-Bharati over a century ago has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The world body made the announcement in on ‘X’.
Tagore established this residential school in 1901 and it also became a centre for art based on ancient Indian traditions. Visva-Bharati is now recognised as a world university. It’s the only central university whose chancellor is the Prime Minister.
A university town over 160 km from Kolkata, Santiniketan was an ashram built by Tagore’s father Debendranath Tagore. Anyone, regardless of caste and creed, can study here.
India had been striving to get a UNESCO tag for Santiniketan. And it was only a few months ago that it was recommended for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List by international advisory body ICOMOS, an international non-governmental organisation.
The Telegraph India reported, “Noted conservation architect Abha Narain Lambah, who had worked on preparing a dossier for its inclusion in the list, said she was ‘dancing with joy’ after hearing the news.”
“We had worked on the dossier in 2009 and, maybe time wasn’t right then, but we always believed in the beauty of Santiniketan, and today we feel vindicated seeing it in the UNESCO list,” she was quoted as saying by agencies.
Apart from Santiniketan, situated in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, UNESCO included:
- Ethiopia’s the Gedeo Cultural landscape
- Palestine’s Ancient Jericho
- Silk Roads: Zarafshan-Karakum Corridor
- Latvia’s Old town of Kuldīga
- Iran’s The Persian Caravanserai
- Azerbaijan’s Hyrcanian Forests
- China’s cultural landscape of Old Tea Forests of the Jingmai mountain in Pu’er
- Benin’s Koutammakou
- Cambodia’s Koh Ker
- Mangolia’s Deer Stone monuments
- South Korea’s Gaya Tumuli
- Canada’s Tr’ondëk-Klondike
- Denmark’s Viking-Age Ring Fortresses
- Germany’s Jewish-Medieval Heritage of Erfurt