West Bengal’s Santiniketan Is All Set To Be Recognised As UNESCO World Heritage Site

by Vaishalee Kalvankar
West Bengal’s Santiniketan Is All Set To Be Recognised As UNESCO World Heritage Site

Santiniketan in West Bengal has been recommended to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List by an international advisory body. It has been a decades-long campaign to add Santiniketan’s name to the list. The place is popularly associated with the great Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore’s name. It is here that he built Visva-Bharati over a century ago. Here is how the name finally got included in the tentative list. 

West Bengal’s Santiniketan Will Soon Get Heritage Site Tag

An international advisory body to the UN, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, recommended the inclusion of Santiniketan on the prestigious global list. 

Conservation architect Manish Chakraborty said that Santiniketan has been nominated as the only living heritage university. Even today open-air classes are conducted under the tree. Manish had joined restoration architect Abha Narain Lambah in creating a dossier for Santiniketan. This was done for the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Just a few days after the birth anniversary of the Nobel Laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, this news was announced. Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy posted a late-night tweet on Wednesday where he informed about the inclusion. 

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India Has Been Striving For This Tag

In September, at the World Heritage Committee meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a formal announcement of the same is expected, said Reddy. 

Santiniketan will become Bengal’s third and India’s 41st heritage site if it gets the UNESCO World Heritage tag. Darjeeling Himalayan Railways and Sundarbans National Park are the other two heritage sites in Bengal that already have the tag. 

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) sent the dossier made on Santiniketan to the UN Agency, in Paris. Manish Chakraborathy and Abha Narain Lambah prepared the dossier in 2009. In 2021, ASI asked Lambah to submit the final dossier in 10 days. 

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Cover Image Courtesy: West Bengal Tourism