IN a meeting held in Baku, Azerbaijan, the Unesco World Heritage Committee announced it has inscribed Jaipur, the”Pink City of India”, among its World Heritage Sites.
The decision was made by the Unesco Committee in its 43rd session where it has to examine 35 nominations for inscription in the World Heritage Site list and seven cultural sites of different nations were included. It is the second Indian city to earn the title.
“Unlike other cities in the region located in hilly terrain, Jaipur was established on the plain and built according to a grid plan interpreted in the light of Vedic architecture. The streets feature continuous colonnaded businesses that intersect in the center, creating large public squares called chaupars. Markets, stalls, residences, and temples built along the main streets have uniform facades,” Unesco wrote.
“The city’s urban planning shows an exchange of ideas from ancient Hindu and modern Mughal as well as Western cultures. The grid plan is a model that prevails in the West, while the organization of the different districts refers to traditional Hindu concepts. Designed to be a commercial capital, the city has maintained its local commercial, artisanal and cooperative traditions to this day,” the organization added.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi proudly retweeted Unesco’s official Twitter handle announcing the news, saying, ” Jaipur is a city associated with culture and valour. Elegant and energetic, Jaipur’s hospitality draws people from all over. Glad that this city has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.”
Jaipur, the capital of India’s Rajasthan state, was founded by the royal family that once ruled the region.
Known as the “Pink City” for its pink-hued cluster of historical buildings. Jaipur’s iconic landmark is the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds), an 18th-century five-story façade of small windows decorated with intricate latticework, designed for royal ladies to watch activities outside while remaining in purdah.
The pink-bathed, walled city also boasts other fine destinations and monuments such as Chandpole, a bustling old-town cluster of narrow lanes and pink-painted buildings where bazaar vendors trade in marble, textiles, cotton quilts and traditional chess sets; Surajpole, one of the largest and most populated markets in the city; Ajmeri Gate, a beautiful arched entryway located in the heart of the city; and the colonnaded City Palace which is home to gardens, courtyards, and museums.
Amber Fort is another Jaipur’s top attraction, a magnificent Rajput fort consisting of a palace complex built from pale yellow and pink sandstone and white marble. The most beautiful part of Amber Fort is the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace) where the walls and ceilings are adorned with glass and mirror work.
Among other sites that Unesco added to the list are located in Australia (Budj Bim Cultural Landscape), Bahrain (Dilmun Burial Mounds), China (Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf), Indonesia (Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto), Japan (Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group: Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan), and the People’s Democratic Republic of Lao (Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhuang – Plain of Jars).