Tagore ‘s Shantiniketan  listed  by UNESCO as World Heritage Site 

UNESCO enlists Rabindranath Tagore ‘s  Shantiniketan as World Heritage Site on 17th September 2023 in its extended 45th session of World Heritage Committee  in Riyadh Saudi Arabia . 

The Extended 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO is taking place in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) from the 10 to 25 of September 2023 .

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi expressing his delight wrote in Bengali on his X handle: ” Delighted to know that Shantiniketan, the embodiment of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s dream and India’s rich cultural heritage, has been inscribed on the @UNESCO World Heritage List. This is a proud moment for all Indians.” 

Expressing her joy , West Bengal Chief Minister

Mamata Banerjee wrote on X handle  ” Glad and proud that our Shantiniketan, the town of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, is now finally included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Biswa Bangla’s pride, Shantiniketan was nurtured by the poet and has been  supported by people of Bengal over the generations. We from the Government of West Bengal have significantly added to its infrastructure in last 12 years and the world now recognizes the glory of the heritage place. Kudos to all who love Bengal, Tagore, and his messages of fraternity. Jai Bangla, Pranam to Gurudev.”

Earlier, the Union Government  indicated that Shantiniketan could be included in the UNESCO heritage list on the day after Rabindra Jayanti this year. Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy wrote in X, “Good news for the whole country on the birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. Shantiniketan has been recommended for inclusion in the World Heritage List. The claim for Shantiniketan was prepared by conservation architects Ava Narayan Lamba and Manish Chakraborty on behalf of the Union Ministry of Culture and the National Archaeological Survey. Union Minister Reddy said that whether Visva Bharati has been officially included in the World Heritage List or not, it will be officially announced at a meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in September. Reddy also mentioned the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this. UNESCO finally announced it in September. 

” Established in rural West Bengal in 1901 by the renowned poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore, Shantiniketan was a residential school and centre for art based on ancient Indian traditions and a vision of the unity of humanity transcending religious and cultural boundaries. A ‘world university’ was established at Shantiniketan in 1921, recognizing the unity of humanity or “Visva Bharati”. Distinct from the prevailing British colonial architectural orientations of the early 20th century and of European modernism, Shantiniketan represents approaches toward a pan-Asian modernity, drawing on ancient, medieval and folk traditions from across the region.” as mentioned by UNESCO in its website.

 In 1951 this institution got the recognition of Central University. 

Earlier, the toytrain of Darjeeling and the Sundarbans of West Bengal  have come up in the heritage list of UNESCO. However, West Bengal, in the case of Sundarbans, along with Bangladesh and  Darjeeling Toytrain, the Nilgiri Hills and Shimla Railways also share the glory. 

Durga Puja has also been recognized by UNESCO as a cultural heritage. This time Shantiniketan. It was singled out as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

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