Santiniketan proposed for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list

The article reports that Santiniketan, the West Bengal home of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, has been proposed for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

About Santiniketan

  • Santiniketan is a well-known cultural and heritage site in the Birbhum District of West Bengal, India. It is historically significant and is well-known for its connection to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Here are some important facts about Santiniketan:
  • Rabindranath Tagore lived there and wrote many of his creative works, including songs, poetry, and novels.
  • Rabindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Ramkinkar, Binodbehari Mukhopadhyay, and others created magnificent sculptures, frescoes, murals, and paintings for the Santiniketan campus.
  • Birbhum District, where Santiniketan is located, is also well-known for its fairs and festivals. Poush Mela (December), Joydev Mela (January), Basanta Utsav (Holi) in March, and the legendary mystic Baul Singers are just a few examples.
  • During Bengali New Year and Rabindra Janmotsav (Rabindranath Tagore’s birth anniversary) in the Bengali month of Boisakh, special cultural activities are held with tremendous enthusiasm.
  • On the 22nd and 23rd days of Sravana (August), Santiniketan celebrates unique festivities such as Briksharopan (festival of Planting Saplings) and Halakarshan (festival of Ploughing the Fields).
  • Varshamangal, or the Rain Festival, is held in August/September.
  • Poush Mela is an annual fair and celebration that takes place in Santiniketan on the 7th of the month of Poush. The fair is officially three days long, although vendors are welcome to stay until the end of the month. It is famous for live performances of Bengali folk music, especially by bauls (traditional travelling minstrels), as well as tribal dances such as Santali.

ICOMOS recommendation

  • The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the advisory body to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, made the recommendation for Santiniketan’s inclusion.
  • ICOMOS is an international cultural organisation located in France that is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the world’s architectural and landscape heritage.

West Bengal’s Inclusion on the World Heritage List

  • If chosen, Santiniketan would be West Bengal’s second cultural emblem to be added on the UNESCO list.
  • UNESCO included ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2021.
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