World Heritage Week (WHW) is annually observed across India from November 19 to 25 to promote the heritage and the culture of monuments and important sites for their conservation.
- WHW events are annually organised by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ministry of Culture, various Museums, and other heritage-conscious organisations across India.
- WHW recognise and celebrate heritage sites recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In India, WHW is a part of the promotion activities by the Government of India (GoI) to promote India’s unique heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.
Note: UNESCO’s World Heritage Day or International Day for Monuments and Sites is annually observed across the globe on April 18. The theme of World Heritage Day 2023 is “Heritage Changes”.
i.As a part of the celebration of WHW, ASI exempted the fees of all the protected monuments in Delhi, including Red Fort and Delhi Darwaza, Qutub Minar, etc, and in Agra, Uttar Pradesh such as the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, etc, for one day on 19 November 2023.
ii.On 20th November 2023, Union Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, Ministry of Finance, inaugurated the WHW Photo Exhibition organised by ASI Trichy Circle (Tamil Nadu) in collaboration with the Thiyagarajar College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
- The exhibition with the theme of “Rock Cut Temples in South Tamil Nadu” (8th century CE – 13th century CE).
UNESCO Heritage Sites in India:
i.As of 2023, India has 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This includes:
- 34 cultural sites
- 7 natural sites
- 1 mixed heritage site
ii.The first sites to be listed were the Ajanta Caves and Ellora Caves (Maharashtra), Agra Fort, and the Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh in 1983.
iii.The most recent sites to be listed were Santiniketan (West Bengal) and the Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas (Karnataka) in 2023.
Monuments protected by ASI:
i.The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (or AMASR Act) is an act designed to protect ancient and historical monuments and archaeological sites and remains.
ii.So far only 3667 monuments and sites are protected by the ASI and approximately 3500 monuments and sites are protected by the State Governments.
About Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
Director- General– Prof. Kishore K. Basa
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi
Established in– 1861