MP’s Orchha Town added to UNESCO WHS Tentative List

The architectural heritage of Orchha town which is one of the prime tourist draws in Madhya Pradesh has been included in tentative list of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO’s) World Heritage Sites.

Background

The Orcha town was included in tentative list of cultural heritage following a proposal sent by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to the United Nations body on 15 April 2019. As per the rules, for any heritage or any historical site to be included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites (WHS) it has first to be included on tentative list. After it makes to tentative list, another proposal is sent to UNESCO for its final addition in heritage sites.

About Orcha Town

  • Location: Orchha town is located in Niwari district of Madhya Pradesh’s Bundelkhand region. It lies on banks of river Betwa (around 80 km from MP’s Tikamgarh district) and 15 km from Jhansi district of UP.
  • Built: It was built in 16th century during the reign of Bundela dynasty by its King Rudra Pratap Singh.
  • Unique: It is the only place in India where Lord Ram is worshipped as a king (not in God form) with a dedicated temple in his name called Sri Ram Raja Mandir.
  • Famous: The ancient town is famous for its two elevated minaret popularly called as Saavan and Bhadon, and its four palaces named as Raj Mahal, Jahangir Palace, Rai Praveen Mahal and Sheesh Mahal. It is also famous for its concept of open bungalows, stone work windows, animal statues that depicts culture of Bundelkhand.
  • Bundela Architectural delights: The Orchha town has a peculiar style of architecture used by Bundela dynasty. Bundela architecture has had a Mughal influence. The town is famous for its Orchha Fort complex, Chaturbhuj Temple and Raja Mahal among other architectural delights.

Key Facts

  • There are 37 Indian heritage sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
  • If architectural splendour of Orchha makes it to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites’s final list then it would be India’s 38th site to form part of the treasured list.
  • Three historically famous sites in Madhya Pradesh which are among 37 Indian sites, includes Buddhist monuments at Sanchi, rock shelters of Bhimbedka and Khajuraho group of monuments.

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