India nominates Majuli Island for UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Indian government has lately nominated the Majuli Island in Jorhat district, in the Brahmaputra valley of Assam state for inclusion in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List under the “Cultural Landscape” category in 2008.
Earlier on October 2007 honourable prime minister had called for a meeting with Tourism & Culture minister Ambika Soni and Ministry of Water Resource where the threat of erosion by the river and issue for its resubmission to UNESCO’s consideration in grating it as a world heritage status was discussed. Subsequently the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had also visited the site to take note of the status related to the risk associated with the island.
In addition to Majuli, the Kalka-Shimla Railway has been submitted as a fresh Cultural nomination for inscription on the World Heritage List in 2008. These will be later evaluated by the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an advisory body to UNESCO.
Located on the middle of the mighty Brahmaputra river, Majuli island is regarded as the largest fresh water river island in the world. The island covering about 422 sq km is formed with the confluence of Brahmaputra and Lohit rivers.
The island also termed as the cultural capital of Assam as the villages surrounding the island gives a clear cut picture of the Assamese civilization. The monasteries known as Sattras (a total of 31) are the centre of art, religion, culture, education and lifestyle.
Each Sattras belongs to certain village and that are served as democratic institution to settle local disputes.
One while roaming around the island can witness the age-old tribal culture, the tradition and lifestyle of Deori tribe – the original inhabitant of Arunachal who are believed to have migrated to Assam. With a recipe of natures’ beauty and ethnic culture it is now one of the well known travel destination in North-eastern India.
Majuli is an ideal destination for tourists who want to get a flavour of land that is long way from the hullaballoo of main land of Assam and which offers view from snow-clad mountain holding an extraordinary balance of ecosystem with a delicate interaction between man and nature.
Other World Heritage Sites in India
At present there are 27 World Heritage Sites located in India including 22 sites of cultural importance and 5 national park or wildlife sanctuaries. The latest in the list is the Red Fort Complex, New Delhi, which was inscribed on June 2007. If the latest application of Majuli Island goes into consideration then it will be the first world heritage site in India under the ‘cultural landscape’ category, which contains both cultural and natural components.
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