Mattancherry Palace may have to wait longer to enter the hall of fame of World Heritage Sites (WHS) of Unesco.
The Palace complex, the only site in the city to find place in the tentative list of the World Heritage Committee, was built by the Portuguese in around 1555 AD.
Recognising its outstanding universal value in the cultural landscape, the Archaeological Survey of India nominated the property to the WHS way back in 1998.
Other than the 19 sites of Western Ghats in the Kerala region, no property from Kerala has won the WHS nomination from the State. It was two years ago that the National Parks of the Western Ghats were inscribed as World Heritage Sites in the “Natural” category of the Committee.
In the cultural category, the Mattancherry Palace was the first site to make it to the tentative list of the WHS from Kerala. Last year, Padmanabhapuram Palace was nominated followed by Guruvayoor Sree Krishna Temple, Vaikkom Mahadeva Temple and Sivagiri Madhom this year. Though 16 years have passed since the nomination, the Mattancherry Palace is yet to grab the attention of the authorities concerned. Soaked in history, the palace is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Kochi.
M. Nambirajan, the Director (Monument, World Heritage Section) of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, said it might take a couple of years more for the palace to be considered for the list. It’s not in the immediate priority list of cultural sites that would come up before the Committee. However, it should not be inferred that the case of the Palace would not be considered. The palace would be considered later, he said.
The Doha session of the World Heritage Committee, which will begin on June 15, was likely to inscribe “Rani ki vav,” the famous step well situated in Patan town in Gujarat, as World Heritage Site, he said.
The sites which have been inscribed as WHS in the culture category include Agra Fort, Ajanta Caves Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Churches and Convents of Goa and Elephanta Caves, Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya, Taj Mahal and Jantar Mantar, Jaipur,