Expert says it fulfils 6 out of 10 criteria, has all the qualities to be included in the revised tentative list of UNESCO
The Srirangam temple complex fulfils six out of 10 criteria for declaration as a world heritage site of UNESCO, according to an expert Roopmathi Anand.
The complex, spread over 150 acres, is a masterpiece of human creative genius. It is an exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or a civilisation. Also, it exhibits an important interchange of human values over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world on development in architecture or technology monumental arch and town planning. These are some of the criteria that the temple complex has met, says Ms. Anand.
She goes on to add that the complex is an outstanding example of a type of building, architecture or technological ensemble, which illustrates significant stages in human history. It is directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions with ideas or beliefs with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance besides situated in areas of exceptional natural beauty.
Last week, Ms. Anand, who has been a consultant for several government agencies, made a presentation on the temple complex before the Advisory Committee on World Heritage Matters (ACWHM) attached to the Union Culture Ministry. Having studied several world heritage monuments, Ms. Anand is convinced that the Srirangam temple complex has all qualities to be included in the revised tentative list.
In general, Tamil Nadu deserves to have several sites in the UNESCO list of heritage sites, she says, adding that she has been carrying out in-depth study of the Srirangam temple complex for several years.
List not updated in last 10 years
Steve Borgia, adviser, ACWHM says, “The world heritage list, comprising Indian cities, has never been updated in the last 10 years. Moreover, it did not have any representation from the southern States.
“Hence, we have decided to hold meetings all over the country. We would like to discard the old list and come out with a new set of 30 sites. The new list will be presented at the South Asian Regional Workshop to be held in New Delhi next month and the final list will be ready by December.”
To have good number of participation from all stakeholders, the ACWHM invited representatives from the State government, colleges, trusts, non-governmental organisations, INTACH, the ASI and conservation architects.
“Tamil Nadu was very well represented at the conference. The State also sought the world heritage tag for Fort St. George, which is the first fort to be built outside of England by the British. The recognition should have been given to Fort St. George long ago,” he says.