KARNATAKA

Dharam Singh seeks World Heritage Site status for Shravanabelagola

BOON TO CHILDREN: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam unveiling the plaque to mark the inauguration of the children's hospital in Shravanabelagola on Sunday. Governor T.N. Chaturvedi, Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh and Charukeerti Bhattaraka Swamiji are see n. Photo: M.A. Sriram

BOON TO CHILDREN: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam unveiling the plaque to mark the inauguration of the children's hospital in Shravanabelagola on Sunday. Governor T.N. Chaturvedi, Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh and Charukeerti Bhattaraka Swamiji are see n. Photo: M.A. Sriram  



Staff Correspondent

'It is not only a pilgrim centre for Jains, but also an interesting site for archaeologists and historians'



'Centre should impress upon UNESCO to accord the status to the pilgrim centre' Shravanabelagola has all the credentials to become a World Heritage Site: Kalam



SHRAVANABELAGOLA: Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh here on Sunday urged UNESCO to accord the World Heritage Site status to the pilgrim town of Shravanabelagola.

Participating in the inaugural function of the Mahamastakabhisheka and 50-bed children's hospital constructed here at a cost of Rs. 1.50 crore to mark the occasion at Tyagi Nagar, the Chief Minister pointed out that Shravanabelagola was not only a pilgrim centre for Jains, but also an interesting site for archaeologists and historians because of the presence of hundreds of inscriptions, century-old Jain temples (basadis) and Manastambhas.

Besides, the 58.8 ft statue of Gomateshwara attracted people from far and wide, the Chief Minister said.

In view of this, it was necessary for the Union Government to impress upon UNESCO to accord the status to Shravanabelagola, Mr. Dharam Singh said.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who inaugurated the Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations, welcomed the suggestions made by the Chief Minister and observed that Shravanabelagola had all the credentials to become a World Heritage Site.

The President noted that Shravanabelagola should also be made a centre for the study of Jain philosophy, literature, history and mathematics.

Earlier, releasing three souvenirs brought out on the occasion, Mr. Dharam Singh said the State Government had made efforts to improve the infrastructure in the pilgrim town and had spent nearly Rs. 145 crores on it.

Centre's contribution

The Union Government had also contributed for the improvement of facilities for tourists and pilgrims at Shravanabelagola.

VIPs' visits

Recalling the visits of dignitaries, including former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi and former President Shankar Dayal Sharma, the Chief Minister said it was a privilege that Dr. Kalam was launching the Mahamastakabhisheka celebrations.



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