Six heritage sites from Madhya Pradesh included in UNESCO's tentative list

News Excerpt:

Six heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh have been included in the tentative UNESCO list.

  • The sites included in the new list included -
    • Gwalior Fort
    • Historical Group of Dhamnar 
    • Bhojeshwar Mahadev Temple
    • Rock Art Sites of Chambal Valley
    • Khooni Bhandara, Burhanpur
    • God Memorial of Ramnagar, Mandla

Khooni Bhandara, Burhanpur:

  • Khooni Bhandara is an underground water management system comprising eight waterworks built in the historical city of Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh.
  • These water systems in Burhanpur were constructed in 1615 CE.
  • Khooni Bhandara consists of 103 kundis (well-like storage structures) constructed in a row. 
    • They are interconnected to each other through a 3.9 km long underground marble tunnel. 
    • This system checks the flow of rainwater from the Satpura hills towards the river Tapti. 
    • The design is based on the simple law of gravity.
  • The technique used in Burhanpur was taken from the Persian Qanta systems of Iran and Iraq by the Mughals as technologies of public utility used to be imported from Persia for use in India during their times.
  • It provided water to the entire city for as long as 300 years before it collapsed in 1977. 
  • The hint of red colour in this mineral-rich water gave it the name khooni (bloody).

Gwalior Fort:

  • Standing on a steep mass of sandstone, Gwalior Fort dominates the city and is its most significant monument. 
  • The magnificent outer walls of the fort, two miles in length and 35 feet high, still stand, bearing witness to its reputation as one of the most invincible forts in India. 
  • This imposing structure inspired Emperor Babur to describe it as ”the pearl amongst the fortresses of Hind “.
  • The interior has been converted into an Archaeological Museum housing rare antiquities, some dating back to the 1st century A.D. 
    • Particularly worth seeing is the statue of Shalbhanjika from Gyraspur, the tree goddess, the epitome of perfection in miniature.

The historic ensemble of Dhamnar:

  • This rock-cut site consists of a total of 51 caves of varying sizes carved into the laterite hill. 
  • The hill consists of two groups of structures: the series of Buddhist caves and the Hindu temple complex known as the Dharmarajeshwara temple, also called Dharmanath temple. 
  • The series of caves consists of 14 larger caves and 37 smaller caves
    • The caves consist of dwellings, halls of various sizes, stupas, statues of Buddha in rare postures and displays of craftsmanship in the works with the stone imitating the details of wooden elements and decorative designs.
  • The southern side of the hill has a crescent shape, where the entrances to the caves are found. 
  • Three different accounts of explorers mention the caves: James Tod, who visited the site in 1821; James Furgusson, who visited in 1845; and later Alexander Cunningham, who visited the site in 1864-65.

Bhojeshwar Temple:

  • Bhojpur Temple (also known as Bhojeshwar Temple), often known as the Somnath of the East, is located on the banks of the Betwa River in the Raisen district.
  • It is named after the ruler of the region, King Bhoj, and the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Raja Bhoj ordered the construction of the Shivling and temple between 1010 and 1053 AD. 
  • The Bhojpur temple is unusual in numerous ways; the absence of a Mandapa attached to the Garbhagriha and the use of a rectilinear roof rather than the more traditional curved Shikhara can be noted. 
  • The 7.5-foot-tall stone Shivling lies on a 21-foot-tall platform. The shivling at Bhojpur temple is about 18 feet in circumference.

Rock Art Sites of Chambal Valley:

  • The Chambal Basin and Central India region contain the world's largest known rock art sites. 
  • The Chambal Basin covers parts of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh
  • This basin has a rectangular shape and a total catchment area of 143,219 square kilometers. 
  • It features diverse geology, with the upper Chambal Basin located in the Vindhyas, the left bank catchment area situated mainly in the Aravallis, and the right bank catchment encompassing the Malwa trap region as well as the sandstone and quartzite areas of the Vindhyan Supergroup. 
  • The region exhibits a variety of geomorphological conditions, including sandstone outcrops of the Vindhyan Supergroup, lateritic hills, basaltic hills, loose and layered river gravels, and more.

Gond Memorial of Ramnagar, Mandla:

  • The main palace was built by the Gond king Hriday Shah in 1667 after Ram Nagar was made the capital. 
  • It is a magnificent and beautiful sample of Gond architecture.
  • The rock inscription showing the genealogy of the Gond Royal Dynasty is found in this huge palace. 
  • This is a protected monument of the Department of Archaeology, Govt. of M.P.

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