News Excerpt
Government of India has submitted two nomination dossiers namely ‘Dholavira: A Harappan City’ and ‘Monuments & Forts of Deccan Sultanate’ for inclusion in the World Heritage List for the year 2020.

Pre-Connect
•    UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. The list of World Heritage Sites is maintained by the international 'World Heritage Programme', administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
•    Karnataka and Telangana have earlier together nominated the forts & monuments of the Deccan Sultanate for a global heritage tag from UNESCO. The monuments proposed include Vijayapura’s Gol Gumbaz, the Haft Gumbaz tombs of Kalaburagi district and the Bidar Royal Citadel.
•    The Deccan Sultanates were five dynasties that ruled Bijapur, Golconda, Bidar, Ahmadnagar and Berar. The Kingdoms became independent in the late 15th and early 16th century as the Bahmani Sultanate broke up. Although rivals, they came together to ally against the Vijayanagara empire in 1565.
•    The Kingdoms were taken over by the Mughals in the 17th century. Their architecture is predominantly Indo-Islamic, with influences from Persia and central Asia.

About Dholavira-A Harappan City
    The ancient site Dholavira is located half a way between the range of low hills and the Greater Rann of Kachchh. Situated close to the northern border of Kachchh in the Khadir Bet, Dholavira is the largest wellpreserved Harappan city in Gujarat. It was excavated by R.S Bisht in 1985.   
    Dholavira, belonging to the urban phase, represents the easily recognizable face of the Indus civilization.With its sheer size and fabulous architectural remains, Dholavira has few parallels among the Indus cities.
    This major Harappan city is remarkable for its exquisite planning, aesthetic architecture, amazing water management system, fortification wall etc. The inhabitants of Dholavira were master water conservationists.

About Monuments and Forts of Deccan Sultanate
    The Deccan Sultanate capitals characterise an ensemble of royal, religious, funerary monuments (tombs and mausoleums), defence structures commissioned for the royal citadel and urban quarters. They bear a testimony to the distinct cultural traditions of the sultanate kingdoms within the context of both Indian and Middle Eastern cultural traditions and their influence on art, music, languages and literature.
    The contributions of Deccan Sultanate to the arts and architecture of India is impressive with iconic Indo Islamic monuments constructed in Gulbarga, Bidar, Bijapur and Hyderabad. These sites emerged as important medieval fortifications and walled cities of the Deccan Sultanates. It has vigorous new architectural style that emerged from encounters with the Deccan Hindu heartland of the period.
    Individually, each of the components of Deccan Sultanate cover important aspects of Sultanate history with Gulbarga evolving as the first capital of Bahmani Kingdoms in mid14th  Century CE including its impressive fortifications, Jami Masjid and royal tombs; Bidaras the next Bahmani capital in mid15th Century CE; further evolution of the Deccani Sultanate style by Adil Shahi dynasty in the monuments at Bijapur such as the Gol Gumbaj that stands as the 2nd largest dome in world history; and the final diversification and manifestation of the style in the Qutub Shahi monuments of Golconda fort, tombs and the Charminar at Hyderabad.

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Kalibangan, Lothal, Suktagendor, KotDiji, Ropar