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Santiniketan Now On UNESCO World Heritage List; ‘Proud Moment For Indians’, Says PM Modi

New Delhi: West Bengal’s Santiniketan town, where noted poet Rabindranath Tagore built ‘Visva-Bharati’ or world university over a century ago, has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List with Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling it a “proud moment” for all Indians.

The global body announced that the famed town was included in it’s world heritage list during the 45th Session of the World Heritage Committee in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

“BREAKING! New inscription on the @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List: Santiniketan, #India. Congratulations!” the UNESCO wrote on X (former Twitter).

Hailing it as a “proud moment” for all Indians, PM Modi said he was delighted that Santiniketan, an embodiment of Tagore’s vision, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“Delighted that Santiniketan, an embodiment of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s vision and India’s rich cultural heritage, has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List,” the Prime Minister wrote on X (former Twitter).  “This is a proud moment for all Indians,” PM Modi, who celebrated his 73rd birthday today, added.

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Delighted that Santiniketan, an embodiment of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore’s vision and India’s rich cultural heritage, has been inscribed on the @UNESCO World Heritage List. This is a proud moment for all Indians. https://t.co/Um0UUACsnk

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 17, 2023

India had been striving for long to get a UNESCO tag for this cultural site located in Birbhum district.

A few months ago, the landmark site was recommended for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List by international advisory body ICOMOS.

Established in 1901 by poet and philosopher Tagore, Santiniketan was a residential school and centre for art based on ancient Indian traditions and a vision of the unity of humanity transcending religious and cultural boundaries.

A ‘world university’ was established at Santiniketan in 1921, recognising the unity of humanity or “Visva Bharati”.

Distinct from the prevailing British colonial architectural orientations of the early 20th century and of European modernism, Santiniketan represents approaches toward pan-Asian modernity, drawing on ancient, medieval and folk traditions from across the region.

On Tuesday, Union Minister for Culture and Tourism G Kishan Reddy informed that the Shantiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district has been recommended for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list by The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

Great news for India on the Jayanti of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore Santiniketan, West Bengal has been recommended for inscription to the World Heritage List by ICOMOS, the advisory body to UNESCO World Heritage Centre,” Reddy said in a post on X.

Shantiniketan is a town in the Birbhum district of West Bengal. Visva Bharati University lies in Shantiniketan. The place attracts thousands of visitors each year.

(With inputs from agencies)

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