- Santiniketan, where the Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore spent much of his time, has earned a place on UNESCO World's Heritage List.
- This inclusion has been announced during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- This recognition makes Santiniketan the 41st UNESCO World Heritage Site in India and the third in West Bengal, followed by the Sunderbans and the Darjeeling Mountain Railways.
- Last year, West Bengal's Durga Puja secured a place on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List by UNESCO.
- Santiniketan, situated in Birbhum district in West Bengal and established in 1901, is an iconic cultural and heritage destination with a rich historical legacy.
- A world university was established at Santiniketan in 1921, recognizing the unity of humanity or Visva Bharati.
- It serves as the residence of Rabindranath Tagore, who composed numerous literary works, encompassing songs, poems and novels at the place.
- Its architectural style represents a departure from British colonial and European modernists influences and approaches towards a pan-Asian Modernity.
- Santiniketan hosts special cultural festivities during Bengali New Year and Rabindra Janmotsav.
Road to Recognition as World Heritage Site:
- It was in 2010 when Centre had first tried to get Santiniketan the World Heritage Tag.
- Again the campaign was mounted in 2021 and a fresh report was prepared by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) with the help of Visva Bharati authorities and submitted to UNESCO.
- The report included Tagore's life, work and vision and highlighted institution's commitment to global cooperation, care for people and the environment, and its embrace of a modern Asian style.
- The 36 hectares of property, will be conserved and protected by Archeological Survey of India (ASI), with a buffer zone of 537 hectares also regulated by the ASI to prevent construction activities.
- The government of West Bengal has invested in enhancing the infrastructure of Santiniketan over the last 12 years.
- The announcement of Santiniketan's UNESCO inclusion was met with joy, and a procession was held on the campus to celebrate the momentous achievement.
Source - Indian Express