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What is World Heritage list? India sends Hoysala Temples Nomination for 2022-23 to UNESCO

What is World Heritage list? India sends Hoysala Temples Nomination for 2022-23 to UNESCO


  • GS 1 || Art & Culture || Culture of India || UNESCO Sites in India

Why in the news?

India sends Hoysala Temples Nomination for 2022-23 to UNESCO

All about Hoysala Temples and nomination in UNESCO

  • The holy ensembles of the Hoysalas, represented by the three components of Belur, Halebid, and Somnathapura in Karnataka, were built between the 12th and 13th centuries. The Archaeological Survey of India has designated all three Hoysala temples as protected monuments (ASI).
  • Since April 15, 2014, the ‘Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysala’ have been on UNESCO’s Tentative List, and they bear witness to India’s rich historical and cultural heritage.
  • The World Heritage Centre (WHC) of UNESCO has already agreed to make Hindi descriptions of India’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites available on the WHC website.

About Hoysaleshwara Temple, Halebidu:

  • The Hoysaleshwara temple in Halebidu is the most representative Hoysala architectural ensemble still standing today.

  • Built at 1121 CE during the reign of Vishnuvardhana Hoysaleshwara, the Hoysala King.
  • The temple, dedicated to Shiva, was funded and built by Dorasamudra’s affluent citizens and merchants.
  • The more than 240 wall sculptures that line the length of the temple’s outside wall are its most famous feature.
  • Three Jaina basadi (temples) from the Hoysala period, as well as a tiered well, are housed in a walled complex at Halebid.

Characteristics of Hoysala Architecture:

  • Hoysala architecture is a building style that emerged during the 11th and 14th centuries in southern Karnataka under the control of the Hoysala Empire.
  • Hoysala temples are frequently referred to as hybrid or vesara because their unique style appears to be midway between Dravida and Nagara.
  • The Hoysala temples have a core Darvidian morphology, but they also exhibit substantial influences from the Bhumija style, which is popular in Central India, the Nagara traditions of northern and western India, and the Karntata Dravida forms, which were popular with the Kalyani Chalukyas.
  • As a result, the Hoysala architects made thoughtful and well-informed eclectic selections of characteristics from different temple typologies, which they then changed and complemented with their own unique creations. As a result, a new ‘Hoysala Temple’ style was born.
  • Instead of a basic inner chamber with a pillared hall, Hoysala temples have many shrines gathered around a central pillared hall and built out in the shape of an intricately-designed star (stellate-plan).
  • The painters were able to carve their sculptures intricately because they were made of soapstone, which is a rather soft stone. This can be observed, for example, in the gods’ jewellery that adorns the temple walls.

Understanding World Heritage Site:

  • Any of the different sites or artifacts listed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • Under the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the sites have been declared as having “outstanding universal significance.”
  • The 1972 Convention’s Secretariat is the World Heritage Centre.
  • It establishes a framework for international collaboration in the preservation and protection of cultural and natural heritage around the world.
  • There are three types of sites: Cultural, Natural, and Mixed.
    • Hundreds of historic buildings and town sites, notable archaeological sites, and monumental sculpture and painting are all examples of cultural heritage sites. A Harappan city, for example, is Dholavira.
    • Natural heritage sites are natural areas with exceptional ecological and evolutionary processes, rare or endangered species habitats, and so on. Consider the conservation area of the Great Himalayan National Park.
    • Natural and cultural significance coexist in mixed heritage sites. Khangchendzonga National Park is an excellent example.
  • In India, there are 40 world heritage sites, including 32 cultural properties, seven natural properties, and one combined site. The most recent addition is Dholavira, a Harappan city.
  • Nomination Process: According to UNESCO’s Operational Guidelines for 2019, each monument or site must be placed on the Tentative List (TL) for one year before being considered for the final nomination dossier.
    • After the nomination has been completed, it is sent to the World Heritage Centre (WHC), which will conduct a technical review.
    • UNESCO will respond by early March after receiving the application. Following that, the site will be evaluated in September/October 2022, and the dossier will be considered in July/August 2023.

Importance of maintaining historical monument and heritage sites:

  • Historical sites present a glorified picture of a country.
  • They not only provide us an understanding of the country’s socioeconomic situation, but also a clear picture of its religious and political position.
  • Historical sites are depictions of the rule, culture, and faith of changing times that that particular area underwent through the millennia, not only for India but for the rest of the globe.
  • Historical sites exist to shed light on our forefathers, their way of life, their abilities, and their knowledge, among other things.
  • The character that historical buildings convey to a neighbourhood or a location is one of the reasons why they should be preserved. Historic structures and environments have personality. They add a particular character to a neighbourhood that new construction lacks.
  • Historical sites serve as a constant reminder of the past.
  • People will be able to grasp where they are and where they are going if they understand the past and have reminders of it, even if it is just in architecture. People can feel more attached to a location when they understand what the community has gone through and have visual reminders of their past.
  • People can use historical structures to learn about what happened in the past and how things might play out in the future. Preserving our history provides us a better understanding of the past and more hope for the future.


India has great potential in representing itself when it comes to represent in UNESCO or at world level but major issues with it the maintenance and protection are always the major issues and area where India is lagging. There are many monuments in India which are still unrecognized and unpreserved, there is a need for India to look up this major problem, it can come on globally at stages like UNESCO and also enhance tourism, and make India a more interesting place for historians as well.