Tuesday, November 25, 2014

World Heritage Week - Nov 19 to Nov 25, 2014

From the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan to the destruction of the remains of the Mesopotamian civilization by ISIS, from the callous construction of the 1982 Asian Games Village over the ruins of the former city of Siri to the encroachment and vandalism by people of our monuments.. These are the issues and the mindsets which are attempt to be tackled during the World Heritage Week which is being celebrated from November 19 to November 25.

Ruins of the 3rd city of Delhi called Darul Khilafat (popularly known as Siri) (Const 1303 AD)

The chief purpose of celebrating the World Heritage Week is to increase awareness and encourage people about the preservation and safety of the cultural heritage and monuments of our nation and the world. To understand our ancient/medieval/modern cultures, heritage and traditions it is very important that we protect and preserve the priceless historical monuments and preserve the rare cultural and traditional practices which are the treasures of the human civilization.

Graffiti is something people, strangely, love to indulge in, with respect to historical monuments
 (Domes of the Begumpuri Masjid, Const 14th Cent AD)

In the modern times people, in their thirst for modernization and development, conveniently forget how much important it is to preserve our cultural and historical heritage. In the last walk conducted by Roots (Travel Group) we had observed how badly people had encroached upon the remains of the former city of Siri.

Time claws away our monuments, brick by brick. So, if we do not take steps at restoration of our monuments then they might be lost to us forever (A collapsed ceiling of Begumpuri Mosque, 
Const 14th Cent)

Historians, Archaeologists and Heritage Enthusiasts/Lovers are coming forward to raise the banner of conservation of heritage (for our future generations) by conducting special walks, events and exhibitions and through them trying to raise the levels of awareness of Heritage amongst the people. Their efforts, i believe, should be lauded !

The solitude and desolation of our monuments is often exploited by alcoholics and drug addicts who indulge in their addictions inside them, make such places their dens, forbid people from visiting those monuments and spread considerable litter (Western Settlement, Sultan Ghari) (Const 17th-18th Cent)

While Roots is not an out and out heritage group, but we do respect and understand the value of heritage. And keeping in mind our vision of exploring the unexplored we go to those monuments those ruins which people usually skip, the biggest example being the Siri Fort walk we did on November 16.

The canopy above the tomb of Ruknuddin Firoz, near Sultan Ghari would have collapsed due to cracked beams had ASI not built extra pillars to support the cracked beams. (Const around 1240 AD) 

Keeping in mind the reasons for celebrating the World Heritage Week and the fact that we were unable to do any event to support the cause during the week, we would like to dedicate our Panipat-Sonipat Trip (to be held on Dec 13, with an aim to highlight the very ignored heritage and cultural aspects of Haryana) and the Legacy of Delhi walks (whose aim is to make people aware of the unknown yet incredible heritage of Delhi namely the former 8 cities of Delhi) to the main cause of the World Heritage Week, to create Heritage Awareness.

Our monuments are very popular picnic spots but the flip side of it is that people chuck litter all around. It only shows that lack of respect and awareness towards the monuments, a problem which is attempted to be solved by the World Heritage Week

*******

Note - All pictures are copyrighted in the name of Rohan Anirudh Singh.