Celebrating World Heritage Week

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Recently, students across India observed World Heritage Week, a celebration that educates people about the importance of conserving heritage properties. Sneha Lukka asks RobinAgers to pick their favourite heritage sites and tell us why they love them.

Jnaneshwar  Saravanan, Class 8, Miraj Public School, Hyderabad
"My favourite heritage spot is Charminar as it is among the most recognised structures of the country. Charminar is both a monument and a mosque. From the top of this monument you can see the whole city. Its beauty and sculpture makes it exceptional."

Charminar in Hyderabad is a monument and mosque constructed by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591. It is believed that the Charminar was built at the end of the plague in Hyderabad to honour a promise Quli Qutb Shah made to Allah. Shah commissioned bricks to be made from soil brought from Mecca, the holiest site of Islam, and used them 

Vrunda Raval, Class 9, Shri P V Modi School Jamnagar
"Qutub Minar in New Delhi is myfavourite heritage site. It represents the glorious history of India. The architecture is beautiful and the carvings are very creative. The ancient architecture depicts one of the finest examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. in the construction of the central arch of the mosque."

Qutub Minar is situated in the Qutub complex at Mehrauli in South Delhi. The foundation of the tower was laid by Qutubuddin Aibak in 1199AD. It is a column built from red and buff sandstone blocks rising to a height of 72.5mts tapering from a diameter of 2.75mts at the top to 14.32mts at the base making it the highest stone tower in India. The tower is so high that around 379 steps are needed to climb to the top. Numerous inscriptions in Arabic and Nagari characters that are placed across the minar reveal the history of Qutubuddin Aibak. Qutub Minar was declared as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1993.

Kashish  Kaur, Class 8, Nirmal Bhartiya School, New Delhi
"Humayun's Tomb is a magnificent tomb that has wonderful designs carved on it. The tomb belongs to Mughal emperor Humayun who was buried there. The architecture is beautiful and this type of work is very different from that of other Mughal pieces. The tomb is surrounded by a beautiful garden, which makes it look more beautiful and glorious."

Humayun's Tomb was built by his first wife, Biga Begum, between 1560 and 1570, 14 years after the demise of Humayun. It is of great significance because it is the first garden tomb in the Indian subcontinent. It was also the first structure to use red sandstone on a large scale and the first example of the distinct Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture. Humayun had travelled widely in the Islamic world, notably in Persia and central Asia, and brought back with him ideas that were applied by the architect of his tomb under the direction of his widow. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.

Nehal Bhivane, Class 5, IES Orion, Mumbai
"Taj Mahal is my favourite heritage spot as it is the symbol of art and love in India. The Taj Mahal was built using the best quality of marble and today, two more structures have been inspired by it. It is a masterpiece built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal."

Taj Mahal is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It was built in the year 1653 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife,Mumtaz Mahal. History states that masons,stone cutters, inlayers, carvers, painters,calligraphers, dome-builders and otherartisans from across India, Central Asia and Iran were brought to Agra to create this monument. It took 22,000 workers and 1,000 elephants 22 years to build this symbol of love.

Siddharth Pai Class 7, Sishu Griha Montessori and High School, Bengaluru

"The monuments at Hampi are my favourite. The monuments have a great architectural history and are beautifully
sculpted. Most of the monuments at Hampi are from the Vijayanagara Period. Not only does the place have a historical importance, but it also has religious significance because of the temples located here. The temples have large dimensions with delicate and bold carvings, which is why I love visiting the place". 

The group of monuments at Hampi in northern Karnataka are listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Most of these structures are constructed from local granite, burnt bricks and lime mortar. A unique feature at Hampi is the wide streets flanked by rows of pillared mandapas, introduced when chariot festivals became an integral part of the rituals here.

Suryanarayan Reddy, Class 7, Ryan International School, Bengaluru
"The historical Mysore Palace is my favourite heritage spot due to its architecture. I love the way it is built the architecture is
different and the palace is surrounded by a garden. The palace is regarded as one of the splendid structures in India."

Mysore Palace is also known as Amba Vilas Palace. It is the official residence of the Mysore royal family. The architectural style of the palace blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storeyed stone structure, with marble domes and a 145ft tower. Eight temples are situated inside the palace. The building comprises of seven massive arches. Every autumn, the famous Mysore Dasara festival featuring many leading artists and performers is held at the palace. This occasion sees the palace illuminated with over 96,000 lights. On the 10th day or Vijaya Dashami, a parade with elephants and floats originates from the palace grounds. This festival has been celebrated by the Wadiyars in Srirangapatna since 1610 and in Mysore since 1799.

Nikita Mohta, Class 6, Sri Kumaran Public School, Bengaluru
"I recently visited Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and was glad to visit the Patwo Ki Haveli there. The place is a must-visit. The structure of the Haveli is magnificent with wellsculpted walls, pillars and corridors. It has one of the finest architecture patterns with various paintings and designs. It is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but I think due to its beauty and magnificence, it should be declared as one."

Patwo Ki Haveli is one of the largest havelis in Rajasthan. It was the first haveli to be erected in Jaisalmer and was built in 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa, a rich merchant and trader. It is known as the mansion of brocade merchants, probably because the family dealt in gold and silver embroidery threads. Although the whole building is made using yellow sandstone, the main gateway of the haveli uses brown stone. Today, the office of the Archeological Survey of India and the state art and craft department is situated inside the haveli.

Aryan Pandey, Class 6, UP Kirana Seva Samiti Vidyalaya, Kanpur
"Red Fort in Delhi is my favourite heritage site due to its great historical importance. The whole structure is designed using red stone, which makes it unique. The huge structure is beautiful and extensively spread."

The Red Fort was the residence of then Mughal emperor of India for nearly 200 years. It was built by Shah Jahan in 1648 when he transferred his capital from Agra to Delhi. Originally known as Qila-e-Mubarak, this is an important site of Indian history as this is where the national flag was hoisted for the first time, and continues to be hoisted to date.

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