Ahmedabad is India’s first World Heritage City

In News

UN cultural agency Unesco declared the 600-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad as a world heritage city, the first Indian city  to make it to the list.

Walled City

  • Walled City of Ahmedabad, founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah in the 15th century, has been declared India’s first World Heritage City.
  • The 5.5 km walled city area with an approximate population of four lakh, living in century old wooden residences in around 600 pols or neighbourhoods, is regarded as a living heritage.
  • Walled city of Ahmedabad on the eastern banks of Sabarmati river presents a rich architectural heritage from the sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, the walls and gates of the Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs, as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods.
  • There are 2600 heritage sites and over two dozen ASI protected monuments and sites in the walled city.
  • The city had figured in UNESCO’s tentative list in 2011.


The civic body and the State authorities expect a huge boost to tourism after the UNESCO’s declaration. It has now joined the privileged club of heritage cities like Paris, Cairo, Edinburg and two cities in the subcontinent, Bhaktpur in Nepal and Galle in Sri Lanka.

Source : The Hindu

GS I : Indian Heritage and Culture     


Gomira mask-makers see silver lining

In News

Art of producing colourful wooden masks has been revived in Kushmundi, and demand for them is global.

Initiatives by the Government

  • A number of initiatives have been taken, which include setting up a training-cum-resource centre at Kushmundi and organising a village folk festival every year.
  • In 2013 a memorandum of understanding was signed between the West Bengal government and UNESCO to promote culture-based livelihoods to change for the better for these mask-makers.
  • Banglanatak, a social enterprise that partners with UNESCO worked for capacity building among the mask-makers at the ground level.
  • The festival to promote mask-making will be held from October 27 to October 29.

Gomira masks

  • An ethnic and traditional mask intricately crafted by the artisans West Bengal.
  • A tradition of art of masks making for the annual Gomira dance festival held in and around the village.
  • The Kushmandi masks or Gomira masks are usually made of light wood preferably the Gamhar wood.
  • The makers are mainly concentrated in the village of Mahisbathan where a handicraft hub has been developed as a part of rural craft hub initiative under the MSME department of Government of West Bengal and in collaboration with UNESCO.
  • Wood-crafted Gomira masks represent the characters of the two forms of the Gomira dance – the original Gomira form and the Ramer Banobas.
  • The masks depict the various characters of Goddess Kali in her indigenous form and also the mythical character of Hanuman.

Gomira Dance

  • Gomira is a socio religious festival that is celebrated in worship of Chandi and Kali in order to attain devine blessings From the godess .GOMIRA DANCE
  • The festival is celebrated mostly at the end of Bengali year .
  • Gomira is actually an animistic tradition in which the primitive people pay their homage to different Gods in order to attain security.
  • The Gomira dance have extensive use of wooden masks.
  • The artists Wear various masks which depicts various incarnations of Kali, Nrisingha and ghosts.

Source : The Hindu

GS I : Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times

Inauguration of Basava Jayanthi 2017

PM Narendra Modi, released the holy Vachanas of Basavanna, translated into 23 languages, and addressed an event to mark the inauguration of Basava Jayanthi 2017, and Golden Jubilee Celebration of Basava Samithi.

Basava Jayanthi

  • Basava Jayanthi is traditionally observed by the Lingayats and is observed as a holiday in the Indian state of Karnataka.
  • It marks the birthday of Basavanna, 12th-century poet-philosopher, and the founding saint of the Lingayat religion.
  • Government of Maharashtra and Karnataka declared Government Holiday on Basava jayanti.
  • Basavanna who established spiritual democracy called “Anubhava Mantapa” in the 12th century in India.
  • Anubhava Mantapa which is also called as the “FIRST PARLIAMENT CONCEPT OF THE WORLD”.
  • It gave practical solutions to all kind of problems mankind was suffering at that time.


Lingayatism is a version of Shaivite religious tradition in India. Its worship is centered on Hindu god Shiva as the universal god in the iconographic form of Ishtalinga. The adherents of this faith are known as Lingayats. Lingayatism was founded by the 12th-century philosopher and statesman Basava and spread by his followers, called Sharanas.

Source : Pib

GS II : Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times.

Channakeshava temple turns 900

Historic Channakeshava temple in Belur — a masterpiece of Hoysala architecture — has turned 900 this year.

Channakeshava Temple

  • The Channakeshava temple was built between 1106 and 1117.
  • It was commissioned by Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana.
  • The temple is regarded as architecture in the typical Hoysala style.
  • It commemorates the king’s victory in 1104 and after winning a war in 1104, Vishnuvardhana took up construction of the temple, and according to an inscription, the temple was ready by March 1117.
  • Belur, along with Halebid, is proposed as a UNESCO heritage site.
  • Belur is 40 kilometres from Hassan city.

Hoysala style

  • Style developed under the rule of the Hoysala Empire between the 11th and 14th centuries, in the region known today as Karnataka, a state of India.
  • Large and small temples built during this era remain as examples of the Hoysala architectural style, including the Chennakesava Temple at Belur, the Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebidu, and the Kesava Temple at Somanathapura
  • A negligible Indo-Aryan influence while the impact of Southern Indian style is more distinct.

About Vishnuvardhana

  • Vishnuvardhana (1108–1152 CE) was a king of the Hoysala Empire in what is today the modern state of Karnataka, India.
  • He ascended the Hoysala throne after the death of his elder brother Veera Ballala I in c.1108.
  • He was a follower of Jainism and known as Bitti Deva, he came under the influence of the Hindu philosopher Ramanujacharya, converted to Hindu Vaishnavism and took the name “Vishnuvardhana”.
  • Vishnuvardhana took the first steps in creating an independent Hoysala Empire in South India through a series of battles against his overlord, the Western Chalukya King Vikramaditya VI, and the Chola Empire to the south.

Source : The Hindu, Wikipedia

GS I : Indian culture will cover the salient aspects of Art Forms, Literature and Architecture from ancient to modern times