Art and Culture Current Affairs

Ahmedabad’s Walled City gets World Heritage City Certificate

The 600-year-old Walled City in Gujarat’s commercial capital Ahmedabad was formally accorded status of India’s first World Heritage City by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

In this regard, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova handed over certificate declaring it as ‘World Heritage City’ to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar. The status recognises heritage value of walled city’s unique heritage.

Walled city of Ahmedabad

The walled city of Ahmedabad was founded in the 15th century by Ahmed Shah of Gujarat Sultanate. It is situated on the eastern bank of Sabarmati River. It presents rich architectural heritage from sultanate period, notably the Bhadra citadel, walls and gates of Fort city and numerous mosques and tombs, as well as important Hindu and Jain temples of later periods. It has 28 Archaeological Survey of India’s centrally protected monuments.  The 5.5 km walled city area has approximate population of four lakh living in century old wooden residences in around 600 pols or neighbourhoods

Important Facts

The walled city of Ahmedabad is first city in India to get World Heritage City status and third in Asia after Bhaktapur (Nepal) and Galle (Sri Lanka). India now has total 36 World Heritage Inscriptions 28 cultural, 7 natural and 1 mixed site. India is second after China in terms of number of world heritage properties in Asia and Pacific (ASPAC) region, and overall seventh in world.

World Heritage Cities Programme

It is one of six thematic programmes formally approved and monitored by World Heritage Committee (WHC) of UNESCO. It aims to assist state parties in the challenges of protecting and managing their urban heritage sites.

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Dhrupad maestro Ustad Sayeeduddin Dagar passes away

Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar, one of the foremost exponents and custodian of the venerable Dhrupad tradition of Hindustani classical music passed away in a Pune. He was 78.

About Sayeeduddin Dagar

Ustad Sayeeduddin Dagar was born on April 29, 1939 in Alwar, Rajasthan. He was member of the illustrious Dagar family of musicians and was the youngest of the famous seven ‘Dagar Bandhus (Brothers)’, all exponents of the ancient, complex and elaborate Dhrupad tradition.

He had dedicated his life to keeping the Dhrupad tradition alive. He had performed at some of the most prestigious venues and festivals in India and abroad, including the Tansen Savai Gandharva, Samaroh, Dhrupad Samaroh, Dagar Saptak, Dhrupad Mela, Dhamar Samaroh etc.

He also travelled abroad extensively and enthralled audiences with his Dhrupad performances. He was also President of Dhrupad Society Jaipur and Pune. He also had conducted workshops and interactive lecture demonstrations on Dhrupad in India and twice a year in Holland, Germany, France and Belgium.

About Dhrupad

Dhrupad is a genre in Hindustani classical music. It is one of oldest forms of compositions in classical Indian music. Dhrupad is a Sanskrit name, derived from words dhruva (permanent) and pad (verse) and in combination it means “pillar”.

The roots of Dhrupad are ancient and it is mentioned in Natyashastra (200 BCE – 200 CE). It is also described in other ancient and medieval Sanskrit texts, such as Bhagavata Purana (~800–1000 CE).

The nature of Dhrupad music is spiritual and does not seek to entertain, but to induce feelings of peace and spirituality in the listener. It is primarily a form of worship, in which offerings are made to the divine through sound or Nada.

Dhrupad was initially sung only in the temples, the singer facing the Lord. From this early chanting, it evolved into a sophisticated classical form of music. One significant characteristic of Dhrupad is the emphasis on maintaining purity of the Raga.

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