Culture Current Affairs - 2019

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Italy’s Prosecco hills enters UNESCO World Heritage list

Italy’s hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, which is home to world-famous sparkling wine Prosecco, were added by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to World Heritage list. The decision to add hills to list was taken at a meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in Baku in Azerbaijan.

About Prosecco hills

The Conegliano and Valdobbiadene hills are where grapes grown produce famous prosecco sparking wine.

Location: These Prosecco hills are located northeast of Venice, have been cultivated for centuries. It stretch for 30 kilometres (nearly 20 miles)a

Landscape: It is characterised by hogback hills, ciglioni–small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces- forests, small villages and farmland.

This rugged terrain has been shaped and adapted by man for centuries now.

Italy has been lobbying to have Prosecco hills receive World Heritage recognition for at least a decade.

It has now become Italy’s 55th World Heritage site.

Importance of Prosecco: The prosecco sparkling white wine has highest classification available to an Italian wine. It is produced in a territory spread over 9 provinces in Italy’s northeast. Sales of wine rose 6% in 2018 to 460 million bottles, of which 75% were exported. It has now become the most popular Italian wine abroad, with its exports seen rising by a record 21% in 2019 in foreign markets.

World renowned Chardham Yatra begins in Uttarakhand

The world renowned and much awaited chardham yatra  began in Uttrakhand. The Gangotri and Yamunotri dhams were opened for pilgrims on auspicious occasion of Akshay Tritya (also called ‘Teej’, is an annual spring time festival of Jains and Hindus).

About Chardham

  • It literally means four sacred pilgrimage centres.
  • The four pilgrim-destinations are Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath which are collectively called Chardham.
  • It is located in the great Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
  • Route Followed: As per traditions, this pilgrimage tour should begin from West and end in East. Therefore, Char Dham Yatra starts from Yamunotri, then proceeds to Gangotri and finally end towards Kedarnath and Badrinath.
  • Religious Deities: Each sites is devoted to a specific deity.
  • Yamunotri dedicated to Goddess ‘Yamuna’. It stands high up in deep left on western face of Bandarpunch Peak.
  • Gangotri dedicated to Goddess ‘Ganga’. The shrine overlooks River Bhagirathi.
  • Kedarnath dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also a part of Panch Kedar. It is northern-most Jyotirlinga and is close to source of holy River Mandakini.
  • Badrinath dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It is situated on the bank of River Alaknanda (it is one of the two headstreams of Ganges other is Bhagirathi).
  • Importance: In accordance with Hindu conventions, devotees take up this pious tour of Char Dham yatra in hope to experience bliss (heaven) and successfully remove their souls of all worldly demons.