UNESCO World Heritage Site Current Affairs

Mumbai’s Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Buildings declared World Heritage site by UNESCO

Two building clusters of Victorian Gothic and Art Deco architectural styles in Mumbai, Maharashtra were jointly inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage List. The decision was taken during 42nd session of UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Manama, Bahrain. This recognition will push country’s financial capital high on global cultural map.

Recognised Structures are

This is first world heritage site that flaunts combination of 19th Century Victorian Gothic structures and 20th Century Art Deco buildings. The ensemble of two building clusters recognized from Mumbai consists of 94 buildings primarily of 19th century Victorian Gothic revival and early 20th century Art Deco style of architecture.

Victorian buildings of Mumbai that have earned recognition, forms part of larger Fort precinct and are situated to east of Oval Maidan. These public buildings, include Old Secretariat (1857-74), University Library and Convention Hall (1874-78), Bombay High Court (1878), Public Works Department Office (1872), Watson’s Hotel (1869), David Sasoon Library (1870),  Elphinstone College (1888), Prince of Wales Museum (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya), Maharashtra Police Headquarters, and NGMA (National Gallery of Modern Art). The buildings of Art Deco structures that have earned recognition includes building of first row of Marine Drive, Regal and Eros Cinemas, Ram Mahal along Dinshaw Wacha Road, Cricket Club of India and Buildings of Backbay Reclamation scheme.

Key Facts

This is third such honour for Mumbai after Elephanta Caves and majestic Victoria Terminus (rechristened Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station) which had earned coveted tag in 1987 and 2004 respectively. With this, Mumbai has equal number of World Heritage sites as Delhi, which has three — Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.

With this, the count of World Heritage Sites in India has now risen to 37, of which 29 are cultural, seven natural and one mixed site. It makes India sixth ranked country in the list of world heritage properties. With five sites, Maharashtra has maximum number of world heritage sites in India, including Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad and Mumbai has three.

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Kaziranga National Park: Rhino population rises marginally

The recent census carried out in Kaziranga National Park, Assam has revealed that there was a marginal increase in the population of the one-horned rhinoceros here.

As per census report, currently there are 2,413 rhinos in Kaziranga National Park registering a marginal increase of 12 rhinos compared to last census. Out of the rhinos spotted, 642 are adult males and 793 are adult females while sex of 206 adult rhinos could not be determined during the census operation.

About Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga national park is located in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam. The park is a home to two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, which are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species.  It was designated with National Park status in 1968 and was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 for its unique natural environment. Kaziranga is also recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal species.

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