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India’s 40th World Heritage Site

Recently, India’s nomination of Dholavira, the Harappan City in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat has been inscribed on World Heritage list of UNESCO. It is the 40th World Heritage Site of India.

The site was on the UNESCO’s tentative list since 2014. India submitted the nomination dossier for Dholavira: A Harappan City to the World Heritage Centre in January, 2020.

About Dholavira:

Dholavira: a Harappan city, is one of the very few well preserved urban settlements in South Asia dating from the 3rd to mid-2nd millennium BCE.

Dholavira is the 6th largest of more than 1,000 Harappan sites discovered so far. The property comprises two parts: a walled city and a cemetery to the west of the city. The walled city consists of a fortified Castle with attached fortified Bailey and Ceremonial Ground, and a fortified Middle Town and a Lower Town. A series of reservoirs are found to the east and south of the Citadel. The great majority of the burials in the Cemetery are memorial in nature.

Most of the Harappan antecedent towns normally located near to rivers and perennial sources of water. Dholavira was located at a place that was strategic to harness different mineral and raw material sources such as copper, shell, agate-carnelian, steatite, lead, banded limestone, among others. It was in island of Khadir, to facilitate internal as well as external trade to the Magan (modern Oman peninsula) and Mesopotamian regions.

Dholavira is an exceptional example of a proto-historic Bronze Age urban settlement pertaining to the Harappan Civilization (early, mature and late Harappan phases). This city flourished for nearly 1,500 years, representing a long continuous habitation.

Dholavira is an outstanding example of Harappan urban planning, with its preconceived city planning, multi-layered fortifications, sophisticated water reservoirs and drainage system, and the extensive use of stone as a building material.

Total UNESCO World Heritage Centres in India:

Recently, the Rudreswara Temple, (also known as the Ramappa Temple) at Palampet in Mulugu district of Telangana State has been added as the 39th UNESCO World Heritage Centre in India.

Now, India has 40 world heritage properties overall, which includes 32 cultural, 7 natural and one mixed property.


UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It was founded on 16 November 1945 in London, United Kingdom, and is headquartered in Paris, France.

Source: PIB

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