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October 11, 2019

State Govt pitches for UNESCO heritage tag for Durga Pujo

State Govt pitches for UNESCO heritage tag for Durga Pujo

Durga Pujo in Kolkata – be it the traditional bonedi bari pujos or the community baroyari pujos – is world famous. For the former, it’s about the traditional practices and for the latter, about the grand pandals and lighting decorations. Best of all, perhaps, is the halo of festive fervour that envelops Kolkata during the four days and more, manifested in the sea of humanity that flows through the streets of the city.

To have international recognition for Kolkata’s Durga Pujo, as an example of a unique cultural masterpiece, the Bangla Government made a presentation to a team from UNESCO to have the festival listed in the latter’s ‘List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’.

The team had visited the city for two days earlier in the year. The meeting was hosted by the State Tourism Department.

It is relevant to mention here that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the primary inspiration for the presentation, having convinced the Department to make a serious pitch to have the festival listed by UNESCO. She has been further enthused by the overwhelming response that the Durga Pujo Carnival being held on Red Road over the last two years has received.

Besides Durga Pujo, the Department made three other presentations for including places in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These applications were made earlier too, but this time with more preparation, almost guaranteeing listing.

The three places are: Dalhousie in Kolkata, for the building heritage there; parts of north Kolkata (College Street to Sovabazar Rajbari) for distinct architectural features typical to the city’s heritage; and Bishnupur, for its ancient terracotta temples.

Source: The Times of India