Every year, from November 19th to 25th, the world celebrates World Heritage Week, a period dedicated to acknowledging and cherishing the diverse cultural and natural wonders that grace our planet. This week serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving and safeguarding these invaluable treasures for future generations.
Initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1983, World Heritage Week aims to raise awareness about the significance of preserving historical sites, cultural traditions, and natural landscapes that hold universal value.
World Heritage Week saw a surge in tourist visits to iconic monuments like the Taj Mahal following the Archaeological Survey of India's (ASI) decision to waive entry fees. Among these, the Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, experienced a notable increase in visitors as the fee exemption made this architectural wonder more accessible to a larger audience. However, it's important to note that the entry fee for the main mausoleum of the Taj Mahal remained unchanged.
Meanwhile, in Mangaluru, the local chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) celebrateS World Heritage Week at the Kodialguthu Centre for Arts and Culture. The week-long program kicked off with an exhibition titled ‘Udupi Sub-Jail that Survived Demolition Verdict,’ inaugurated by BT Obaleshappa, superintendent of the district prison, Mangaluru, on November 19th at 10:30 am.
During the commencement of World Heritage Week, ASI announced a one-day waiver of entry fees at all its protected monuments, including the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Kos Minar at Fatehpur Sikri, and Red Fort in Delhi. This initiative attracted a significant number of visitors to these historical sites, promoting wider public engagement with India's rich cultural heritage.