Dholavira, the Harappan-era archaeological site located in Kutch district of India's Gujarat, was on Tuesday inscribed on the Unesco list of world heritage sites, making it the first site of Indus Valley Civilisation in India to be included on the coveted list.
The decision taken at the 44th session of the Unesco World Heritage Committee on at Fuzhou, China, comes days after the Kakatiya Rudreshwara temple in Telangana, popularly called the Ramappa Temple, was inscribed on the list, reports the Indian Express.
After Champaner, Rani Ki Vav and the walled city area of Ahmedabad, Dholavira is the fourth site from Gujarat to gain the tag.
An official release from Unesco described Dholavira as an ancient city, which is one of themost remarkable and well-preserved urban settlements in South Asia dating from the third to mid-second millennium BCE (Before Common Era).
Discovered in 1968, Unesco said in a release, the site is set apart by its unique characteristics, such as its water management system, multi-layered defensive mechanisms, extensive use of stone in construction and special burial structures.
"Of note is also the art associated with the city – artefacts of various kinds such as copper, shell, stone, jewellery of semi-precious stones, terracotta, gold, ivory have been found at the site. In addition, the interregional trade links associated with Dholavira, have also been acknowledged as contributing to the shared heritage of humanity," Unesco said.
Located on Khadir island in the Great Rann of Kutch (GRK) in Bhachau taluka of Kutch district, Dholavira is around 210 kilometres east of district headquarters Bhuj. Spread over 22 hectares, the Harappan-era acropolis is the fifth largest archaeological site of the Indus Valley Civilisation, dating back to around 3000 BC and is believed to have been occupied till 1500 BC. It draws its name from present-day village Dholavira on the semi-arid island on the Indo-Pakistan border.
"Absolutely delighted by this news. Dholavira was an important urban centre and is one of our most important linkages with our past. It is a must visit, especially for those interested in history, culture and archaeology," Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, adding he had first visited the site during his student days and was mesmerised by the place.
"As CM of Gujarat, I had the opportunity to work on aspects relating to heritage conservation and restoration in Dholavira. Our team also worked to create tourism-friendly infrastructure there," Modi added.