A day after the inclusion of Santiniketan, West Bengal, on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, India welcomed another entrant on Monday (18 September) — the Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas.
The Sacred Ensembles of the Hoysalas, situated in Karnataka, comprise the Chennakeshava temple in Belur, the Hoysalevara temple in Halebidu, and the Keshava temple in Somanathapura.
These temples were built during the reign of the Hoysala kingdom in southern India.
According to UNESCO, they are the "three most representative examples of Hoysala-style temple complexes dating from the 12th to 13th centuries in the present State of Karnataka."
The various features of the temple architecture, including the sculptures, stone carvings, and inscriptions, "are exceptional testimonies to the outstanding creativity and inventive genius of the Hoysala period," said UNESCO.
"It contributes significantly to the diversity of the temple styles of India and has exerted a lasting influence on temples of later periods, both in the region and beyond," the United Nations agency added.
"If ever poetry was carved in stone, it is in these monuments of India," said Vishal V Sharma, Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO.
"The Hoysala era is one that contributed enormously to the development of several creative fields as well as spiritual and humanistic thought," he said, adding, "These monuments are extraordinary expressions of spiritual purpose and vehicles of spiritual practice and attainment."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to X to say: "The timeless beauty and intricate details of the Hoysala temples are a testament to India's rich cultural heritage and the exceptional craftsmanship of our ancestors."
With the latest entry, the number of UNESCO World Heritage Site in India has reached 42.
UNESCO is short for The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
The body "seeks to encourage the identification, protection, and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity."
Karan Kamble writes on science and technology. He occasionally wears the hat of a video anchor for Swarajya's online video programmes.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!