Jaipur, after Ahmedabad, became the latest city to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The decision to declare it as a heritage city was taken at the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 30th June to 10th July. This is a proud moment for the residents of Jaipur and Rajasthan, as well as the citizens of India. It is encouraging news for Rajasthan Tourism too, since this declaration will bolster tourism in the state and further enhance its prestige and popularity in the world.
There are several factors which went behind the inclusion of Jaipur as a UNESCO World Heritage City in Rajasthan. According to a statement made by the Ministry of Culture before the World Heritage Committee, the pink city is an “exceptional urban example in indigenous city planning and construction in South Asia”. It further said, “Besides an exemplary planning, its iconic monuments such as the Govind Dev temple, City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal excel in artistic and architectural craftsmanship of the period.”
Congratulatory messages came pouring in fast from all quarters. One of these was by India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who tweeted, “Jaipur is a city associated with culture and valour. Elegant and energetic, Jaipur’s hospitality draws people from all over. Glad that this city has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site by @UNESCO”.
Ashok Gehlot, the chief minister of Rajasthan, was also equally enthusiastic in his congratulatory message. He said that its inclusion would boost Jaipur tourism to a considerable degree and prove extremely beneficial to the local economy. In a tweet, he said, “It is a matter of great pride that our Pink City, Jaipur has been declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It will add to the glory of the capital city of Rajasthan.”
Eric Falt, the director of UNESCO India Office, said that the inclusion of Jaipur as a UNESCO World Heritage Site “”celebrates yet another of India’s outstanding heritage sites, only one year after the successful nomination of the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble of Mumbai in 2018. I would like to wholeheartedly congratulate the government of India, the state of Rajasthan and the city of Jaipur on this successful nomination”.
With the inclusion of Jaipur as a heritage city, the total number of UNESCO World Heritage Site in India has increased to 38. Of these, 30 are cultural properties, seven natural properties and one mixed site. Ahmedabad was the first Indian city to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage City in 2017.
There were many countries which approved the inclusion of Jaipur into the World Heritage Site list. These were, Bahrain, Brazil, Indonesia, Cuba, Kuwait, Uganda, China, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Herzegovina, Bosnia, Burkina Faso, Guatemala, St Kitts and Nevis and Angola. A referral was put forward by Australia and Norway, but they agreed to its inclusion after a debate.
Jaipur is among the most visited tourist destinations in India. It endears itself to the visitors not just with its palaces and gardens, which are absolutely spectacular, but also by its well preserved traditions and culture. It was built according to the principles of Vastu Shastra by the famous architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and holds the distinction of being the first planned city in India. A tourist in Jaipur will easily be charmed, and sometimes, surprised, by the opulence which greets him in the form of palaces like Amber Palace and City Palace.
There are plenty of sightseeing options, from the famous observatory of Jantar Mantar to Hawa Mahal. It is also home to forts like Jaigarh and Nahargarh, which are great for exploration. Another feature of the city is its beautiful gardens, from Central Park to Vidhyadhar Gardens, which impress visitors with their architecture and style. When you plan a Jaipur tour and visit it, you will know it rightly deserves the tag of UNESCO World Heritage Site.