India fortifies World Heritage Site hope

21st Jun 2013

India is hoping for good news when this year's final World Heritage Sites are announced at Phnom Penh, Cambodia next week.

Six hill forts from the huge state of Rajasthan - also known as "The Land Of Kings" - have been nominated.

The proposed cultural sites are Jaisalmer Fort, Chittorgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Gargon Fort and Amber Palace.

Bina Kak, Rajasthan's Minister for Tourism, told the Times of India: "The nominations of six extensive and majestic hill forts together reflect the elaborate, fortified seats of power of Rajput princely states that flourished between the eighth and 18th centuries and their relative political independence."

Jaisalmer Fort in Jaisalmer city is one of the world's largest forts, attracting holidaymakers on group tours from around the globe.

The glowing fort was built in 1156 AD by the Bhati Rajput ruler Rao Jaisal, from whom it derives it name.

If chosen from the 32 nominations, the six forts would collectively be acknowledged as a single world heritage site.

They face competition from sites around the world, including nominations from China (Xinjiang Tianshan); Kenya (Mount Kenya-Lewa Wildlife Conservancy of Kenya); Mexico (El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve of Mexico) and Namibia (Namib Sand Sea of Namibia).

They also have local rivalry from India's Great Himalayan National Park.

The World Heritage List committee expects to deliberate from June 16-27.


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