Kumbh Mela Included in UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. (Important) (Download PDF)

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The Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO inscribed ´Kumbh Mela´ on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Image of UNESCO world heritage site info graphic

Image of UNESCO World Heritage Site Info Graphic

Image of UNESCO world heritage site info graphic

Details on Inclusion

  • Kumbh Mela included in list based on recommendation by expert body examining nominations submitted by member countries of UNESCO during its 12th session of Committee held at Jeju, South Korea.

  • Kumbh Mela is the 14th intangible cultural heritage from India to be listed in UNESCO’s list.

What is KumbhMela?

  • KumbhMela is held every four times every 12 years at four different locations across central and northern India.

  • Kumbh Mela is held every third year at one of four places by rotation: Haridwar, Allahabad, Nashik and Ujjain, thus each of these four places gets to host the Mela every twelfth year.

  • The rivers at these four places are Ganga at Haridwar, Prayag Sangam at Allahabad, Godawari at Nashik, and Shipra at Ujjain. The largest crowd attends on Mauni Amavasya.

  • Largest religious congregation and largest peaceful gathering on planet attracting tens of millions of Hindu pilgrims, including mendicant nagas.

  • First evidence of the Kumbha Mela comes from Bhagvat Purana. Another written evidence comes from works of Huen Tsang, who visited India in 629–645 AD, during reign of Harsha.

  • Samudra manthan episode finds mention in Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Mahabharata, and Ramayana.

  • Ardha Kumbha Mela, which is next in sanctity, is held only at Haridwar and Allahabad.

What is UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage?

  • This UNESCO’s list mentions those intangible heritage elements that demonstrate diversity of cultural heritage to raise awareness about its importance.

  • The list was established in 2008 when Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage came into effect.

  • It has two parts:

    • Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

    • List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of urgent Safeguarding

List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity from India

  • Koodiyattam: Sanskrit Theatre of Kerala.

  • Mudiyett: theatre ritual of Kerala.

  • Tradition of Vedic Chanting.

  • Kalbelia: folk songs and dances of Rajasthan.

  • Ramlila: Traditional Performance of the Ramayana.

  • Sankirtana: singing, drumming and dancing ritual of Manipur.

  • Ramman: religious festival and ritual theatre of Garhwal Himalayas.

  • Traditional brass and copper craft of utensil of Thatheras: Punjab.

  • Chhau dance: classical Indian dance originated in the eastern Indian states.

  • Buddhist chanting of Ladakh: recitation of sacred Buddhist texts in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Yoga

- Published/Last Modified on: December 21, 2017

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