Kumbh Mela Intangible Cultural Heritage Of Humanity: Unesco
India's Kumbh Mela has been recognised by the Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as an "intangible cultural heritage of humanity". A Unesco panel also observed that it was the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on earth.
The external affairs ministry has said the recognition was accorded by the Unesco's inter-governmental committee for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage.The decision to recognise the Kumbh Mela was taken at its ongoing meeting in Jeju, South Korea.
The session, which started on December 4, is to end on December 9.
"The committee observed that the Kumbh Mela is the largest peaceful congregation of pilgrims on earth. The festival, held in Allahabad, Haridwar, Ujjain and Nasik, represents a syncretic set of rituals related to worship and ritual cleansing in holy rivers in India," the ministry said.
"As a religious festival, the tolerance and inclusiveness that the Kumbh Mela demonstrates are especially valuable for the contemporary world," the ministry added.
The committee also took note of the fact that knowledge and skills related to the Kumbh Mela were transmitted through the Guru-Shishya parampara (teacher-student relationship) by way of saints and sadhus teaching their disciples about traditional rituals and chants.
Reacting to the recognition, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said it was a proud moment for India.
"A very proud moment for us as the sacred Kumbh Mela is just inscribed as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco," he tweeted.
In 2003, the Unesco General Conference had adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage as an international treaty, acknowledging that cultural heritage was more than tangible places, monuments and objects and that it also encompassed traditions and living expressions.
The Kumbh Mela joins new elements from Botswana, Colombia, Venezuela, Mongolia, Morocco, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates on the UNESCO list.
With inputs from Housing News