The Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at Srirangam has bagged an award of merit from Unesco for protecting and conserving cultural heritage, thus becoming the first temple from Tamil Nadu to grab the prestigious honour from the UN body.
The traditional method of renovating temple premises as well as re-establishment of rainwater harvesting and the historic drainage system in preventing flooding are the two key parameters that earned the temple the award.
Launched in 2000, Unesco Asia-Pacific awards for cultural heritage conservation programme is aimed at acknowledging the efforts taken to restore and conserve historical structures without affecting their heritage value in the region comprising 48 countries.
Unesco had invited applications earlier this year to submit conservation projects either taken up by individuals or in public-private partnership model in the last 10 years for the awards.
HR&CE sources said that the temple had received the international recognition for the INR 20 crore (from HR&CE and donors) renovation project taken up prior to a consecration ceremony in November 2015, especially without affecting its centuries' old architectural design.
There were 43 applications from 10 countries for the 2017 Unesco Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Mumbai's Christ Church and Royal Bombay Opera House were the other monuments in India that received the Award of Merit this year.UNESCO merit awards: Know More
- The awards are classified under four categories -- Award of Excellence, Awards of Distinction, Awards of Merit and Award for New Design in Heritage Context.
- They are being given to encourage the efforts of all stakeholders and the public in conserving and promoting monuments and religious institutes with rich heritage in the Asia-Pacific region.
- A jury comprising nine international heritage conservation experts reviewed the documentation of the conservation project taken up by Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple management.