UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards

UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards

Question. The Shri Sakhargad Niwasini Devi temple complex in Kinhai village in Satara received the award of merit at the UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards, 2014. Write a note on this award.

The Asia Pacific Heritage Awards was initiated by UNESCO as it recognizes the role of private ownership and institutions in the preservation and restoration of heritage properties. In the Asia and Pacific region heritage properties are under constant threat and are largely under private ownership. To encourage the protection of such places, the UNESCO Asia Pacific Award for Heritage Conservation is given to excellent work of conservation or restoration of heritage structures, places and properties within the private and public-private sectors .
It was established in the year 2000. It is given on an annual basis. Since its commencement UNESCO has received 562 entries from 24 countries.
There are several categories under this award. Each category can have multiple winners.

i. Award of Excellence is given to exceptional achievement in all criteria and has major catalytic impact at the national or regional level.

ii. Award of Distinction which demonstrates outstanding achievement in all criteria and has significant impact at the national or regional level.

iii. Award of Merit which demonstrates superior achievement in all criteria.

iv. Honorable Mention which demonstrates noteworthy achievement in selected criteria.


1. Age: The place must be at least 50 years old.

2. Place: Residential, commercial and institutional buildings, religious properties, urban and rural settlements, historic towns and villages, archaeological heritage, cultural landscapes, parks and gardens, military properties, modern heritage, agricultural, industrial and technological properties, burial monuments and sites, cultural routes, vernacular architecture, and symbolic properties and memorials.

3. Private: The project must be the result of private sector initiative or public-private partnership. Projects which are financed, owned and undertaken wholly by government entities are not eligible.

4. Time: The work must have been completed within the preceding 10 years at the time of submission. the project must also have been occupied or put to viable use for at least one year at the time of submission.

Criteria for the Award:

Excellence in

1. Understanding the place
2. Technical achievement in conservation/restoration
3. Socio-economic, environmental viability, and regional and national impact

Example: The Shri Sakhargad Niwasini Devi temple complex, owned by a Kulkarni family, recently underwent extensive restoration work by an architecture firm based in Pimpri-Chinchwad town, named Kimaya which conducts work like urban designing, conservation and interior designing.
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