Print Edition - 2014-08-05  |  Nation

3 cities to be developed as world heritage sites

- MANOJ POUDEL, KAPLIVASTU,

Aug 4, 2014-Experts have agreed on conserving and developing three sites: Tilarakot and Nigrodharam in Kapilvastu, and Ramgram of Nawalparasi that have historical significance pertaining to Lord Buddha, with a view to turning them into tourist destinations.

The project currently being run by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) with Nepal in assistance of ‘Japan Aid and Trust’ will prioritise the conservation and development of the sites in the second phase of the project from 2014-16.

In a three day seminar chaired by Yukio Nisihimura, vice-chairperson of the Tokyo University in Japan, experts discussed ideas about the potential objectives that could be achieved as part of the second phase of the project.

Professor Dr Robin Coningham of Durham University in United Kingdom, Professor Constantino Meucci of Rome University in Italy, and Unesco consultant Architect Kai Weise, an expert on Nepali vaastu shastra, were present at the seminar.

Unesco Nepal representative Christian Manhart and Karma Sangbo Sherpa, vice-chairperson of the Lumbini Development Fund, said that they would work towards turning the three sites into World Heritage Sites by taking into consideration the advice of the experts committee.

As part of the project, the Ashok pillar at Lumbini, Lumbini Mayadevi Temple and other stone structures carrying historical and archaeological significance will be renovated.

Senior archaeologist and Unesco consultant Kosh Prasad Acharya said that studies will be conducted to find out the chronology, structure and societal

environment of Tilaurakot, the ancient city where lord Buddha is believed to have spent his early life.

Acharya further said that a risk assessment will be carried out to determine which areas should not be interfered, and informing that further excavations will be carried out near the Kanthak Stupa located east of Tilaurakot. Similarly, geophysical survey will be conducted in Ramgram and Nigrodharam, the city where Lord Buddha is believed to have met his parents and turned his wife and son into monks after achieving enlightenment.

Meanwhile, Unesco consultant Kai Weise will be conducting a further survey before submitting the findings to the Unesco headquarters to enlist Tilaurakot and Ramgram in the permanent list of the World Heritage Sites.

Both the sites have already made it into the partial list of the Unesco.

Similarly, Prof Coningham said that land mappings will be conducted in the areas surrounding Tilaurakot which includes Kanthak, Dharmanihawa and Lohsariya for

conservation.

During the programme, Chairperson Kodaya VC of Hoksu Organisation in Japan pledged to provide financial assistance worth 50,000 dollars for the project, while Durham University also assured of assistance.

Unesco Nepal, with the help of ‘Japan Aid and Trust Fund’, had conducted excavation and conservation works in Lumbini and Kapilvastu during the

first phase of the project from 2011-13.

Published: 05-08-2014 10:44

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