In 1982, International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) established 18 April as the International Day for Monuments and Sites. UNESCO approved it the following year during its 22nd General Conference. Since then, 18 April has been a day to celebrate and promote cultural heritage, and an opportunity to raise awareness about its diversity, its relevance, how vulnerable it can be and what the needs and benefits of its conservation are.
The older Nagpur witnessed the rule of Bhosale’s and Gond’s and has a rich cultural heritage which has to be revived.
After the dawn of British Raj, the other structures came into picture, and the Kasturchand Park which has a history to share connects the bridge. However, not many know this because the history lectures in the school do not teach us about the city but about other places.
If we just Google search the heritage sites in the city, we will find that there are a lot of heritage sites and the monuments that we visit but we never know the details about the same. Hence, a few organisations and individuals in the city take up the task of heritage walks.
“Knowing about a particular site is the crux. Being in school we have always studied about other places in the lectures of History. However, we have failed to learn about our own city. Nagpur has a rich cultural heritage and one needs to explore these heritage sites in order to know about them. The steps for conservation of the heritage sites and monuments will be taken only when people are aware about them,” expressed Mandira Neware. Neware is a walk leader for ‘Sahapedia’ which is an online platform for arts, cultures and heritage of India.
Stating the names of heritage sites in old Nagpur, Neware listed Pataleshwar temple, Kalyaneshwar temple, Gond Palace, Bakabai cha Wada to name a few.
Neware also opined that many properties are being used by the people which means these are private properties, like the palaces and hence they are maintaining these particular sites. However for others it is necessary to undertake the beautification process.
President of Vidarbha Heritage Society, Pradyumna Sahasrabhojanee expressed that the sites cannot be preserved at an individual level. And societies or organisations cannot do anything beyond creating awareness.
When asked what can be the probable solution behind the same Sahasrabhojanee opined that as a representative of the society, until Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) takes charge of conservation of the structures these cannot be conserved.
The heritage sites should be seen as public properties and not private, Sahasrabhojanee opined.
Meanwhile, as a citizen of the city everyone must preserve and care about the sites. If they are not contributing to the process of conservation of the heritage sites, they must not ruin the structures as well.