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Last Updated Saturday May 26 2018 11:41 AM IST

Arunachal Pradesh seeks world heritage tag for two sites

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Arunachal Pradesh

Itanagar: The Arunachal Pradesh government has raised the pitch for inclusion of two of its sites in UNESCO's World Heritage list.

The Apatani cultural landscape in Ziro Valley and Thembang Dzong, a fortified village in West Kameng, have made it to the tentative list of UNESCO and is now vying for a place in the final list of world heritage sites, an official of the state's research department said.

The government has taken extensive repair and conservation works in the two sites to ensure that they meet all criteria for inclusion in the final list, the official said.

Thembang Dzong is spread across 3.2 acres and has two gates at the north and the south.

The dzong (fort), surrounding ancient and historical structures, is a traditional settlement of the Monpa tribe. None of the settlers individually own any property inside the village, run by a panchayat system.

Ornamental features, including traditional wood carvings, paintings and manuscripts, have been etched on the walls of the dzong, the research department report said.

The Apatani cultural landscape made it to the tentative list for the unique agricultural techniques practiced within the community. The farmers here rear fish in paddy fields and grow millet on the bunds (partitions) between the rice plots.

"There is efficient conservation of crucial watersheds, ensuring perennial streams flowing into the valley to meet the needs of the people," the report said.

The tribe has elected a village council, called bulyan, for maintenance of law and order.

In April 2014, 22 sites in the country, including the ones in Arunachal, were included in the tentative list of UNESCO. The properties made it to the list after extensive competition among the states.

The final list, however, is pending an approval from the UN agency.

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