Nalanda University enters UNESCO's World Heritage List

New Delhi The archaeological site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) in Bihar has been included in the UNESCO's World Heritage List, which also featured three new sites from China, Iran and Micronesia.

The inclusion of the four new sites was announced at the 40th session of The World Heritage Committee meeting in Istanbul in Turkey.

"Congrats...! Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara is now a #WorldHeritageSite. Thank you @UNESCO @IrinaBokova," India's Culture Ministry tweeted today.

Irina Bokova is Director-General of Asia, UNESCO.Nalanda stands out as one of the most ancient universities in South Asia, UNESCO said in a release.

"Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara (Nalanda University) comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE," it said. The site includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.

"The University engaged in the organised transmission of knowledge over an uninterrupted period of 800 years. The historical development of the site testifies to the development of Buddhism into a religion and the flourishing of monastic and educational traditions," the release said.

The Nalanda archaeological site got included in the Tentative List of World Heritage on January 9, 2009.

The nomination dossier was prepared by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and submitted inJanuary 2015 to the World Heritage Committee for the purpose of its inscription in the year 2016.

Besides the site of India, the other names included in the UNESCO World Heritage List are 'The Persian Qanat' of Iran, 'Nan Madol'-- ceremonial centre of Eastern Micronesia -- and 'Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape' of China.  

PTI