With its pristine waters guarded by the Mount Kailash, Kailash Mansarovar may soon bag the UNESCO World heritage site title. The Indian portion of Kailash Mansarovar has been added to the tentative list. By Swastika Mukhopadhyay

Proposed by the Archaeological Survey of India and the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Indian side of Kailash Mansarovar has now entered the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, as confirmed by sources in the Culture Ministry. This proposal was sent to UNESCO in April. Kailash Mansarovar qualifies as both a natural site as well as a cultural site, hence it was added under the mixed category.

Why is Kailash Mansarovar an important destination?

The Kailash Mansarovar holds prominence in three major religions viz. Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, Mount Kailash is believed to be the home of Lord Shiva. Mansarovar is deemed as the holy freshwater lake, a dip in which exempts people from their sins for a 100 lifetimes. Considered as a major pilgrimage site, Mount Kailash exists as Mount Meru in the Buddhist scriptures. In Jainism, Thirthankara, a savior and spiritual teacher of dharma attained enlightenment here.

Where is Kailash Mansarovar located?

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Located in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, Mount Kailash and Lake Mansarovar together make up the Kailash Sacred Landscape. It lies at a height of 4,590 above the sea level and covers an area of 31,000 sq-km. This sacred site is shared by India, south-western portion of the Tibet Autonomous region of China and adjacent districts in the far western region of Nepal. India takes up 6,836 sq-km of this landscape.

Both China and Nepal had also nominated this sacred landscape to UNESCO to be titled as a world heritage site. With this tag, Kailash Mansarovar will attain legal protection required to preserve the cultural heritage of this beautiful place. It will also take up the count of India’s world heritage sites to 38. Apart from that, communities residing along the yatra route will appreciate this addition thus striving to promote a sustainable tourism.

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