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From architecture to music to sports, from education to commerce to tourism, Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh wears many hats. Now, along with its historical neighbour Orchha, the city has been listed under the UNESCO World Heritage List.
According to the UNESCO website, The World Heritage Cities Programme, one of the six thematic programmes formally approved and monitored by the World Heritage Committee, aims to assist States Parties in the challenges of protecting and managing their urban heritage.
Read: 24 Hours in Gwalior
The news of Gwalior and Orchha winning the coveted position was announced by the Madhya Pradesh government. The Chief Minister’s Office tweeted: With the two cities featuring in the @UNESCO's heritage cities list, Madhya Pradesh is now more illustrious on the global tourism map.
Historic milestone for historic fort cities of Gwalior & Orchha!— CMO Madhya Pradesh (@CMMadhyaPradesh) December 7, 2020
With the two cities featuring in the @UNESCO's heritage cities list, Madhya Pradesh is now more illustrious on the global tourism map. https://t.co/EhiQAX7QHs
The Union Ministry of Culture too tweeted about the inclusion of Gwalior and Orchha among UNESCO's world heritage cities under its urban landscape city programme.
The historical fort city #Gwalior and the capital of the Bundela kingdom #Orchha in #MadhyaPradesh have been included in the list of UNESCO's world heritage cities under its urban landscape city programme @prahladspatel@ChouhanShivraj @PMOIndia @PIBCulture @tourismgoi @MPTourism pic.twitter.com/WJn2m7lO5J— Ministry of Culture (@MinOfCultureGoI) December 7, 2020
Apart from its commercial importance, Gwalior is a key tourist attraction in the state and the base for exploring many other destinations. In Gwalior, some of the must see attractions include the 10th century Gwalior Fort, known for its many tales and architecture, the tomb of Tansen, and the Sas Bahu Temple. The light and sound show in the evening is where you can catch up with the layered history of the fort and about the royals who lived here.
About 125 km from Gwalior is Orchha, founded in the 16th century. Although a popular attraction, the town on the bank of the Betwa River is relatively less crowded and can be a pleasant weekend break. One of its spectacular sights include the rows of Chhatris (cenotaphs) on the river bank. Do not miss the arati at the Ram Raja Temple. You can also try rafting in Betwa.
According to government officials, the UNESCO recognition will further boost tourism as the international body will now play an active role in forming a master plan for development of both places. The UNESCO team is expected to visit next year, media reports said.
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