Today, 18 April, 2023 is World Heritage Day, also known as the International Monuments and Sites Day.
The day is all about creating awareness about the importance of protecting and celebrating the diversity of our cultural heritage, as well as the importance of preserving it for our future generations.
Ancient monuments, buildings and sites are an asset to us all, as we learn about our own history and culture and appreciate that of others, while celebrating our diversity.
However, they need to be protected to ensure that they continue to be an asset for years and years to come.
A World Heritage site is defined as a “natural or man-made area or a structure that is of international importance, and space which requires special protection.” India has 40 World Heritage sites. One of which is the Taj Mahal.
Yet, only recently we heard a call from a politician to destroy the Taj Mahal and Qutb Minar and to build temples in their place, instead.
Unfortunately, there are many who are gullible enough to take this call seriously.
Reading helps us appreciate the diversity that is part of our Indian identity and to understand our own unique culture within this diversity. It helps us be secure in our own identity, as we celebrate the differences around us.
Which is why reading about the incredible history and cool facts about our Indian monuments....and of course visiting them, are ways to help children learn to appreciate our rich and diverse heritage. This exposure will naturally help children feel the need to protect them.
My share today is a book ‘THE TEMPLE OF TREASURES - and other Incredible Tales of Indian Monuments’ by Storytrails, a Chennai based organisation that runs the most amazing story based walking tours across India and more recently a wonderful You Tube Channel.
Through 30 engaging stories the book takes us through a fun-filled and interesting journey across the monuments of India. The book explores events that shaped our culture giving us a unique perspective on diverse India.
Featuring stories on decoding the Brahmi script, India’s temples, churches, Mughal monuments, forts, archeological sites, caves and many other monuments.
The stories are enjoyable, the facts well researched and the entire production very thorough.
I have one on our school library shelves as teachers use it to complement their history lessons, our older elementary Montessori children at Abacus, have been using it to ‘research’ different Indian monuments and culture-vulture me, has it on my bookshelf at home to plan my next holiday!!