Time-Travel Through India and its Heritage: ThisDay 2023 Rewind
Culture is a big word, A word that describes people, their lives, and their memories that gets lost among the rusted pages of history. A story that always seeks a listener on the other end. So let’s hear what we have lost this year but most importantly, what we have found.
When we talk about India, diversity is one such characteristic that plays with the hues of this vibrant country. It has people from every walk of life who learn and unlearn the importance of co-existence every day but thrive anyway. It is said that India is a country where language and culture visibly change every 200 km. Why not let’s just pack our bags, dust off the explorer hat, and get ready to embark on a captivating odyssey through some of the most remarkable discoveries of the year?
Talking about recognitions, the resilient urban revitalization of the Rambagh Gate in Punjab, India, has garnered the highest honor, the ‘Award of Excellence’, in this year’s UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The project was lauded by this year’s Awards jury for ensuring the continuity of the site’s existing uses while enhancing inclusivity and access for the broader community.
Five projects ****were recognized ****with an Award of Merit, which included three from the home country, namely, Church of Epiphany of Haryana which witnessed the dramatic transformation of Gurgaon as we know it today. Then we had David Sassoon Library and Reading Room of Mumbai. Complete in 1870, the library is of great historical significance and has a collection of over 70,000 books and a tranquil reading room. A much-needed escape from the urban bustle for anyone seeking knowledge and quiet contemplation. The third project was Bikaner House in New Delhi, which thrives as a premier cultural hub in the capital city of India and was once a testament to the grandeur of Rajput royalty.
Yes, you have a lot to discover but the list doesn't end here.
Pipal Haveli, a heritage rural homestay nestled in the Nawan Pind Sardaran village of the Gurdaspur district in Punjab, was honored for its sustainable development. Interestingly, Pipal Haveli belongs to the Sangha family, who diligently restored and conserved their ancestral property. Moreover, the village received the “Best Tourism Village” award from Punjab’s Ministry of Tourism in September of this year. Serving as a hub for knowledge sharing across generations, Pipal Haveli supports women’s empowerment through initiatives like the BaRi Collective, offering programs that strengthen women’s livelihoods via environmentally conscious craft practices.
Studying India's rich artistic traditions, from intricate temple carvings to mesmerizing classical dance forms, can spark creativity and inspire new artistic expressions. As a platform that promotes history, art, and culture, ThisDay is known by the storytellers who not just chronicle the present, but unearth the magic woven into the very fabric of our country. This year we wanted to not just weave tales but experience the dance in the cobbled lanes and shimmer in the sun-drenched courtyards of forgotten places. As part of our launch of a growing legacy owned by us, we embarked on our first heritage walk to Nizamuddin Auilya in October this year. We have completed more than 20 heritage walks in and around Delhi and we hope that by preserving more of these stories on these walks, we will enhance the experience of exploring the hidden gems of Delhi.
Further, Karnikara Mandapam at Kunnamangalam Bhagawati Temple, Kerala was one of the chosen sites to be garnered an Award of Distinction. A 400-year-old semi-open hall that is a masterpiece of traditional Kerala architecture, it was named after a lotus flower. The mandapam is made entirely of wood, and its design is based on the principles of Vastu shastra, the ancient Indian science of architecture.
People often ask us why it is important to preserve heritage. The answer is quite simple. This is what we would want on this day. Preserving Indian heritage is not just about protecting old things; it's about investing in a brighter future. By cherishing and transmitting our legacy, we enrich our lives, boost our communities, and pave the way for a more vibrant and sustainable world.