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India: UNESCO declares Nalanda Mahavihara World Heritage Site

Nalanda UNESCO has declared Bihar's much awaited ancient site - the ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara - a World Heritage Site, barely 98 km away from Patna. With the inclusion of Nalanda, this would be the second UNESCO Heritage Site after Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya.

"Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian Subcontinent. It engaged in the organized 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," said UNESCO on its website.

The ancient seat of learning, one of the world's oldest universities construction of which began in 5th century AD, flourished under the Gupta rulers. It came to an end in the 12th century when it was destroyed in 1193 AD by the invading Turkish army led by its commander Bakhtiar Khilji.

Source: Times of India  

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Tibet: Preserving the precious heritage

TibetPreserveFrom using traditional construction methods to bringing restoration experts, all efforts are being made to protect Tibetan Buddhist culture.

On the northern bank of the Yarlung Tsangpo River is the Samye Monastery. Boasting a 1,300-year history, this monastery in Shannan, in the southern part of the Tibet autonomous region, is the earliest Buddhist monastery in Tibet.

One morning in late July, about 200 local people chant folk songs, dance in unison and simultaneously plaster the floors of the monastery using a mixture of pebbles, mud and water to pave the floor and the roof of the structure, as part of an event called da a ga.

The work will go on for at least 10 days.

Nepal: On Buddha’s Trail, from Lumbini to Tilaraukot

LumbiniFrom Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova commended international efforts to combine safeguarding with the balanced development of a spiritual site that represents a universal message of peace, on 19 April 2016.

Thailand: Neighbours Contest Ownership of Traditional Dance

KhonDanceALTHOUGH both Cambodia and Thailand have lodged plans to list their own versions of traditional mask dances on Unesco's Intangible Cultural Heritage List, the two bids will not ignite conflict between the two countries, Thai government leaders said yesterday.

Pakistan: Sri Lankan team visits ancient Buddhist center in Taxila

 TaxilaA delegation of senior Sri Lankan Buddhist monks and scholars led by the Speaker of the Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, visited Taxila, Pakistan’s ancient Buddhist center of learning, the Taxila museum and Taxila University.

Sri Lanka: Dambulla cave temple vandalised

DambullaA group of unidentified individuals who caused damage to ancient Buddha statues, paintings and stone inscriptions (sel lipi) at the Dambulla cave temple. The suspects had vandalized the site by scribbling in Sinhalese and English on the religious artefacts.

Myanmar: Tourist development caught in Bagan building ban

BaganAuthorities are clamping down on buildings infringing on the Bagan temple complex south of Mandalay, in a move to conform to standards compliant with a World Heritage Site designation.

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