Heritage Railway
On request from National Rail Museum of Delhi, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) has been recognised as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. The World Heritage Committee observed that the development of railways in the 19th century had a profound influence on social and economic developments in many parts of the world and this process is illustrated in an exceptional and seminal fashion by the DHR
--Rajesh Agarwal
Director, National Rail Museum.

"The Darjeeling Himalayan railway is the first, and still the most outstanding example of a hill passenger railway. Opened in 1881, it applied bold and ingenious engineering solutions to the problem of establishing an rail ling across a mountainous terrain of great beauty. It is still fully operational and retains most of its original features intact."


Workshop on 'Towards living heritage -Darjeeling Himalayan Railway'
UNESCO inscribed DHR as a World Heritage Site on 2nd December 1999 based on a proposal of National Rail Museum (NRM). The Union Minister forRailways performed the dedication ceremony at Darjeeling in November 2000. For the benefit of DHR and its supporters as well as for heritage considerations, a stakeholders' workshop for capacity building and sustainable development' of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) was organised by the National Rail Museum on January 14-18; 2002 through the North Frontier Railway withinvolvement of tangible and intangible, movable and immovable culturalheritage professionals. It was also supported by the Asia Pacific Organisation ofthe International Council of Museums (ASPAC-ICOM).
--Rajesh Agrawal, New Delhi

Heritage Buildings
Raja Radhakanta Deb ( 1784 -1867) of Shovabazar, Calcutta a great reformer and leader of Hindu society, built a massive hall adjacent to his palace for cultural performances. The building was designed with a mixture of western and eastern architectural style amidst a beautiful garden with a large water body. This 'Natmandir' witnessed many important historic events of Calcutta in the 19th century. In 1990, the Calucutta Municipal Corporation took over the property at a cost of Rs. 12 lakh and initiated its restoration work. Expert Engineers and Architects, specilaised in restoration and conservation of heritage buildings, joined hands to bring it to its original condition.
-- P. K. Pallit, Editor, INC-ICOM News


'Natmandir' of Shovabazar

Heritage at risk
The Indian chapter of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) organised a national seminar on `Heritage at risk' on February 8-9, 2002 in Kolkata. Inaugurating the seminar at Victoria Memorial Hall, Shri Viren J.Shah, the Governor of West Bengal said - "Heritage is the synthesis and reflection of all influences, spiritual, ideological, social, cultural and material. A building or monument is theliving embodiment of the social and cultural milieu of the times. They reflect the social and cultural life of the people. As far as our country is concerned, our rich cultural and historicalheritage is embodied in the ancient monuments". Dr. Pratap Chandra Chunder, Chairman, Heritage Commission, West Bengal, presided.
-R.C. Agrawal, NewDelhi

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