Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior and Orchha cities have been selected by UNESCO under ‘Historic Urban Landscape Project’, which was started in the year 2011, for the inclusive and well-planned development of fast-growing historical cities while preserving the culture and heritage.
UNESCO said in a statement that six cities of South Asia, including Ajmer and Varanasi in India are already involved in this project. Orchha and Gwalior have been included as the 7th and 8th cities. The cities will be jointly developed by UNESCO, Government of India and Madhya Pradesh by focusing on their historical and cultural improvement.
Gwalior was established in 9th century and ruled by Gurjar Pratihar Rajvansh, Tomar, Baghel Kachvaho and Scindias. The memorabilia left by them is found in abundance in memorials, forts and palaces in the area. Gwalior is known for its palaces and temples, including the intricately carved Sas Bahu Ka Mandir temple. The Gwalior Fort occupies a sandstone plateau overlooking the city and is accessed via a winding road lined with sacred Jain statues. Within the forts high walls is the 15th-century Gujari Mahal Palace, now an archaeological museum.
Orchha is popular for its temples and palaces and was the capital of the Bundela kingdom during the 16th century. The famous spots in the town are Raj Mahal,Jehangir Mahal, Ramraja Temple, Rai Praveen Mahal, and Laxminarayan Mandir. After inclusion in the World Heritage City list, chemical treatment of historic spots like Mansingh Palace, Gujri Mahal and Sahastrabahu Temple will be done so that art inscribed on them will become more visible.