Varanasi and Jaipur becomes first Indian cities to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network

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For the first time ever, two indian cities have made it to the Unesco's Creative City Network. The PM's constituency Varanasi and Rajasthan's capital Jaipur have made it to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network list. UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, has announced the designation of 47 cities from 33 countries as new members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) has been has been designated as the the city of Music while Jaipur has been designated as the city of craft in the UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network list. India had applied for the first time to UNESCO in these categories in 2015.

Music the heart of Varanasi :

  • Historians advocate Varanasi as a perfect example of India's intangible cultural heritage as the city presents a rae combination of religion and music. The city is known for it's temples and Ghats of river Ganges
  • World famous  Varanasi School of Music or the Benaras Gharana is named after the holy city of Varansi. Semi classical genres like Hori, Chaiti, Tappa, Daadra trace city’s rich musical heritage of the holy city.
  • Notable musicians of Varanasi include the iconic sitar player Ravi Shankar, the Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan, and the vocal music singer Girija Devi.
  • Drupad Festival, a music festival of Hindustani classical music, is held for 3 days at Tulsi Ghat in March/April every year while Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh is held in April and May.

Incredible Crafts and Folk Art of Jaipur :

  • The city of jaipur has been nurtured as a centre of artistic excellence right from the era of  Mughal and Rajput rulers  who used to  invite skilled artists and craftsmen from India and abroad to display and share their abilities with the people of Jaipur.
  • Some of the artful talents of artisans include: Bandhani; Block printing; Stone carving and Sculpture; Tarkashi; Zari, Gota, Kinari and Zardozi; Silver Jewellery; Gems, Kundan, Meenakari and Jewellery; Miniature paintings; Blue Pottery; Ivory carving; Shellac work; Leather ware, etc.
  • The city of Jaipur identifies 36 varieties of crafts including the ones related to Sculpture, Pottery Textiles and Jewellery making and almost 30 percent of Jaipur’s economy is sustained by small scale craft industries.

About UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Launched in 2004, the Unesco Creative Cities Network aims to strengthen cooperation with and among cities that have recognised creativity as a strategic factor of sustainable development for sustainable urban development. UNESCO Creative Cities Network has 116 Member Cities. The Network covers seven creative fields including Crafts and Folk Arts, Film, Media Arts, Gastronomy, Design, Literature and Music.

The cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.


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