The Government of Nepal has officially submitted the final nomination document for Tilaurakot, Kapilbastu, seeking recognition as a World Heritage Site. Tilaurakot, the ancient capital of the Shakya republic and the place where Siddhartha Gautam spent 29 years, holds immense historical and cultural significance.
The Ambassador of Nepal to France and Nepal’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Sudheer Bhattarai, formally presented the nomination document to Lazare Eloundou Assomo at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris. The strategic document was meticulously prepared by a team of national and international experts, including professors from Durham University, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, the Lumbini Development Trust, and the Department of Archaeology.
Sanuraja Shakya, Member-Secretary of the Lumbini Development Trust, expressed immense pleasure in a press release, highlighting the collaborative efforts that have materialized over the years. He emphasized that the positive support and cooperation of all stakeholders are crucial as the LDT initiates the necessary processes for Tilaurakot’s potential enlistment in the World Heritage Sites list by 2025.
Under the UNESCO Japanese Fund in Trust Project, a team of archaeologists led by Prof Robin Cunningham conducted scientific archaeological excavations since 2014, laying the foundation and collecting substantial evidence for Tilaurakot’s inclusion in the prestigious list. A directive committee was formed to ensure the means and resources required for this endeavor, with the Vice Chair of LDT serving as the coordinator.
The press release further noted that the government, in the fiscal year 2078/79 BS budget, included the issue of enlisting Tilaurakot in the list of World Heritage Sites. Additionally, a promotional program related to Tilaurakot Kapilvastu was organized during the 45th meeting of the World Heritage Committee.
UNESCO had recognized the archaeological site of Tilaurakot as a possible world heritage site back in 1996. With the formal submission of the final nomination document, the process has now officially commenced for the registration of Tilaurakot at the World Heritage Centre. The strategic document incorporates essential evidence to support the inclusion of Tilaurakot Palace in the prestigious World Heritage Sites list, marking a crucial step in preserving and celebrating Nepal’s rich cultural history.