Heritage: In use

World Heritage Day passed by on April 18 and I realized it only today (Thanks to UDC for the heads up)!  Brings back into focus some hotly debated questions: What is heritage? What is history? History versus development? Questions that are too big to answer maybe, but need to be asked now nonetheless. What makes a house a home? Use and age. Faded paint and some stain on the wall, tastefully (and not-so-tastefully) arranged clutter maybe? And people too! (Home is where the heart is, no?) I guess that is why I love old cities. They have a sense of ‘place’ about them. Srirangam 3 A sense of having been lived in and been witness to events big and small. People, yes! Clutter? Yes! And a lot of it too! All of it adding to a heightened sense of being. Srirangam 1 Sometimes, history is considered to be only for looking at – a manicured masterpiece in a landscape. Looking is over-rated. It is also about touching, feeling, learning. It is about living. Srirangam 4 The old and the new changing and improving each other.

What do you think? Pictured here is the Hindu temple town of Srirangam, located in Tamil Nadu, India. Conceived as a city with 7 concentric enclosures and 21 gopurams (temple towers), Srirangam today is a major pilgrimage destination.


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