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ARPO's Architectural Preservation Initiative Wins UNESCO Award

10 Apr 2024

Architectural restoration of Kunnamangalam Bhagavathi Temple, initiated by ARPO, garners UNESCO Awards for cultural heritage preservation. The April 9th ceremony celebrated this international recognition and ARPO's dedication to heritage conservation.

Karuvannur, Kerala – April 9th, 2024

A small village in Kerala basked in the glow of international recognition as the Kunnamangalam Bhagavathi Temple received the prestigious UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The award ceremony, held during the temple's annual festival, celebrated the meticulous restoration of the temple's semi-open hall, the Karnikara Mandapam.

Award Recognizes Sustainable Practices

Announced in December 2023, the UNESCO award honors the Karnikara Mandapam restoration with both the "Award of Distinction" and a remarkable "Special Recognition for Sustainable Development." ARPO, in collaboration with EZHA architects, meticulously planned the restoration ,prioritizing using local materials and techniques. This adherence to traditional practices minimized environmental impact and ensured the preservation of the temple's heritage.

Collaborative Spirit Leads to Success

ARPO spearheaded the restoration project, working hand-in-hand with the temple's management committee and the esteemed EZHA conservation architects. The joyous award ceremony on the temple grounds brought together the village community, including local dignitaries like the Member of Parliament (MP), Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), and Panchayath Head. Mr. Vivek Sahni, the generous benefactor who commissioned the project through ARPO, was the chief guest. A special video message from Mr. Feng Jing, Chief of Culture Unit at UNESCO, congratulated the project team.

Read: How ARPO helped to restore the Karnikara Mandapam

Sruthin Lal, ARPO's Executive Director, expressed his delight at bringing international recognition to a village temple. "While renowned temples have received this award before, this achievement truly belongs to the entire team and the incredible collaboration of the Karuvannur community," he said. "It's a testament to what can be achieved when we work together."

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