The tourism department is officially supporting the Lotus Temple's candidature for UNESCO's roster as part of measures to showcase Delhi's cultu

With three UNESCO World Heritage Sites- the Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun's Tomb - history-rich Delhi is the first stop for many tourists, foreign and domestic. Now, the AAP government wants to give them more reasons to visit as it pushes for the city's enduring whispers from the past to resonate globally.

The tourism department is officially supporting the Lotus Temple's candidature for UNESCO's famous roster as part of a string of measures to showcase Delhi's cultural legacy.

The dossier for the temple, also called Bahai House of Worship, is being prepared by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). It will be submitted to UNESCO by September 2016.

The move comes about a year after the Centre quietly withdrew Delhi's name from the UNESCO World Heritage City race. Among the many differences between the Delhi government and the Centre, this too has become a bone of contention.

Simultaneously, the department of archaeology is working on a Heritage Secretariat, a nodal agency to govern the city's historic sites. Currently, the 1,200-odd monuments of significance in the city - as listed by historian Maulvi Zafar Hasan in 1918 - are split between the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Delhi government, three municipal corporations and Delhi Development Authority (DDA). In future, the secretariat will discuss the "philosophy of conservation in the Capital and how it can earn the title of a UNESCO World Heritage City," an official said.

No Indian city has so far made it to the coveted list. Delhi Tourism Minister, Kapil Mishra, told MAIL TODAY, "The Lotus Temple gets more footfall daily than even the Taj Mahal. It's the city's pride and we are going to extend every possible help to the Bahai Temple authorities. This includes both financial and by means of promotion." It's a beautiful monument, he added.

INTACH Project Coordinator Annabel Lopez, said, "Such an entry to the UN has to have the local government's endorsement. Further, it has to ensure that the site and buffer zone of OUV (Outstanding Universal Value), as mentioned in the dossier to UNESCO, remain undisturbed. Currently, our worry is about the high rises of Nehru Place. Other than the existing EROS Corporate Office building, new structures must not compromise the temple's setting and backdrop."