Mapping Kailash Kora for Conservation and Promotion of Responsible Heritage Tourism

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3D view of Mount Kailash and sites along Kailash Kora

Researchers from Sichuan University, China visited the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal 18-22 April 2016 to discuss updates on mapping of significant sites along ‘Kailash Kora’, the outer walking route around sacred Kailash Mountain.  

The objectives of the visit were: to locate important sites around Kailash Kora using geospatial tools & techniques; and to create a geo-database with names (Tibetan, Chinese, and English) locations, altitude, descriptions, importance, and threats with geo-tagged photographs of each site. 

The map indicates location of 208 culturally significant sites along outer Kailash Kora

Mr Renzen and Dr Ying from Sichuan University, Mr Abhimanyu Pandey, Mr Marcello Notarianni, and Dr Vishwas Chitale from ICIMOD lead in the mapping exercise. Two-hundred eight significant sites along outer Kailash Kora were located using high resolution satellite images from Google Earth. All relevant information including the photographs were tagged to these sites to compile a geo-database of significant sites. 

Significance of mapping cultural sites for conservation and promotion of tourism: 

The mapping geo-database is the first of its kind in the region and will be crucial in the prioritisation of conservation of cultural sites. In addition, mapping will help establish conservation activities based on threats to the sites, which will be easily understandable through the documentation process.

Similar mapping in both Nepal and India has already been done. Information will be available to the public and decision makers on Kailash Sacred Landscape Information System (http://apps.geoportal.icimod.org/kailash/). These efforts will promote the nomination of KSL as a UNESCO world heritage site. 

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