New Delhi, Feb 28 (UNI) The Government today informed the Rajya Sabha that UNESCO had inscribed Rigveda in the memory of World Register in June 2007 and all the rare manuscripts were preserved safely in Pune's Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute.
In his written replies, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Rajya Sabha that 30 manuscripts of Rigveda were inscribed by UNESCO in its World Register and they were Rigvedasamhita and Rigveda Samhita Padapatha and Rigvedasamhitabhasya.
One manuscript was written on birch bark in ancient Sharada script while the remaining 29 manuscripts were written in Devanagari script. The oldest manuscript was dated back to 1464 A D and the manuscripts had several unique features in terms of scripts, accentuation marks and support material used.
They were valuable as unique examples of intellectual and cultural heritage of not just India but of the whole world. Well known Indologist Prof F Max Muller had used one of these manuscripts for preparing his critical edition of Rigveda.
All the manuscripts were kept in cupboards of seasoned Burma teakoowd in the memorial hall of the Institute and edges of birch bark manuscript were lined with paper and sheets of soft and thin tissue paper had been inserted between two folios and then placed in hard cardboard box lines with rexene.
The box was placed carefully in a wood drawer of a cupboard meant for manuscript. The paper manuscripts were supported with hard cardboards on both sides wrapped in red cloth and placed in cupboards of manuscript library, the minister said.
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