Mystery of vanishing monuments: Why we need to think about the way we preserve heritage

Source– The post is based on the article “Mystery of vanishing monuments: Why we need to think about the way we preserve heritage” published in The Indian Express on 12th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Architecture from ancient to modern India

Relevance– Preservation and management of heritage

News– The article explains the preservation and management of monuments in India. It also tells about missing monuments.

What does the 324th report of Rajya Sabha’s Standing Committee on transport, tourism and culture say about monuments and missing monuments in India?

The primary mandate of the Ministry of Culture is preservation and conservation of ancient cultural heritage and promotion of tangible and intangible art and culture. The Ministry manages all the Centrally Protected Monuments of national importance, through the ASI.

There are 3,693 Centrally Protected Monuments and 4,508 State Protected Monuments in the country. 92 monuments are missing.

Vigorous efforts to identify the reportedly untraceable monuments were carried out by the respective field offices of Archaeological Survey of India. The exercise gave fruitful results and many monuments were traced out. But, there are 24 that have still not been rediscovered.

What are some examples of missing monuments?

Barakhamba Cemetery in Delhi is a missing monument. Barakhamba simply means 12 pillars. It seems to have been in the Nizamuddin area.

Other missing monuments are the Kos Minars in Mujesar (Faridabad) and Shahabad (Kurukshetra). Kos Minars marked out the distance of one kosha and proliferated along the Grand Trunk Road.

What are important questions regarding monuments and its management by ASI?

First question is related to the method of deciding a national monument.

The second question is related to de-notification of those monuments for which there is no hope?

Another question is related to ASI capability to protect national monuments.


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