|Indian monuments, Indianetzone.com|
|Monuments of India. SlideShare|
heritage sites spanning several centuries across India. None
of the countries in the world has this kind of variety quite
overwhelming, unique in style and character native to the region relevant to that particular time in history. The pages of history, heritage and ethos are frozen in these monuments and it is imperative that they should be well preserved for our posterity to help them understand the evolution, growth and development of our civilization and society. Our monuments come under many categories, religious, historical, cultural and colonial, etc. Ironically, the undeniable fact is neither the governments - central/ state nor the like-minded organizations have understood the value of these monuments and heritage sites and the need of concerted efforts by them under the expert advice of conservationists and groups to maintain them periodically. That we've grown blase and apathetic toward our rich cultural legacy and history shows our lethargic mind set.
|Indian monuments. LearnFrenzy|
Historic site or Heritage site is an officially recognized location where pieces of political, military, cultural, or social history are preserved as they carry cultural heritage value. Such historic sites in the form of building, landscape site or structure that is of local, regional, or national significance are usually protected by special law, imparting official national historic site status. Visiting such heritage sites gives the people a great excitement and, most importantly, a sense of nostalgia for bygone eras replete with unforgettable events, and a keen desire to learn about their cultural, social heritage, etc., relevant to the historical context of the site.
As mentioned in the ASI (Archaeological Society of India) manifest, serious attention must be paid to the following to protect the existing heritage sites:
02. Efforts should be made to preserve and restore remnants or damaged original works as they help the researcher understand the nature of the site by putting the pieces together - something like solving the zigzag puzzle.
03. Due attention is to be given to every structure on the site. Be they small or big care should be taken to repair and protect them.
04. In addition to the ASI's efforts, public cooperation is a must. Locally, with support from government organization, they should safeguard the heritage sites and raise funds to preserve them for posterity. So, public initiative plays a vital role and will impact the tourism in that area.
05. When major repairing and restoration work becomes a necessity, the heritage value of the structure should not be disturbed. It means a through knowledge of the materials and methods used by the ancient builders is important and it will retain old value and character of the site involved.
06. Such restoration work needs to be done under expert guidance of conservationists who know the right materials and right methods to be used matching the old construction work. Clay mortar is one of the oldest binding materials widely used and such structures had a long life-span.
07. In many old buildings indigenous construction materials were widely used. Mention may be made of surkhi (crushed bricks ), batasha (sweet sugar drops), urad ki dal (white lentil), egg white, malai (cream), tambakoo sheera (juice of tobacco which was used from Akbar’s reign onward as an adhesive), and bel giri (Aegle marmelos) were added to the lime. In Tamil Nadu, Nayaks and Maratha rulers used ground lime, clay mortar mixed with jaggery and kadukkai for brick buildings.
08. When using chemical treatment, proper care must be taken to use right chemicals. Improper chemicals may leach, fade away and mar the the original work.
09. when dealing with cracks in the monuments caused my minor tremors, root wedging as a result of growth of bushes, wild plants and trees, frost wedging due to daily change of hot and cold weather condition, and pealing of outer plastering, special methods should be used to strengthen them.
Besides above, the ASI's central and state divisions should consider the following when repairing and restoring buildings/structures of antiquity:
10. Comprehensive assessment of restoration work needs to be done before undertaking any major renovation work. No compromise should be made either on the quality of work or on the heritage aspects of original work. High-pressure water and sand-blasting may damage delicate sculptures and artifacts. Like-wise chemical cleaning should be done carefully as structures like the Taj Mahal are quite sensitive.
11. In Tamil Nadu there is a need to protect the heritage site by way of installing strong fences and barricades around the heritage sites to prevent trespassing by unwanted people.
12. In Tamil Nadu, the ASI should come up with special programs to protect the old Hindu temples and the idols of deity made of five metal alloy (ayyempon) including gold. The metal idols of Chola king Rajarajan II, the builder of Big Temple, Thanjavur, TN that were stolen several decades ago were returned to the temple a few months ago after an intensive investigation. These are worth crores of rupees. Protection of ancient idols of gods and goddesses is an urgent necessity.
India, being an ancient land, is rich in history. The overwhelming historic monuments provide ample scope for Heritage Tourism in which lots of tourists from India and abroad are interested. These places of antiquity reconnect the present generations with the aesthetic experiences of India's past history and rich cultural legacy through time. It is the foremost duty of the Indian government as well as respective state governments to save, restore and protect the invaluable monuments that are facing various threats. Time has come for the governments agencies to take action on the slowly dying monuments across India that go unnoticed. At this juncture, we can not afford to see them disappear slowly right under our nose.