From Asiatic Society to Archaeological Survey of India

From Asiatic Society to Archaeological Survey of India: The long journey to map the historicity of subcontinent

This Article First Appeared In Indian Express On Jan 14, 2023

The Barakhamba cemetery in New Delhi, the guns of emperor Sher Shah in Assam, the Kutumbari Temple in Uttarakhand, and Buddhist ruins in Varanasi are — these are among the 50-odd centrally protected monuments in India, which according to a submission made in Parliament by the Ministry of Culture, have gone missing.

These are also among the 3,693 monuments that are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as per the regulations of the The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR Act).

In the rich socio-cultural, religious landscape of India, the number of structures of historical importance are a lot more than those listed under the ASI. Although the process of listing a monument under the ASI is an ongoing process, a majority of them were brought under its protection years before the Independence of the country. The survey and examination of the monuments were carried out by the Europeans and British officials who were curious to map the historicity of India and thereby founded the ASI in 1861.

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