Heritage Conservation, Protection and Management in India
India has a great volume and diverse nature of heritage, varying in protection status. Out of this great number monuments throughout the country, 3650 considered as of national importance, are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) – a department under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Many others, considered of local and regional importance are protected by the respective Departments of Archaeology within the State. The Ancient Monuments and Sites Remains Act of 1904, which were later amended in 1958 and 2010 is the national law, that governs conservation, protection, maintenance and management of nationally protected sites of the country.
The 4 sites of concern for the Project- Karenghar Palace (Garhgaon), Talatalghar (Joysagar), Ranghar (Joysagar) and the Maidams (Charaideo), located in the district of Sibsagar in Assam (northeast of India) are of national importance, protected by the ASI, Guawahti Circle (Sibsagar sub-circle) under the AMASR Act’2010.
About the Project
The project – ‘Conservation of Ahom Monuments of Sibsagar, Assam’, is one of the first endeavours of implementing a Corporate Social Responsibility - a venture between the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), National Culture Fund (NFC) and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC). The project looks at the Documentation, Conservation, Management and planning of visitor facilities at the Karenghar Palace, Talatalghar, Ranghar and the Maidams, belonging to the Ahom dynasty (belonging to the period between 14th – 18th Century AD).
Project Aim and Output
This project intends to bring to the forefront a greater understanding of the structures, usage of material, construction system, building archaeology and the culture of the people. Architectural documentation, structural and material analysis, study of local history together forms the basic tools to develop a comprehensive understanding. Since March first, 2012, a team of 2 conservation architects, 1 surveyor and one assisting member have been appointed as in-house, on-site consultants for the purpose. After initial reconnaissance survey of the 4 sites, keeping limitations of weather in mind, the consultants chose Karen Ghar or Ghargao Palace to begin work at. Today the 25th March, 2012, is the 23rd day of work in progress at the Karenghar, Ghargaon (Sibsagar District, Assam) and we realised the importance of creating a platform to share case studies, work experiences and perspectives of conservators, architects, structural engineers, material scientists, researchers and members of allied discipline to widen our horizon. This blog attempts to do so.