As many as 24 monuments under the charge of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)--the government agency responsible for national heritage--are "missing", half from Uttar Pradesh (UP), according to a reply in the Lok Sabha (parliament's lower house) on August 1, 2016.
The missing monuments include prehistoric megaliths in Maharashtra, rock inscriptions, megaliths, Buddhist and Hindu temple ruins in UP, guns of the 16th-century Afghan emperor Sher Shah in Assam, medieval milestones (kos minars) in Haryana, a temple in Uttarakhand and sundry tombs, cemeteries and other ruins.
Missing monuments are first declared "untraceable", after which a detailed procedure commences. "The procedure to find out untraceable monuments involve verification of old record, revenue maps, referring published reports, physical inspections and deployment of teams to trace the missing monuments," the minister of state for culture and tourism, Mahesh Sharma, told the Lok Sabha in a statement.
|India's Missing Monuments|
|1||Assam||Sadia, Tinsukia||Guns of Emperor Sher Shah|
|2||Arunachal Pradesh||Paya, Lohit||The Ruins of Copper Temple|
|3||Haryana||Mujesar, Faridabad||Kos Minar|
|4||Haryana||Shahabad, Kurukshetra||Kos Minar|
|5||Uttarakhand||Dwarahat, Almora||Kutumbari Temple|
|6||Delhi||Delhi||Bara Khamba Cemetery|
|7||Delhi||Mubarakpur Kotla||Inchla Wali Gumti|
|8||Madhya Pradesh||Satna||Rock Inscription|
|9||Maharashtra||Pune||Old European Tomb|
|11||Rajasthan||Nagar, Tonk||Inscription in Fort|
|12||Rajasthan||Baran||12th Centry Temple|
|13||Uttar Pradesh||Ahugi Mirzapur||Ruins of three small linga temple circle 1000 AD|
|14||Uttar Pradesh||Chandauli||Three sites with megaliths on the western and north eastern toes of the hill|
|15||Uttar Pradesh||Varanasi||Tablet on treasury building|
|16||Uttar Pradesh||Varanasi||Telia Nala Buddhist ruins|
|17||Uttar Pradesh||Amavey, Ballia||A Banyan grove containing traces of ancient building|
|18||Uttar Pradesh||Katra Naka, Banda||Closed Cemetery|
|19||Uttar Pradesh||Mehroni, Lalitpur||Gunner Burkillâ??s Tomb|
|20||Uttar Pradesh||Lucknow-Faizabad Road, Lucknow||Three Tomb|
|21||Uttar Pradesh||Jahralia Road, Lucknow||Cemeteries at miles 6 and 7|
|22||Uttar Pradesh||Gaughat, Lucknow||Cemetery|
|23||Uttar Pradesh||Pali, Shahabad, Hardoi||Large ruined site called Sandi-Khera|
|24||West Bengal||Bamanpukur, Nadia||Ruins of fort|
Since many are not monitored or physically protected, many monuments have been dismantled or torn down, either as building material or to provide space in expanding towns and cities. The ASI has signed an agreement with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to use satellites to identify on maps prohibited and regulated areas to "facilitate procedure for grant of permissions for construction related activity within prohibited and regulated areas of all centrally protected monuments", Sharma's statement said.
As many as 3,686 such monuments are, or will be, monitored by ISRO.
The government has also added 17 sites nationwide for ASI protection, Sharma told the Lok Sabha in another reply.
These include the birth places of B R Ambedkar, regarded as the father of India's Constitution; Madan Mohan Malviya, freedom fighter and educationist; and Dwarkanath Kotnis, an Indian physician whose life is celebrated in China for the assistance he rendered during the Sino-Japanese war of 1938. The other monuments cited for protection are largely Hindu and Buddhist temples.
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