Heritage sculptures at the mercy of elements in Halebid

Heritage sculptures at the mercy of elements in Halebid

This is another example of the scant regard that our authorities have towards protecting monuments that tell tales galore of our heritage.

The plan of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to upgrade its museum in the temple town getting delayed has resulted in sculptures dumped behind the Hoysaleshwara temple here being at the mercy of the elements. Weeds and shrubs are covering them gradually and there is none to care for them.

The ASI is scouting for land to house a huge museum in the town for a few years now. The Tourism department is co-operating in the efforts by chipping in with a grant of Rs 30 lakh. Officials undertake spot inspection now and then, but the plan has not progressed beyond that. Local residents and visitors fear that the sculptures, with intricate art work, may be destroyed if steps are not taken to protect them.

Gram Panchayat president Krishna says that the efforts of officials and workers in excavating the sculptures, which were buried in the soil in the premises of the Nagareshwara temple, would go vain, if proper steps to preserve them are not taken.

The ASI should focus on protecting the monuments and sculptures, instead of concentrating on evicting buildings in the radius of 100 to 300 metres of the temple.

The monuments division of the ASI undertakes cleaning and deweeding activities around these sculptures that are strewn around the temple. But nothing is being done on a large scale to protect and preserve them.

The sculptures have been of no use to historians who undertake research work because of this. Visitors also do not get a chance to see them. Local residents fear that the day is not far when the sculptures are completely damaged and are buried in soil again.
P Arvajhi, archaeologist of the museum, told Deccan Herald that the department was committed to protecting the sculptures in soft stone.

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