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Archaeological department propose to ‘de-protect’ centuries-old temple monuments

Udaipur : Continuous failure in their efforts to protect the ‘antiquarian’ value of heritage structures has led the department of Archaeology and Museums to propose ‘de-protection’ of five protected monuments in Udaipur division. Two monuments are each at Udaipur and Rajsamand while the fifth one lies in Pratapgarh. The proposed list includes structures build between 10th to 13th century which are now believed to have lost their originality and lustre owing to the renovation activities undertaken by the local residents in their respective areas. Besides the proposed list, there are a dozen other protected temple monuments in the region that have either been disfigured, distorted or robbed of idols years back but authorities have been refraining from taking stringent steps against the wrong doers.

“ A proposal to de-protect five monuments is underway, which includes Charbuja temple and Durga temple (Unwas) in Rajsamand, Pratimaon-ka-Chabutra and Tri-purush Dev temple in Udaipur and Purasthal at AamJhara” informed Mubarik Hussain, the superintendent of Archaeology and Museums, Udaipur. Villagers and committees have been encroaching and de-facing these heritage properties for years but lack of manpower and non co-operation from government departments to contain illegal activities has led to constant damaging of these monuments area. Villagers have disturbed the originality of the Sabhamandap, Garbagriha and the gallery by carrying out renovation activities at the Charbhuja temple in Khamnor .

The department claims that lack of coordination between various civic agencies has aggravated the problem. At Durga temple in Unwas (Rajsamand) locals white washed away the age old stone inscriptions which was later restored by the department. The residents have been opposing installation of stone slab here claiming the narration content to be untrue. The Pratimao-ka-Chabutra monument situated at Taneshwar originally had 6 magnificent idols but none are to be seen now.

At AamJhara which is 6-7th century monument area, a kutcha hut that housed a temple has been replaced by permanent structure. People fail to realize the heritage value of such monuments and undertake restoration activities by their own which ultimately leads to de-facing and degradation of their antiquarian value.

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