Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The "Disappearing" Act by 35 Indian Monuments

Its been a few weeks since I blogged because I was out of the country travelling with my husband. We were in Europe for a few weeks for a family wedding and also visiting Vienna and Salzburg in Austria and Prague in the Czech Republic. This was our first trip to Central/Eastern Europe and we visited a number of historic palaces and churches from the Hapsburg Reign which are remarkably well perserved. You could really get a sense of the region's history by visiting the museums and monuments. I was also in Delhi this weekend for Independence Day and Janam Ashtimi (Lord Krishna's birthday) and it struck me how rich India's history is as well - if only we could better maintain our monuments - many of which are fast disappearing. I just read in the papers that out of 3675 national monuments, 35 have gone untraceable. In Delhi alone 12 monuments have disappeared. Eight sites in Uttar Pradesh, three each from Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir and two each in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana are also untraceable. The reason cited are 'urbanization, commercialization and implementation of development projects.' If only we could better manage the country's infrastructure development without putting our national monuments at risk, the Europeans would be spend ing as much on us as we do on them! What are your ideas to strike the balance?


  1. Its unfortunate, but History is fast becoming History.

  2. I am deeply concerned and anyone who has some interest in history will feel the same about our heritage. I think the problem with our country is also due to the abundance of historical monuments and not all of them draw attention. In a country like India revenue is the biggest motivator and given the priorities of a developing nation, its quite natural to ignore some nice to have things. Like any other product, history also needs to be marketed properly. I know few historical places in MP which are as good as jaipur or Ajanta but they are not known to outside world. Sooner or later they will be eaten up by the urbanization. I feel state government should categorize monuments based on their history, novelty and no of visitors .it is important that local resident connect to these places and monuments. Probably revenue and maintenance of these less important places should be managed by local authorities instead of central government and there should be some serious strategies to market them to outside world. What are your ideas to increase the visibility of these places and monuments?

  3. Nice blog....I stumbled upon while googling.

    There are some baby steps taken by the government and provide some hope to the question u have posed. The National mission on Monuments is putting together a database of heritage sites and monuments and will help with their conservation. (

    But urbanisation and preservation will always be a tug of war. I think social media can help in increasing the awareness and relevance of these historical sites - which will in turn drive traffic and make them commercially viable to maintain.