There is an urgent need to protect and conserve the ancient monuments and awareness should be created with the public in this regard, said historian Kudavayil Balasubramanian here on Tuesday.

Addressing a special meeting on the conservation of ancient monuments organised by the Tourism Department at Lord Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam, Dr. Balasubramanian said the ancient Indian monuments were in ruins at most places due to neglect, natural calamities, vandalism, and adoption of wrong conservation methods and not least of all, threats from anti-social elements.

He said monuments speak about a nation’s ancient culture and heritage and pointed out that awareness programmes should be conducted to educate people on protection and conservation of such iconic monuments.

Dr. Balasubramanian spoke about the important features and inscriptions at Lord Ranganathaswamy temple, Rockort, and the cave temples in Tiruchi. He also expanded on the Vishnu temple at Thiruvellarai which sports the ancient ‘Swastik’ well of the Pallava period and about the famous thousand year old Lord Brahadeeswara temple (Big Temple) at Thanjavur.

The historian stressed the need for providing proper training by the Tourism Department to the guides in order to be able to explain in detail the features and importance of ancient monuments to tourists. He said special workshops should be conducted for school and college students about conservation and preservation of ancient monuments.

Collector T. Soundiah who presided over the meeting, said the ‘Chozha Nadu’ belt of Thanjavur and Tiruchi region in the State had a large number of ancient monuments and stressed the need for preserving these monuments. He explained about the wonderful construction of Ranaganathaswamy temple which speak about the ancient culture, heritage and architecture. He pointed out that most of the monuments in Tamil Nadu were temples.

P.K. Thiyagarajan, Chairman, Board of Trustees of Lord Ranganathaswamy temple, M.K. Balasubramanian, Joint Commissioner of HRCE Department, Dhandapani, Tourist Officer also spoke.