The Dharwad circle of the ASI to submit the proposal

The temple towns of Badami and Aihole that represent the architectural splendour of the Chalukya dynasty are close to being considered for the World Heritage Site status.

The Dharwad Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India will submit a proposal to the Director-General of the ASI in New Delhi seeking World Heritage Site status to Badami and Aihole.

The ASI in New Delhi will submit the proposal to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) through the Union Ministry of Culture, officials at the Dharwad Circle of the ASI told The Hindu.

“We are seeking world heritage status for Badami and Aihole that are near Pattadakal,” the officials said.

According to them, the World Heritage Site status to Badami and Aihole would help the State government to project monuments there at the international level to attract more tourists. Though UNESCO does not provide grants for maintenance of caves and temples, the tag would help bring pressure on authorities concerned to put in place measures to safeguard the historical monuments, they added.

Thousands of tourists and schoolchildren visit Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole during summer. On an average, 10,000 tourists visit Badami each day, a local ASI official said.

It is also the favourite destination for the film industry. Kannada films Veera Madakari, Sanju weds Geetha, Shakti, Nagavalli, trilingual film Guru and Rowdy Rathore (Hindi) were shot at Badami.

However, maintenance of the historical monuments remains poor. “Schoolchildren and tourists must be prevented from entering the caves with footwear. Many monuments have been destroyed and look very ugly as schoolchildren and tourists touch them”, locals said.

With over 100 temples scattered in and around Aihole is popularly called the cradle of Indian temple architecture. Restoration work has been taken up in Aihole and is expected to be completed soon.

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