The Janardana Temple in Kerala’s Wayanad district, the Haveli of Agah Khan in Agra, Uttar Pradesh and Gonpa complex in Ladakh are among the 14 ancient sites which have been declared protected by the Archaeological Survey of India over the last three years.
Rangdum Monastry in Kargil is the other ancient monument in Ladakh which has been declared protected, while ‘Hathi Khana’ in Agra also made the list.
Among other monuments and sites which have been declared protected are Trilochannath Temple in Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, the temple complex of Navratnagarh in Jharkhand’s Gumla district and the group of monuments in Bolangir, Odisha.
In Uttarakhand, Pithorgarh’s Vishnu Temple and the archaeological sites and remains of Ashwamedh Yagna, village Virbhadra in Dehradun and Udhampur are the sites which have been declared protected.
The Baori and surrounding archeological remains in Neemrana Rajasthan and in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh have also made the list.
The list was shared by Culture Minister G. Kishan Reddy in the Rajya Sabha.
The sites have been declared protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958. When a monument is declared protected, then the maintenance of the monument is taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India and construction activities in and around the monument or site is regulated.
Mr. Reddy also informed that the government has provided ₹15,622 lakh over the last three years as grant to Zonal Cultural Committees to strengthen the micro-culture in the country. Out of this, ₹5,881.46 lakh has been allotted in the year 2021-22.
What are Zonal Cultural Centres
The Zonal Cultural Centres (ZCCs) were set up in the mid-80s to develop the cultures of various regions and also to set up mechanism for preservation and promotion of various elements of the India’s rich cultural heritage as autonomous bodies.
The ZCCs were required to concentrate on the folk arts, dance and music. The mandate behind setting up the ZCCs was to bind the nation culturally while retaining the individuality of the regions that comprise them.
The seven Zonal Cultural Centres are North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Patiala, Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC), Kolkata, West Zone Cultural Centre (WZCC), Udaipur, North Central Zone Cultural Centre (NCZCC), Prayagraj, North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC), Dimapur, South Central Zone Cultural Centre (SCZCC), Nagpur and South Zone Cultural Centre (SZCC), Thanjavur.