Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has come up with a plan to conserve the excavated Stupa remains at a cost of ₹3.50 crore at Kanaganahalli near Sannati at Chittapur taluk in Kalaburagi district.
The plan has been prepared by the ASI, Hampi Circle, and approved by the Director-General of ASI.
Senior ASI officers, including Regional Director (South) D. Maheshwari and Circle Superintendent (Hampi) Nihil Das, along with Kalaburagi Lok Sabha member Umesh Jadhav, visited the site, which is one of the largest Buddhist sites in India excavated by ASI, on Wednesday and inaugurated the preservation work.
As per information provided by the ASI, the conservation work of the Stupa will be initiated with clearance of debris and removal of core filling of the drum. Then, it will proceed to reset stone blocks in their original position before the consolidation of drum portion to prevent any water percolation.
“Some core filling from the inner portion of the drum was partially exposed during the excavation way back in 2000 and it has not been refilled completely. This has caused waterlogging that has loosened the strength of the veneering stone as well as the binding of the stone blocks. As an immediate remedy to prevent any further water stagnation, the core filling will be removed and the stone blocks will be reset to their original position. Further, the drum portion will be consolidated to prevent any further water percolation,” the ASI said in a note released after the inauguration of the conservation work.
“Further, during the second stage of work, efforts will be made to mend some of the architectural members like tabhas, the plain Ayaka pillars and veneered drum slabs without much ornamentation or inscriptions. Efforts will also be made to reconstruct the fallen portions of the Ayaka platforms using newly fabricated bricks of the same size, shape and texture as per the original so that the better preserved drum slabs can be positioned as per the original,” the note added.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jadhav admitted that the ASI site in Sannati was left neglected by ASI for the last two decades. He promised to take steps to develop it into a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the days to come.