27 Jan 2014

Jodhpur circle of Archaeological survey of India starts functioning

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
The newly created Jodhpur Circle of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) started functioning from today with the inauguration of its new office by the Minister of Culture Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch. 

Speaking on the occasion, Smt. Katoch said, Jodhpur circle was created as the 26th Circle of ASI on 20th August, 2013 with a view to have better administration of the monuments falling under its jurisdiction by bifurcating Jaipur Circle. 

She said, the jurisdiction of the circle spreads over the districts of Jaisalmer, Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Rajsamand, Chittaurgarh, Banswara, Dungarpur, and Ajmer where the protected monuments are located. 

The Minister said, of the 162 listed monuments of the Jaipur circle, 79 monuments are coming under the new circle. She said, Jodhpur Circle has a variety of monuments ranging from important Harappan sites to late medieval palaces and structures.

 Among them the Harappan sites of Kalibangan and Rangmahal, temples of Menal, Arthuna, Deo Somnath, Nagda, forts of Mandore (Jodhpur), Bhatner (Hanumangarh) and medieval remains of Ajmer and Rajasamand are worth mentioning. Smt. Katoch said, the circle also has the forts of Kumbalgarh, Chittaurgarh and Jaisalmer, which are listed under the Hill Forts of Rajasthan as World Heritage Site. 

Even though, the persistent efforts of Jaipur circle of 29 years had rendered monuments of Rajasthan in a presentable condition, it was felt that many of the monuments need more attention because of their condition. 

The formation of new circle will help in taking up more conservation projects particularly, World Heritage Sites Kumbhalgarh, Chittaurgarh and Jaisalmer forts so that the tourists will have memorable visit to these places. 

The formation of new circle will also help in framing heritage-by-laws as required under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites & Remains (Amendment & Validation) Act, 2010 for preserving the landscape around the monuments. 

ASI was established in 1861 and had just completed 150 glorious years existence during which period the officers and staff of the institution tirelessly researched to unfold the glorious past of our country. ASI is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture and Government of India. 

It is entrusted with the prime responsibility of conservation and maintenance of the protected monuments which range from Taj Mahal the icon monument of India to the smaller and little known monuments and sites like Kalibangan, Pilibangan, etc. 

In the pre-independence period, there were only few circles to care for the monuments spread over the Indian sub-continent.

 With increasing pressure on the monuments due to various reasons including rapid urbanization, it was felt that there is a need for creating more circles of ASI for better management of the protected monuments with smaller geographical area under their jurisdiction. Accordingly, ASI has formed three more new circles at Nagpur (25th), Jodhpur(26th) and Sarnath (27th). 

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