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Call for village-level surveys of monuments

Staff Reporter

To reduce possibilities of structural alteration or demolition

THRISSUR: The former chairman of the Indian Council for Historical Research (ICHR) M.G.S. Narayanan has suggested that the State Archaeology Department (SAD) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) should undertake a village-to-village survey of relics and monuments with the help of the Government and private agencies.

Delivering the keynote address at the seminar organised by the Kerala Historical Research Society (KHRS) here on Sunday, Prof. Narayanan said the results of such surveys should be published and a long-term strategy for the conservation of monuments should be worked out.

The listing of such monuments will reduce the possibilities of their structural alteration or demolition, he said.

"It is unfortunate that no major excavation or serious exploration has been undertaken in Kerala by the ASI or the SAD since Independence. Major explorations and excavations are due in areas such as Wayanad, Ezhimala, Palakkad gap, Kozhikode harbour, Kodungallur port, Kochi port, Chennamangalam Palace, Kollam harbour and Vizhinjam port for pre-historical and early historical sites."

"Several `gramakshetras' (village shrines) of the original 32 Brahmin settlements in the State have retained their granite foundations and pillars of the ninth and 10th centuries, and some of them carry contemporary inscriptions too. Their `prakaras' and surrounding areas are to be examined and excavated," Prof. Narayanan said.

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