NEW DELHI: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will now allow photography at Centrally protected monuments.
The decision comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi wondered why photography was prohibited at prominent archaeological and historical sites in India, while addressing a gathering during the inauguration of Dharohar Bhawan, the headquarters of ASI, on Wednesday.
The exceptions, where photography will remain prohibited, are the mausoleum of Taj Mahal, the Ajanta Caves, and Leh Palace.
People in India should take pride in their country’s rich cultural heritage, Modi said while addressing the gathering. The country should showcase its great heritage with pride and confidence to the world, he added.
Modi said at least 100 cities with historical sites should introduce the heritage of those places in school syllabi. Lessons in local archaeology will prevent the dilution of the historic value of a city and help preserve the country’s pride, said Modi.
The government may also start online certificate courses to produce quality local tourist guides across cities. “It is impossible to run historical sites without well-trained local tourist guides who are familiar with the history and heritage of their area. When people internalise history, there comes a sense of belongingness,” said Modi.
The four-storeyed Dharohar Bhawan has been built over 2.58 acres. It houses the Central Archaeological Library, with a collection of 1.5 lakh books and journals. The library is a treasure trove for researchers and has collections not available elsewhere.
ASI’s new HQ
The four-storeyed Dharohar Bhawan has been built over 2.58 acres. It houses the Central Archaeological Library, with 1.5 lakh books, journals and rare oriental collections on ancient Indian history.