The state department of archeology and museums, which is entering its centenary year in a couple of months, is yet to chalk out plans for the celebrations. The reason for this is known to be the absence of a full-time director after the then deputed director, KP Rao, had left the job without finishing his term.
Last year, plans were afoot to bring out special centenary volumes and publications, hold seminars with participation of experts, and use the occasion to popularise archeology to induce participation of general public in conservation activities. Digitisation of all available documents, photographs, etc were also mooted. A website, with full-fledged information and contents about conservation activities taken up by the department till date, and scanned PDF documents were also mooted for promotion of research activities among students and youngsters.
Officials of the department, when contacted, say, “There is no proposal. We are yet to discuss and decide. However, we will have centenary year celebrations considering the sentiment.”
Since earlier director P Chenna Reddy’s retirement in April 2012, the department of archaeology has seen several in-charge directors _ Sabyasachi Ghosh, D Manohar, B Srinivas, Rajat Kumar, P Gayatri and Ramakrishna Rao _ all of whom served for days or months till now. At present, the responsibility of running the department is taken up by special chief secretary (tourism) Chandana Khan.
The department, founded during Nizam rule, had its founding-director in Dr Gulam Yazdani in April 1914. Prior to the creation of the department, conservation activities had been carried out by the public works department or by the archeological surveyor of Bombay Presidency. Considering the need for better upkeep of monuments and in consultation with the director-general of archaeology of India, the archeology department was created under the directions of the Nizam-VII Mir Osman Ali Khan.
Its most important conservation works were the Ajanta and Ellora Caves apart from major works in Bidar, Ittagi (Raichur), Gulbarga, Daulatabad, Warangal, Hanamkonda, Palampet, Ghanpur, Pithalkora, etc. It made major contribution towards excavations, epigraphy, numismatics, publications, museums etc. According to available literature, the Nizams had spent Rs 24,23,529 during 1914-1941 on conservation and study of cultural property.
Hyd Travel Mart: In a bid to restore the state’s place on the tourism map, the tourism department has planned an annual event named Hyderabad Travel Mart and India Tourism Heritage conclave between February 21 and 24.
The first edition, following the Kerala Travel Mart model, will feature travel traders, tour operators, hoteliers, government tourism departments.