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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Kanpur heritage sites are in a sorry state

by Ishita Mishra, TNN | Apr 19, 2012, 12.28PM IST

KANPUR: The heritage buildings and monuments in any place or area are testimonials of its glorious past, but the archaeological monuments situated in and nearby the city have nothing to cheer about their presence. Surely, if these non-living structures had voice, they would have cried for betterment, before they extinct.

Importantly, many of the archaeological structures in Kanpur (city and rural areas), nearly 32 in number, are of post-British period and freedom struggle. These heritage monuments can be of tourist attraction and become a good source of income. But surprisingly, these structures and heritage sites are facing extinction and with them will vanish remainders of civilization, which once upon a time flourished in the region.

"Historical buildings and monuments are like a chapter of a history book and should not be allowed to close. Most of the archaeological structures in Kanpur needs immediate attention and preservation," said Harsh Kumar Singh, a historian. Echoing similar words, Vinod Tondon, another historical expert from the family of Lala Thanthi Mal (first few persons who settled in the city) said that its true that the technological advancement, fast pace life and rapidly growing mall culture had adversely affected the life of retailers and middle class man, but the biggest hit from this modern civilization is to the ancient archaeological sites situated in large numbers all across the country. Even the government is neglecting these natural and cultural heritage sites and if the scenario continues few more days, the future generation will only study about the Tatyatope museum, Bhramhavart Ghat and Chaubegola area, which was once was situated in the 'Manchaster of east'.

Importantly, as per the list of Archaeological Survey Of India (ASI), there are nearly 32 archaeological sites situated in Kanpur (city and rural areas). The names of the historical spots in the list of ASI are Mound Bithoor, Lona cross Garden, Katcheri Cemetery, Memorial well garden, Sawada Kothi, monument including flight of steps with the surrounding plateau, Subedar-ka-Talab Cemetery, Wheeler's Entrechment and Kos Minar Khalaspur Kanpur. Three images of Lakshmana, Ganesh and Vishnu lying in the cells or each side of the doorway of the temple of Jagannatha and a Gupta pillar lying in the compound of the temple and other images in Behta, Kanpur Dehat. Some archaeological sites in Kanpur Dehat are the ancient brick temple, Bhitargaon, Mound of ruins covered with large bricks and broken figures, Bhitargaon, Kos Minar, Bhognipur, and tank near the tomb of Sandal Shah, Bichhiapur. Temple known as Phulmati Devi, Bihupur, Kos Minar, Chaparghata, Kos Minar, Deosar, fragment of a pillar, Dumapur, Kos Minar, Gour, Kos Minar, Halia, Kos Minar, Jallapur Sikandara, ancient brick temple, Kanchilipur, two ancient brick temple, Khurda are also in Kanpur Dehat. Mound and the ancient pillar in a modern domed chamber together with the stone cock lying in the front of it, Lala Bhagat, Kos Minar, Pailwaru, temple known as 'Mahadeo Baba', Parauli, Kos Minar, Pitampur, Kos Minar, Raigawan, Kos Minar, Rajpur, Kos Minar, Sankhiln Buzurg, Kos Minar, Sardarpur are also in Kanpur Dehat. Sanskrit inscription in the well of Gayadin Sukal, Subhanpur, brick temple at Nebia Khera, Bhadwara is also there in Kanpur Dehat.

Talking to TOI, MK Verma, Archaeological Officer of the district said that the Sher Shah Suri Taal is not in heritage monument list of Archaeological Survey but it is conserved by some local body.

Commenting on Dhruv Tila, the official said that it being a big mound, the origin of grass and trees on it is obvious. However, the exact place of Dhruv Aashram is being conserved properly.

North zone convener of INTACH Thakur Ranveer said that any monument which is above 100 years old can be considered as archaeological site. Pratap press is having its own importance and can be termed as historical site, which should be preserved.

"I had been through the list of heritage and historical monuments prepared by INTACH and Pratap Press is there. I would drew the attention of the government and the administration for its preservation and conservation," Ranveer added.

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