Sunday, April 03, 2005


More structures near shore temple under water


News Today
April 01, 2005

The recent onshore and offshore excavations undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Navy along the Mamallapuram area have revealed that there were evidences of two temples near the shore temple and some more temples onshore.

Alok Tripathi, deputy superintending archaeologist, ASI and leader of the excavation team, told mediapersons yesterday that the two temples existed at the south of the shore temples. Going by the evidence available these two temples seemed to be different from the shore temple and not part of it, he said.

After the survey of area it is concluded 'with certainty that some more structures existed near shore temples and their remains lay under water', he said.

To confirm initial findings and to understand the changes in coastline or sea level fluctuation during historic period, the excavations are being carried out close to the shore temple. The onshore excavation on a sand dune located to the south west of the shore temple has revealed the remains of a structural temple. It contains a square garbagriha with an entrance porch. The temple facing the east was surrounded by a open court yard and a prakara wall, he said.

Excavations are also being conducted near three rocks bearing marks on human activity, Tripathy said and added that one of these rocks had a super structure most probably another structural temple.

T Sathyamurthy, superintending engineer, ASI, who was present at the press conference said that the Chennai circle of ASI had proposed to undertake conservation of monuments, especially heritage monuments in Tamilnadu, during 2005-06 at a cost of Rs 3.30 crore.

He said that the conservation programme would cover 'Living' Chola temples of Brihadeeswara, in Thanjavur, at a cost of Rs one crore and Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram in Kumbakonam at a cost of Rs 25 lakh.

He said Rs 65 lakh would be spent for providing facilities in the Fort St George Museum here and the amenities would include special facility for the physically challenged.

Answering a question on the claims of the Sunni Wakf Board over Taj Mahal, Director General of ASI C Babu Rajeev, said as far as our records are concerned the monument was under our control even in 1924.


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