Conservation works to resume by April next, says Additional Director-General
Efforts are on to include the Buddhist site excavated in and around Sannati, on the banks of the Bhima in Chittapur taluk of Kalaburagi district, in the World Heritage site list of UNESCO, said Additional Director-General (Conservation and Scientific Preservation), Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, Janhwij Sharma.
A team of officials from ASI, led by Mr. Sharma, visited the Buddhist site on Tuesday and directed the Hampi Circle of the ASI to submit a proposal to the ASI, New Delhi, seeking World Heritage site status for the nearly 2,000-year-old Buddhist Stupa and the first inscribed portrait of Emperor Asoka.
Directing the officials of the Hampi Circle, ASI, to submit the proposal, Mr. Sharma stated that conservation works on the Buddhist site at Sannati will be resumed by April 2022. There is no dearth of funds at ASI to take up conservation works, he added.
The move came after a delegation led by Kalaburagi MP Umesh Jadhav met Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal and ASI Director-General V. Vidyavathi in New Delhi and demanded that steps be taken for the conservation of the ancient site of Buddhism that is crying for attention.
The ASI excavation at Kanaganahalli near Sannati unearthed the remains of a large stupa, along with a set of nearly 60 sculptures. Archeological excavations were conducted by the State Directorate of Archaeology in Sannati and by the ASI at the Ranamandala and Kanaganahalli sites. Sculptures and inscriptions found here attest to the vibrant Buddhist art and culture in the region and they will help archeologists in their research works, Mr. Sharma said.
He said that the excavations at Sannati have contributed many Buddhist sculptures, including inscribed historical figures of Asoka and the Satavahana kings and depictions of the Jataka Tales. The discovery of an Asokan slab edict and his portrait is an important contribution to historical records, he added.
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