Home :: Conservation & Preservation of Ancient Historical Monuments

To preserve the regional history of Tamil Nadu, the Department of Archaeology is protecting 88 monuments spread all over the State. These monuments, which contain historical inscriptions or have architectural & artistic value,  throw light on ancient heritage. They provide a wealth of information for the reconstruction of the State’s history.

Tamil Nadu is having considerable number of temples, forts, palaces, choultries and memorial buildings. Due to various reasons, such as invasion, natural calamities etc., temples and other structures had become dilapidated and need conservation and preservation.

Having this in mind the Tamilnadu State has enacted an act Tamilnadu Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1966 (Tamilnadu Act 25/1966) and The Tamilnadu Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Rules 1971. Published in G.O. No:732 Education Department Dated: 18th May 1971.

Mahal Illuminated view

Accordingly, ANCIENT MONUMENT means any structure, erection or monument or any tumulus or place of interment or any cave rock sculptures, inscriptions or monolith, which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than one hundred years, and includes:

1. The remains of an ancient monument
2. The site of an ancient monument
3. Such portion of a land adjoining the site of an ancient monument as may be required for fencing  or covering in or otherwise preserving such monument
4. The gardens, if any and
5. The means of access to, and convenient inspection of an ancient monument.

Lingothbhavar Sculpture – Sivapuram

But does not include any ancient or historical monument declared by or under law made by parliament to be of national importance.

Tamil Nadu State had so far declared 85 monuments for the protection and preservation under the above Act. 

For declaring a place as a monument, the historical interest is decided with the help of its artistic workmanship and the styles it depicts. For example, if it is a temple its antique value is understood with the help of the inscriptions and sculptures it carries.

After finishing the formalities of declaration, the Department will take necessary steps to protect and preserve it by using archaeological principles and conservation methods. Conservation is a concept, which includes preservation and restoration. 
Thus by providing better conservation and preservation so as to extend the life of the building, the message of our ancestors can be passed on to the next generation. 

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