Hari the Hadron

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


The “Big Temple” of Thanjavoor, Tamil Nadu a historical architechtural wonder which, if I am not wrong is in the control of the Archealogical Survey of India (ASI) for decades (please correct me if I am wrong), has only now been taken up for intensive cleaning up operations.

During the course of cleaning they found a huge dump of Cannon balls in one of the rooms in the temple. Does it mean that for centuries the doors of the temple rooms have not been opened. Instead of being ashamed and being admonished by the men under control of the ASI, the officials are proudly displaying their find and making a revealing statement that this famous temple might have been once upon a time used by the kings as a fort for waging war too. It is a pity and national shame that the premier government organisation responsible for discovering and preserving national heritage, monuments and other archeological and historical findings and in fact responsible for proving and teaching history of our country to the world, have not bothered, to even open and look at all the chambers of one of the major Archeological wonders of South India which is under their control for decades now.

Earlier it took a Tsunami to unveil some of the lost temples of Mahabalipuram near Chennai, Tamil Nadu which again the ASI are proudly presenting to this world as if it was the result of their herculean efforts.

I wonder whether these people in ASI even keep their own house clean and are aware of their own belongings. This is not the only one organisation of its kind, the Indian Government has a lot of such departments and organisations without any accountability and where even gross errors go unnoticed for ages and sometimes like this, are celebrated as an honour or achievement.


  • Hi everybody. please feel free to comment. even criticism would be a compliment.

    By Blogger hari, at 11:48 PM  

  • WOW! conservation, another fave topic of mine. i must come back and comment at length about it.



    By Blogger None, at 1:26 AM  

  • Hi Hari,
    Sometime back, I'd written a post on this topic and me and Shyam agreed that we'd machine gun all those who work in the ASI! You can join us in our good deed, if you wish! Nice post, btw! ;)

    By Anonymous Ravi, at 4:00 AM  

  • This is a news to me and Oh wel, I dont mind if they keep their houses clean or not but they atleast should know what their job is supposed to mean.

    By Blogger P-H-A-N-T-O-M, at 5:06 AM  

  • I hate those ASI idiots. by 'Big Temple' experience wasn't that great at all, thanks to them. I had a felling of venturing into an ill-kept museum and not a temple that has a great significance.

    By Blogger saranyan, at 10:03 AM  

  • Simple way to say it: ASI c/o Govt of India. That is enough to speak volumes of inefficiency, ineptitude, indifference, empty bragging and so on. Haven't we seen enough instances of ASI negligence and late awakenings to damaged artifacts/monuments. Its no wonder that big temples and palaces (reference to Narayana's post on Thanjavur palaces) lie buried or are damaged beyond recognition. Colossally inept govt body.

    By Blogger gandalf_the_gay, at 8:07 PM  

  • ASI is a very complicated office Hari. I know because we were trying to get them to talk on the work they were doing here in Karnataka. The central and state branches overlap, within the state the north and south branches overlap etc and it seems like a set of very confused and listless set of people.Ofcourse in some places where the people themselves are interested in conservation of monuments things have been better. Good blog, food for thought man

    By Blogger van, at 12:14 AM  

  • one more feather in their cap, already they hav lots in their cap.
    Disclaimer: Feather and cap doesn't really mean the actual meaning. Cap is their dirtier cap and feather is their dusty feather.

    By Blogger REFLEX, at 4:02 AM  

  • You have made an interesting point. I too read the article and was enamoured about the discovery that temples were used as forts. But this point is something to ponder.

    By Blogger Swahilya, at 7:28 AM  

  • yep, have always felt that the ASI lacks enthusiam.

    By Blogger PVS, at 4:35 PM  

  • me felt the same when i read in the newspaper abt the canon ball...how funny these people r...

    By Blogger sophie, at 1:40 AM  

  • Ramya, waiting for you with a red carpet.

    By Blogger hari, at 11:23 PM  

  • Hi Ravi,

    Why guns? we will use the same Cannon Balls that they discovered.

    By Blogger hari, at 11:24 PM  

  • Hi Phantom,
    howz u.If only ASI were so amicable.

    By Blogger hari, at 11:24 PM  

  • Hi Saranyan,
    All these ASI controlled monuments have a typically stinking smell, a natural perfume only ASI is capable of creating.

    Thank god they vacated the Thiruvannamalai temple.

    By Blogger hari, at 11:26 PM  

  • Well said gandalf. very true

    By Blogger hari, at 11:26 PM  

  • Hey Van. Do the ASI also do some work. Great to hear. If at all we are left with some heritage, it is because of some passionate historians.

    By Blogger hari, at 11:30 PM  

  • Reflex, LOL

    By Blogger hari, at 11:31 PM  

  • Swahilya, can i call it meditative reading of Newspaper. you evaluate

    By Blogger hari, at 11:32 PM  

  • Hi PVS, nice to see u after a long time.

    By Blogger hari, at 11:32 PM  

  • Sophie, not funny but disgusting.

    By Blogger hari, at 11:33 PM  

  • Thanjai, periya kovil pallaandu vaazhgave...

    Let us hope that the subsequent set of people at least have a better understanding and appreciation of history for as it is said "those who forget history are condemned to repeat it".

    By Blogger thennavan, at 11:39 PM  

  • Gotta say I still feel the same as I did about the ASI now as when I commented in Ravi's blog that they should all be machine-gunned! It's a crying shame that our heritage monuments are being so horribly maintained. Also, dirty temples put me off - impossible to feel religious when you're wondering when a cockroach will climb up your arm! ughhh...

    By Blogger Shyam, at 6:56 AM  

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