Date:20/11/2003 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/lf/2003/11/20/stories/2003112000600200.htm
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Glimpses of the past



Light on the past.

LOOKING BACK in history is interesting. It is of interest not just to the specialists but the public too. Going about unearthing history, literally, is a scientific exercise, indulged in by the Archaeological Survey of India. The general public can get a glimpse of the work of ASI during the World Heritage Week celebrations being organised at the Hill Palace Museum, Thripunithura by the ASI, which began on Wednesday.

The photographic exhibition at Hill Palace showing excavations which have thrown light on the lives of people way back in the era before Christ are interesting.

The exhibition has a focus on findings from Kerala and Tamil Nadu along with some of the notified heritage structures from other parts of the country.

There are photographs of umbrella stones, from the Megalithic era unique to Central and North Kerala, in Cheramangad and Ariyannur in Thrissur, the rock cut caves from Kattakampal and Eyyal in Tamil Nadu dating back to a period approximately between first century BC and first century AD.

Photographs of forts like the Bekal Fort in Kasaragod, St. Angelo Fort in Kannur, Anjengo Fort etc and monuments like St. Francis Church in Fort Kochi, the Mattancherry palace etc also have been displayed.

There are also photographs of some of the initiatives taken up by the ASI for the conservation of old temples like the Vadakunnatha Temple, Thrissur, Koodalmanikkam Temple in Irinjalakuda, Siva Temple in Peruvanam, Cherpu etc.

The photographs of some of the famous monuments like the Stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh, Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra, Panch Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, some of the famous temples in Tamil Nadu like the Brihadeshwara temple in Thanjavur, Shore temple and Ratha, Mahabalipuram and others make up about 50-odd photographs at the exhibition.

The week-long celebration was inaugurated on Wednesday by the Director of Archaeology, V. Manmadhan Nair. The programmes include lectures and slide shows by the staff and students of the Centre for Heritage Studies. Paithrika Vedi or Heritage Forum, which will be presenting these programmes on a regular basis was also launched today by the Registrar of the Centre, P.K. Gopi.

An inter-school heritage quiz will be conducted on Thursday in which about 15 teams from the district will be participating. The students of Conservation and Museology at the Centre will be presenting a lecture cum demonstration the same day called `A journey through Music', a programme on Kerala's contribution to classical music and film music.

Earlier at the inaugural session, Mr. Manmadhan Nair, said that the Centre for Heritage Studies should strive to become a centre for excellence in research.

Ramaswamy Iyengar of the Chinmaya International Foundation, Piravom, who presided over the session, said that heritage is not just a few stones and marbles but the heart and soul of India. The value of India outside is not measured in its economy but its culture and heritage, Mr. Iyengar said.

K.J. Sohan, president of INTACH, Cochin Chapter and Mariamma Vincent Panikulangara, Head, Department of Heritage and Culture, Cusat, spoke on the occasion.

By Shyama Rajagopal

Photo: H. Vibhu

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