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Activities Abroad


Archaeological endeavours of the Survey extended beyond the frontiers of the sub-continent and have excelled in all its expeditions abroad.


The expeditions abroad began with the visit of REM Wheeler who sometime in 1946 visited Afghanistan. After a decade, T.N. Ramachandran and Y.D. Sharma visited Afghanistan between May-July, 1956 in order to explore and investigate the art traditions, epigraphical records and archaeological remains. During the survey, a number of sites were visited and the antiquarian remains housed in museums were also extensively studied.

The conservation and restoration of Buddha at Bamyain, Khwaj Parsa’s Mosque at Balkh and extensive repairs to the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Abu Naser under R. Sen Gupta and B. B. Lal and their colleagues was one of the important endeavours of the Survey.

B.K. Thapar and his team visited Farah region in Afghanistan in 1975. They explored, Kafir Qila, Qila Faridan area along the Arghandabo river.


A delegation led by N.P. Chakravarti and C. Sivaramamurti visited the famous monument at Borbodur and it was extensively documented.


In 1961-62, B.B. Lal and his team visited Nubia in Egypt to investigate the prehistoric archaeology. They discovered middle and late stone age tools in the terraces of the river Nile near Afyeh. The team also excavated a few sites at Afyeh and cemetery of C- group people which had as many as one hundred-nine graves.


Two expeditions, one under R.V.Joshi and another by D. Mitra were sent to Nepal in 1961-62. Besides discovering many sites in Bhairawa and Taulihawa districts, the mission also excavated Kudan and Tilaurakot. The other team investigated geomorphological features of the pleistocene period.

In 1963, Krishna Deva carried out an iconographical survey in Nepal. Rare images like Shiva as Ekpada-Trimurti, Chandra riding on a chariot of geese, Mahesha-samhara and Vishnu in ardhanari were the most outstanding discoveries.

S.B. Deo and the ASI in 1965 explored the area between Bhawara to Triveni Ghat in Nepal. They also excavated Banjarahi, south of Lumbini and Paisa .


The conservation of Ankorwat in Cambodia is perhaps one of the most outstanding projects of the Survey in the foreign countries. R. Sen Gupta, B.N. Tandon and R. Duttagupta, who visited the temple in October 1980, prepared a Status Report in order to assess the damages and defects noticed in the edifice. In 1982, K.M. Srivastava and his team, prepared a Project Report and carried out an experiment on the conservation project. A five-member team under M.S. Nagraja Rao visited Ankorwat and incorporating few observations in the report prepared earlier by Srivastava, prepared a comprehensive conservation report. Consequently, between 1986-1992 the missions lead by K.P. Gupta. B.S. Nayal, C.L. Suri and B. Narasimhaiah and their team have successfully completed the conservation and restoration of the temple.


At the request of the Government of Bahrain, a thirteen- member team headed by K.M. Srivastava, undertook excavation in 1983. They excavated as many as seventy graves. Six Indus seals, a circular steatite seal with a typical Indus script were the important finds among others.

Maldive Islands

Under SAARC Technical Assistance Programme, a team led by B.P. Boardikar investigated Pre-Islamic remains in Maldives Islands. The exploration and scientific clearance/ small scale excavations at Arjadu, Kudahuvaan and Kurumathi, Todd and Nilandu atolls brought to light Buddhist traits.


Between 1987-88-89 two missions were sent to Bhutan under the leadership of N. Venkateswar and Jayaramasundaram for the preservation of murals of Nekhang- Lhakhange, Mithragpe- Lhakhang of Tongza D Zong and Do de Drak monastries and for the chemical preservation of murals.


The Central Armed Force Museum in Fortress of Sao Miguel in Luanda, the capital city of Angola, was restored and reorganized. Between 1988-89, the Indian team first led by D.K. Sinha and later by M. Khatun re-arranged the exhibits in Pre-history and Portuguese Gallery; The Chapel; Comrade Agostinho Neto Gallery and Struggle for Independence Gallery.


Dr. K.T. Narasimhan and Shri M.M. Kanade inspected the monuments of Vietnam which are in a dilapidated condition and submitted a project report for conservation measures.


Dr. S.V.P. Halakatti and Shri A.H. Ahmed inspected the monuments of Myanmar and have submitted a detailed report for conservation measures.

Besides, under the Cultural Exchange Programme the scholars and experts of ASI are regularly visiting countries abroad.

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