Built Heritage and Sites-NMMA
National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities
According to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958:
“Ancient Monument” means any structure, erection or monument, or any tumulus or place of interment, or any cave, rock sculpture, inscription or monolith which is of historical, archaeological or artistic interest and which has been in existence for not less than 100 years and includes:
1. Remains of an ancient monument;
2. Site of an ancient monument;
3. Such portion of land adjoining the site of an ancient monument as may be required for fencing or covering in or otherwise preserving such monument, and
4. The means of access to, and convenient inspection of an ancient monument.
However, for the purpose of documentation of Built Heritage under National Mission, the scope has been enhanced by defining any structure that belongs to pre-independence period and 1950 has been considered as the cut off date. This has been decided considering/ realising the fact that heritage structures during pre-Independence period show the influence of colonial architecture and sometimes the typical traditional architecture of a region that are no more in continuity. Hence these are unique to our present architectural tradition. Further, such built heritage will be considered for documentation that is architecturally, historically, archaeologically or aesthetically significant for reconstruction of regional history.
The built heritage and sites identified so far is only a fraction of the total wealth of the country. An even smaller figure is under the protection and care of the central and state governments. So far only 3667 monuments and sites are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and approximately 3500 monuments and sites are protected by the State Governments. Unfortunately this unprotected heritage is fast disappearing previously undreamt of a pace without any record because of lack of public awareness on heritage and sustainable developmental projects.