Bhopal: ASI preparing for visit of G20 delegates to UNESCO World Heritage sites in MP

G-20 meet: Sanchi, Bhimbetka, Khajuraho, Mandu on itinerary of visitors in Jan-Feb ‘23

SmitaUpdated: Friday, December 16, 2022, 05:48 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has started preparations for the visit of delegates from G20 nations to Khajuraho, Bhimbetka, Sanchi and Mandu in Madhya Pradesh in January-February next year. The idea is to help them ‘experience India’ and to introduce them to the rich past of the state.

The group comprises 19 countries - Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the USA - and the European Union (EU). India has taken over the presidency of G20 from December 1 this year.

All the four sites are under the protection of the ASI and barring Mandu, all are UNESCO World Heritage sites. They represent different slices of the history of the state: Bhimbetka (prehistoric), Sanchi (ancient) and Khajuraho and Mandu (medieval).

Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Bhopal Circle, Manoj Kumar Kurmi, told the Free Press that preparations for the visits had begun from November. “Our Director General has already visited the state,” he said.

Kurmi said that the meetings of the delegates will be held in Bhopal, Indore and Khajuraho. “They will be visiting Bhimbetka and Sanchi on 19-20 January, Mandu on February 13-14 and Khajuraho on February 23 and then again on September 19-20,” he said, adding that all these sites were illuminated with the colours of G20 from December 1-7 this year.

Two days have been set aside for the visit to Mandu, one day for Khajuraho and half-day each for Bhimbetka and Sanchi.

The monuments at these sites are being cleaned, roads are being repaired and other necessary preparations are being made. “The ASI will form a panel of expert guides to show the delegates around. These guides will be imparted training by experts,” he said. The sites will be strictly plastic-free.

Of the 26 monuments in Mandu, Jahaz Mahal, Hindola Mahal, Baz Bahadu’s Palace, Roopmati Pavilion, Hoshang Shah Ka Maqbara and some other monuments have been chosen for the visit. In Sanchi, the delegates will be taken to Stupas 1, 2, 3 and Sanchi Museum and time permitting, to Udaygiri. In Khajuraho, they will be taken to the Western Group of Temples on the first day and to other monuments the next day.

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