Centre denies Konkan temples under Archaeological Survey of India

Mumbai: The Centre on Tuesday turned down a request of BJP MP and former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane to declare the ancient temples in the Konkan region as protected monuments of national importance and provide basic amenities there.

Minister of State for Culture Dr Mahesh Sharma said these temples are not in their original shape as changes have been effected by the trusts running them and as such they do not qualify as the monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

None of the temples listed by Rane in his first Star question on Tuesday figure among 3686 monuments protected by the ASI, the minister said, pointing out that any monument which is over 100 year old is notified as protected by the ASI after giving two months for  objections.

The temples that Rane wanted included in the central list of religious places are Lord Ganpati temple Kadyavarcha Ganpati Anjarle, Konkan region; Keshavraj temple of Lord Vishnu and Vyagreshwar temple of Lord Shiva in Aasood village 7 km. away from Dapoli, Anjarle Road, Tamas pilgrimage and Sri Datta temple and ancient Veleshwar temple situated at Ladghar; Velneshwar Shiva temple in Konkan region and Harihareshwar temple on bank of Tambi (Tamrapani) river situated 45 km. away from Gondhele village (Chiplun).

PANDHARPUR YATRA: In response to a supplementary by Shiv Sena’s Anil Desai, the minister agreed to create the Kumbh-like facilities at Pandharpur in view of the massive congregation there during the Yatra. He said the government has been promoting spiritual tourism and the Pandharpur Yatra is also a  milestone.

On Congress member Hussain Dalwai’s plea to declare an unused old mosque at Dabhol as protected to save it from the ruins, the minister said the government does not differentiate the religious places as such. Dalwai said he was concerned to find cows sitting in the abandoned mosque during a recent visit.

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