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March 12 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


The Indore Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has issued an order for the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a scientific survey of the Bhojshala Temple-Kamal Maula Mosque complex in Dhar district.

This move aims to clarify the original nature of the site, which has been a subject of controversy.

Bhojshala Temple-Kamal Maula Mosque Complex:

  • Origins: Built by King Bhoja in the 11th century, the Bhojshala Temple was dedicated to goddess Sarasvati. It later became a mosque, known as Kamal Maula Mosque, built using structural elements of the temple.
  • Controversy: Dispute surrounds the original status of the site as a temple, with conflicting historical claims. The court’s intervention seeks to resolve this ambiguity.
  • Court Order: The High Court mandated the ASI to conduct a comprehensive scientific survey, excavation, and investigation using advanced methods to ascertain the site’s true history.

Methods Adopted by the ASI for Excavation:

  • Invasive Methods: Excavation involves digging and stratigraphic analysis to uncover archaeological layers. It is the most invasive but informative technique.
  • Non-Invasive Methods: These techniques are employed when excavation is not feasible. They include active methods like seismic and electromagnetic surveys, and passive methods like magnetometry and gravity surveying.
  • Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR): ASI utilizes GPR to create 3-D models of buried features by emitting radar impulses into the ground and analyzing return signals.
  • Carbon Dating: This method determines the age of organic materials by measuring the concentration of carbon-14 isotopes.

Limitations of Various Methods:

  • Ambiguity: Similar physical properties of materials can lead to misinterpretations of survey data.
  • Data Limitations: Survey data may contain errors, making it challenging to accurately interpret spatial distributions.
  • Complex Structures: Archaeological structures often consist of heterogeneous materials with complex geometry, posing challenges for interpretation.
  • Geophysical Limitations: Geophysical tools may not accurately reconstruct target images, particularly in complex scenarios.
  • Social and Political Influences: Emotional and political factors can influence interpretations, especially in disputes over religious sites.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI):

  • Role: ASI, under the Ministry of Culture, is responsible for archaeological research and heritage protection in India.
  • Functions: It administers over 3650 ancient monuments, conducts surveys, explorations, excavations, and conserves protected monuments.
  • Establishment: Founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham, the first Director-General, ASI is recognized as the premier organization for archaeological endeavors in India.

Mains Question:

  1. Explain the controversy surrounding the Bhojshala Temple-Kamal Maula Mosque complex in Dhar district and analyze the methods adopted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for excavation. Discuss the limitations of these methods and the role of ASI in preserving India’s cultural heritage. (150 WORDS)


March 12
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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