Religious monuments in the Konkan region on the western coastline of the country do not fall under the protection list of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said on Tuesday.
He was replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha on whether the government planned to include religious places like Ganapati temple in Konkan, Keshavraj temple and Vyagreshawar temples, among others in the central list of ASI, which conserves over 3,500 monuments across the country.
The Minister said that as per Maharashtra government, the temples date back to the late medieval period, but due to frequent changes and repairs by trusts and religious organisations, they have lost relevance.
He said there was a process for bringing monuments under the ASI list, which includes notification of more than 100- year old monuments in the Gazette of India and objections are sought from people. These are notified after two months in the protected monuments category.
Sharma said currently, there were 22 such monuments which were ready to be brought under conserved list.
In reply to another query, he said the historic Pandharpur temple in Maharashtra was of much religious importance and if the state government forwarded any proposal, the Centre could take a call on it.
He also said that spiritual tourism was an important segment of tourism and Pandharpur was of much significance.