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Enemy man for heritage sites - Graffiti on megaliths; portion of rock temple damaged

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  • Published 18.02.09

Ramgarh/Hazaribagh, Feb. 18: The heritage structures of the district are under threat from humans. And their guardians are doing precious little to save them.

Three old sites of Hazaribagh— Punkri Barwadih, the megaliths of Napo in Kujju of Ramgarh district and the rock-cut temple in Mahudi Pahaad — are lying in a shambles, with humans having damaged portions of it.

Thanks to the uncaring attitude of the district administration and the tourist department, no measure has been taken to develop the places.

In fact, Sacred Sites International Foundation, the US, — an organisation that preserves natural and built sacred places — has identified Punkri Barwadih as the second most endangered heritage site in the world.

Not without reason. For, the ancient menhirs present at the site, about 17km away from the district headquarters, have writings all over it. Words like Jai Mata Di and various other quotations have been inscribed on the stones.

The megaliths of Napo in Ramgarh, about 48km from Hazaribagh, are in a similar disgraceful state. The Rashtriya Janata Dal is using one of the megaliths as a signboard. The upper portion of another menhir has been cut off after a truck hit it.

In Barkagaon, the front portion of the rock-cut temple, popularly known as Dwarpal, has been damaged. The ancient sculpture of an elephant, too, has been vandalised allegedly by the villagers.

Megalithic explorer Subhasis Das, who is working to save these ancient sites, said that he had already informed the state archaeological and tourism departments about the condition of the heritage structures, but all in vain.

When contacted, Hazaribagh deputy commissioner Binay Choubey pleaded ignorance about the damages done to these ancient structures. He said that the district administration had received no complaints about degeneration of the megaliths and temples, adding that there was no plan to develop these spots.