Buddhist Monasteries of Ladakh
|Author||: R.C. Agrawal|
|Description||:xix+312 p., 26 figs., 131 col. & 95 b/w illus., Appendix, Bibliography, Index|
About the Book
Government of India opened Ladakh for foreign tourist in 1975. This initiative of the Government attracted European scholars and tourists and gave a boost to economic activities. From 1975-85, large number of tourists visited Ladakh and created an inquisitiveness and interest in the Tibetan art and artifacts. Dozens of Kashmiris and locals opened kiosks and started selling local handicrafts. In the process replicas of thang-kas and ritual objects were also sold in the market. This period of ten years of commercial activity in the art objects started posing a threat and it was felt necessary by the government to support the monasteries financially and other institutions to undertake the safety and protection measures for the cultural heritage of Ladakh. For quite a considerable period this endeavour of government did not yield any tangible results, but definitely laid the beginning of a dialogue between monasteries and government. Government institutions initiated study and preservation of various monasteries and inculcated a sense of significance in the minds of Lamas and other concerned.
The present study is a molecule attempt in understanding the monasteries and the objects housed therein. Much more remains to be done in different parts of Ladakh to assess the enormous wealth of art, architecture and literature. Hope future scholars may take forward what has been done in the present study.
About the Author
Dr R.C. Agrawal (b. 1947) joined the Archaeological Survey of India in 1972. He explored and excavated a number of sites in various parts of the country. He also participated in excavations at Purana Qila, Delhi; Mathura and conducted excavations at Hampi in Karnataka in the year 1979-80. During 1985-1990, he explored Buddhist sites in Ladakh region and carried out excavations at Tisseru stupa. In 1992, he identified the Buddhist site of Satdhara for large-scale conservation and excavation in Madhya Pradesh. He initiated the conservation of number of monuments in Madhya Pradesh. He has been closely associated with many academic bodies and has published research papers on art, archaeology, paintings and rock art. He is widely travelled and member of ICOM, ICOMOS and other academic bodies.
In his career he has served as Director (Monuments), Joint Director-General, Institute of Archaeology, Member Secretary, Indian Council of Historical Research, Pro-Vice Chancellor, National Museum Institute and Professor of Museology, Principal Director, Architecture Heritage Division, INTACH. Presently, he is a visiting faculty to Architectural Conservation Department (SPA), Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, National Museum Institute and President of Rock Art Society of India.