Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 28:
Udayagiri caves – the 10th century Jain monument – situated on the outskirts of Odisha capital are crying for restoration as it poses imminent danger after cracks were spotted in columns erected to support the structures.
Stones have apparently been dislodged from the columns and iron rods are getting corroded. The 17-line Brahmi and Prakrit scripts of the 1st century BC on Kharavela’s life and achievements in the Elephant Caves are illegible due to exposure to rain water.
Reacting to this, Khandagiri Anchalika Bikash Parishad (KABP) working committee member Sundar Narayan Patra said, “The ticket money being collected from tourists visiting Udayagiri is meant for maintenance of the tourist place. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) should apply chemical paint to protect the monument. Even if restricts are there not to touch the stone inscriptions, the site should be protected by covering nets and engaging security guards.”
Though ASI has initiated process to close the road passing through Udayagiri and Khandagiri hills, the delay in the process is causing damage to it, experts opined.
Damage to the 10th century monument could be reversed by two ways – either by replacing the damaged pieces by the same materials used before or through chemical treatment procedures. The measures should be initiated before it causes much damage to it, said an archaeologist.