News:The Archaeological Survey of India is planning to declare the Rangdum Monastery located in Ladakh (Kargil district) as a monument of national importance.
About Rangdum Monastery:
- Rangdum Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery belonging to the Gelugpa sect.
- It is situated on top of a hill at an altitude of 13,225 ft at the head of the Suru Valley in Ladakh.
- The main highlight of the monastery is its central prayer hall with a collection of Tibetan and other artifacts.
Significance of the move:
- The move aims to look into the opportunities for expansion of tourism in the Ladakh region in the backdrop of the decision to split Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
- Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) is the premier organization for the archaeological research, scientific analysis, excavation of archaeological sites, conservation and preservation of protected monuments.
- It is an attached office under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Culture.
- ASI was founded in 1861 by Alexander Cunningham who was the first Director-General of ASI.
About Monument of National importance:
- The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (AMASR) Act, 1958 defines archaeological site and remains as any area which contains or is reasonably believed to contain ruins or relics of historical or archaeological importance which have been in existence for not less than 100 years.
- When any archaeological site and remains is declared to be of national importance it is called protected area under AMASR Act.