The Archaeological Survey of India is planning to declare the Rangdum Monastery located in Ladakh (Kargil district) as a monument of national importance.
- The move aims to look into the opportunities for expansion of tourism in the Ladakh region in the backdrop of the decision to spilt Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territories.
- The Central government is looking at bringing more monuments present in this region under its direct protection and therefore it made this monastery a Centrally-protected site.
- It is the 18th century built monastery that is situated at an altitude of 4,031 m. at the head of the Suru Valley, in Ladakh.
- Suru Valley is drained by the Suru River which is a tributary of the Indus River.
- Rangdum Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery belonging to the Gelugpa sect.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
- 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- the first Director-General of ASI.
Centre explores opportunities for expansion of tourism in Ladakh.
A Buddhist monastery in Ladakh in Kargil district could soon be given Central protection as the Archaeological Survey of India on Tuesday invited objections or suggestions on declaring the Rangdum monastery a monument of national importance.
Last month, Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel had visited Leh to look into the opportunities for expansion of tourism in Ladakh. According to sources, the Centre was looking at bringing more monuments in the region under protection, after its decision to split Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories — J&K and Ladakh.
While that decision comes into effect on October 31, the ASI’s notification on Tuesday gave notice for declaring the Rangdum Monastery in “District Kargil, Union Territory Ladakh” a monument of national importance. The ASI invited comments till two months from the notification, after which the monastery could be declared to be of national importance, making it a Centrally-protected site.
According to the Kargil district administration’s website, the 18th century monastery is “perched picturesquely on a top of a hillock like an ancient fort”. Apart from the monastery, the Rangdum locality, located 130 km from Kargil town, also serves as the base for various trekking routes, the website says.