India is blessed with a rich culture and heritage that is one of the oldest in the world. There are many unexplored hidden archaeological sites and monuments in the country that can include everything from temples, mosques, churches, tombs, and cemeteries to palaces, forts, step-wells and rock-cut caves.
The Archaeological Survey of India (an attached office to the ministry of culture) is responsible for exploring and conserving archaeological sites and monuments. It is divided into 27 circles each headed by a superintending archaeologist. Each of the circles is further divided into sub-circles. The duty of circles is to conduct surveys of antiquarian remains and explore archaeological sites. But due to the lack of machinery, it is very difficult for them to conduct village to village survey and discover our hidden heritage.
There is a need for the participation of Indian citizens in the exploration of hidden archaeological sites and monuments.
A web portal and a helpline number should be started by the ASI. It can also publish a district-wise list of already explored archaeological sites and monuments on the web portal. Citizens will be able to post information with photographs about the archaeological monuments nearby which are not listed. They can also give information through a toll-free number provided by the ASI.
The sub-circle officer should then visit the site/monument with the help of the informant and make a short report and send it to the circle office. The circle officer should then decide and declare whether the given place/monument is of national importance or not.
The ASI can develop these newly found archaeological sites/monuments of national importance for tourism, which will ultimately create employment and increase local GDP. These newly found sites/monuments should be promoted through the same web portal. Credit and rewards can be given to the informers for giving information and helping in studying the archaeological site/monument.
There are many superstitions attached to the monuments like rock-cut caves, forts, etc. in the villages and small cities. This initiative will also be helpful to eradicate these superstitions by making people aware of the facts related to the monuments.