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Archaeological Survey of India

Archaeological Survey of India
Abbreviation ASI
Formation 1784
Headquarters Janpath, New Delhi, India - 110011
Region served India
Parent organization Ministry of Culture, Government of India
Budget 605 crore (US$98 million) (2014-2015)[1]

The Archaeological Survey of India (भारतीय पुरातत्‍व सर्वेक्षण) is an Indian government agency in the Department of Culture that is responsible for archaeological studies and the preservation of cultural monuments. According to its website, the ASI's function is to "explore, excavate, conserve, preserve and protect the monuments and sites of National & International Importance."


  • History 1
  • Overview 2
  • Directors-General 3
  • In popular culture 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the successor of the Asiatic Society of British archaeologist Sir William Jones, founded January 15, 1784. In 1788 it begun to publish a journal The Asiatic Researches and in 1814 built its first museum in Bengal.


The ASI in its current form was founded in 1861 under British colonial administration by Sir Alexander Cunningham with the help of the then Viceroy Canning. At the time, its domain also included Afghanistan. When Mortimer Wheeler became Director-General in 1944, the head-office of the Survey was located at the Railway Board building in Simla. Prior to the partition of India, its' domain also included present-day Pakistan and Bangladesh. After independence, it came under The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites And Remains Act of 1958.

ASI administers 3636 monuments it has declared to be of national importance under the provisions of the Antiquity and Art Treasure Act 1972.

The important sites excavated recently include Harsha-ka-Tila at Thanesar in Haryana exposing a cultural sequence from the Kushan period to medieval periods.

Museums under the auspices of the ASI are for example the National Museum, New Delhi and the Red Fort Archaeological Museum.

An 18 member National Committee on Conservation Policy was formed in January 2011 by Ministry of Culture. There main agenda was to make guidelines for Conservationa and Protection of monuments, formulate principles for conservation and comprise international best practices. A draft “National Conservation Policy for Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains” was released in May 2013. This was submitted to Ministry of Culture after getting feedback from various stakeholders. Ministry of Culture approved the final policy named “National Policy for Conservation of Ancient Monuments, Archaeological Sites and Remains(NPC - AMASR)” in January 2013. The Conservation policy will be applicable only for monuments and sites protected by ASI under Archaeological Sites and Reamians Act (AMASR), 1958.[2]


In popular culture

The fictional character Kakababu, in Sunil Gangopadhyay's famed Kakababu series, is an ex-Director of the Archaeological Survey of India.

See also


  1. ^ "Budget 2014-15 Ministry of Culture". Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Retrieved from 'Archaeological Survey of India' on 17 September 2014

External links

  • Archaeological Survey of India, Official website
  • World Heritage Site, All Tentative Sites, Here is an overview of all tentative lists, last updated January 2007.
  • World Heritage, Tentative Lists, State : India.
  • Dholavira: a Harappan City, Disstt, Kachchh, Gujarat, India, India (Asia and the Pacific), Date of Submission: 03/07/1998 , Submission prepared by : Archaeological Survey of India, Coordinates: 23°53'10" N, 70°11'03" E, Ref.: 1090
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