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ASI finds Mughal-era paintings inside Red Fort’s Chhata Bazaar

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has found rare Mughal-era wall paintings at Chhata Bazaar, set up by emperor Shah Jahan, inside the Red Fort, during lime plaster removal. India’s apex conservation body is now working on scientific treatment of the paintings.”The bazaar has been in use since the 17th century. There have been several coatings of lime plaster. After the removal of six layers, we started to see colourful patterns, well preserved in the seventh layer,” said ASI’s Dr DN Dimri.These are intrinsic floral geometric patterns in red, yellow, green and black — common during the Mughal era.Chhata Bazaar (roofed market) was earlier known as Bazaar-i-Musaqaf — ‘safaq’ means roof — as markets in those times were mainly open. This was one of its kind that led people directly from Lahori Gate to Naubat Khana and Diwan-i-Am, crossing through a fine exhibition of carpets, zari, velvets and even gold and ivories.The market still attracts crowds visiting the fort, but silk shops now mostly sell handicraft.The ASI’s work will take at least a year to complete as it is taking the layers off the entire ceilings and walls and applying chemicals to preserve the findings.There might be plans to copy the paintings on canvas for exhibition. “I had no idea that the walls are so pretty. Though they are all covered up with scaffoldings, I climbed up to see the work that and was amazed,” said Dharampal Nagar, a third-generation shopkeeper.

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Give a long-term comprehensive plan for protection of Taj Mahal: SC to stakeholders

The Supreme Court today sought a detailed and comprehensive document to protect the medieval era monument Taj Mahal for at least the next 100 years.Terming as “ad hoc”, the measures enumerated by the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) authority in its affidavit, a bench headed by Justice M B Lokur said the document submitted was interim in nature and some long-term plan was needed for protection and preservation of the historical Mughal-era mausoleum. TTZ is an area of about 10,400 sq kms spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan.”What you (ASG) have submitted are ad hoc steps. What is required is a larger and broader perspective of the whole scenario. Everybody needs to sit together and come out with ways as to how the monument should be protected for the next generation,” the bench observed. The apex court said the members from the civil society including experts should be involved in devising a strategy to protect the Taj Mahal.Also readTaj Mahal 2nd best UNESCO world heritage site after Angkor Wat: SurveyDuring the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta placed an affidavit stating the measures to be taken for the protection and preservation of the Taj. He said a number of measures have been proposed including ban on construction activities within 500 metres from the monument, plying of only CNG vehicles near Taj, sufficient supply of electricity to discourage use of generator sets and complete prohibition of burning of waste and garbage. The top court posted the matter for hearing after eight weeks. On November 20, the apex court had rapped the Uttar Pradesh government for not coming out with a comprehensive policy to protect and preserve the beauty of Taj Mahal, saying “we need sustainable development”.The bench had also asked TTZ authority to explain why it was not holding meetings every two months as was expected. On November 15, the apex court had directed the state to file a comprehensive policy with regard to pollution in TTZ and nearby areas to preserve the monument.Also read’There’s only one Taj Mahal’: Supreme Court nixes plan for parking lot near monumentIt had taken strong exception to the state not filing a comprehensive policy before it despite assurances. The state had said that a policy has been prepared by the TTZ, which was an independent authority. It had earlier stayed its order directing demolition of a multi-level car parking being built near the Taj Mahal and asked the authorities to maintain status quo there.Environmentalist M C Mehta, who had filed a plea seeking protection of the Taj from the ill-effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area, had earlier told the bench that the TTZ was an “ecologically sensitive area” and the government should have come out with a comprehensive policy for preservation and protection of the Taj.The apex court, which is dealing with Mehta’s petition, has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631. The mausoleum is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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In Ayodhya, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says ‘let me talk to everyone on Ram temple’ – 10 updates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after meeting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar reached Ayodhya on Thursday to meet all stakeholders in Ram Mandir issue.The meeting comes days ahead of the final hearing of the Babri Masjid dispute,which is slated to begin next month.Here are 10 major updates from this story:1: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar reached the temple town in morning amid tight security. He is in Ayodhya to mediate the talks for an out-of-court settlement in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.2: Ahead of the series of meetings that include discussion with Nirmohi Akhada and other claimants in the case, Sri Sri sounded positive.3: Talking to media, he said that ‘the environment is positive. People want to come out of this conflict.’4: However, as a hint of reality check he also added that ‘I know it is not easy. Let me talk to everyone. It is too early to reach a conclusion’5: Though many have welcomed the initiative by the spiritual leader, there are some who don’t exactly seem him as answer to the two decade old dispute.6: One of the most vociferous voices against Sri Sri’s mediation include that of former BJP lawmaker Ram Vilas Vedanti.7: He alleged that the Art of Living founder ‘jumped into Ayodhya issue to avoid into his personal wealth.’ Slamming the spritual leader’s visit, Vedanti asked, ‘Who is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to mediate? He should continue running his NGO and hoarding foreign funds.’8: The Yogi Adityanath government, however, has remained tight-lipped on the entire issue.9: Even after the meeting with Sri Sri, CM Yogi had said that ‘it was a courtesy call.’10: The 16th century Mughal-era Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 sparking major riots that killed over 2,000 people.

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