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Mizoram stone monuments to be declared ‘national importance’

 Aizawl (Mizonews.Net):About 200 stone monuments in Mizoram which are believed to have been erected sometime in the late 14th or 15th century AD could soon be listed as monuments of ‘National Importance’, according to INTAC Mizoram chapter convenor P. Rohmingthanga.

Rohmingthanga said the Chapter initiated this proposal in 2010 by approaching the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India at New Delhi. The site, christened ‘Kawtchhuah Ropui’ (literally meaning in the Great Gateway) by the villagers, is located in the outskirts of Vangchhia village in Champhai District of Mizoram close to Myanmar border. But, the realization of the importance and worth of the these stone monuments came only too late as many of them were already broken and used for other purposes, even late as in the last quarter of the twentieth century.

“These monuments are full of pictorial embossing, depicting the Mizo chiefs, their warrior, weapons, tools, animals, ornaments and such like. The workmanship is exquisite, and obviously they were the products of very highly skilled artisans. It is also obvious that there must have been sizable long term settlement at the village as these monuments must have taken many years to finish them and also there are many evidences in the village of such long term settlement. As and when experts decipher the message and the meaning of these pictorial messages, we shall be able to have a much clearer picture of the history and culture of the Mizo people”, Rohmingthanga said

The chapter has been relentlessly pursuing this proposal for the past 3 years with the Ministry of Culture, the Archaeological Survey of India, both New Delhi and the ASI’s Circle office at Guwahati. The Chapter had brought the ASI teams to visit the site which they did 3 times, made arrangement for these visits in association with the Art and Culture Department, the Deputy Commissioner of Champhai District and the village council of Vangchhia. Besides, a representative of the Chapter invariably accompanied the teams.

Preliminary notification to notify the site as of national importance has now been published in the Gazette of India dated the 28th November, 2103, giving two months time for submission of any object to the proposal. P. Rohmingthanga and other members of the INTACH Mizoram Chapter, does not expect any objection from any quarter and therefore, they expect that Mizoram will for the first time, soon figure in the Archaeological Map of India. He further says that the Chapter has been waiting for finalization of the Vangchhia proposal before initiating new ones; and that once this comes to its conclusion, the INTACH Mizoram Chapter will embark on many projects involving protection, conservation and restoration of heritage sites and structures as the state is having many such important sites all over the state. The Chapter thanks the Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India for having issued the preliminary notification. The Chapter also thanks the Government of Mizoram, Art and Culture Department, the Chief Secretary, the Lok Sabha member from Mizoram, the Resident Commissioner of Delhi and all others who had extended a helping hand in the processing of this proposal.

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