ASI Current Affairs - 2019

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Elephanta Festival of Art and Culture begins

The Elephanta Festival of art and culture commenced at the iconic Gateway of India in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The festival was inaugurated by state Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal who highlighted government’s commitment towards boosting Elephanta island tourism in all possible ways.

Key Features

Background: The Elephanta Festival of art and culture was started in 2012 and since then is held every year to promote tourism and culture of Mumbai. It is held on Gharapuri island (also known as Elephanta Island) where Elephanta Caves are located.

The annual gala event is organised on Elephanta Island by Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). It is promoted by Maharashtra government.

About Elephanta Caves

  • They are the rock-cut Caves and were constructed around the mid-5th to 6th centuries AD. They are a collection of cave temples primarily dedicated to Lord Shiv but also have Buddhist caves.
  • The island was renamed as Elephanta from Gharapuri (which means the city of caves) by Portuguese after they found a statue of an elephant on island.
  • Elephanta Caves is currently maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Azaadi ke Diwane Museum Inaugurated at Red Fort

The ‘Azaadi ke Diwane’ museum dedicated to the unsung heroes of the country’s freedom struggle was inaugurated at the Red Fort premises.

Azaadi ke Diwane Museum

  • The Museum is built by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
  • The Museum pays homage to hundreds of freedom fighters who do not find mention in popular culture.
  • The Museum has attempted to document these unsung hero’s contributions to India’s Freedom Struggle.
  • The Museum pays tribute to the selfless sacrifices of the revolutionaries, brave women freedom fighters and valiant children.
  • The Museum is part of Kranti Mandir Series to inspire the younger generation and to let them know the cost of freedom that the great fighters achieved by sacrificing their lives.
  • Azaadi ke Diwane is a digitised and interactive museum with a state-of-the-art, informative and educational exhibition allowing the visitors to engage with the exhibits through multi-sensor technology.

Kranti Mandir Series

Kranti Mandir is India’s tribute to the revolutionary zeal and courage of the great freedom fighters. Other Museums which are part of the Kranti Mandir series are Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Museum, Yaad-e-Jallian Museum and Museum on 1857- India’s first war of Independence were inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the eve of Republic Day.