Protection of Monuments & Heritage Sites in India
Acts, Rules & Byelaws
In India our built heritage has been divided by law into monuments and heritage buildings. Heritage buildings can be lived in, monuments cannot. The monuments are protected by Central and State Acts under the Department of Culture. Most of the heritage buildings are protected by byelaws which are part of the Development Control Rules which fall under the Town Planning Department.
The Ancient Monuments Preservation Act was passed in 1904 to provide protection to national monuments. It was expanded in 1951 through the Ancient and Historic Monuments and Sites and Remains (Declaration of National Importance) Act and revised in 1958 with the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act. This Act has jurisdiction over all historic sites that are over 100 years old. About 3600 buildings of national importance have been notified under this Act.
Under the Maharashtra Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1960 Act, the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the State Government was set up to protect monuments. The Department of Archaeology has notified approx. 240 monuments in Maharashtra.