It is time ASI stood up to demands of protecting relics

When the French naturalist, Henri Mouhot rediscovered the sprawling Khmer temple complex in Cambodia's rainforest in 1861, he exclaimed, "Grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome.' I too was awestruck on seeing the Angkor temples early this year and realised that Mouhot was not exaggerating. The layout of the temples is based on Hindu mythological cosmos with towers representing mountains in the centre, and a surrounding moat representing the sea. Cambodia's Khmer Empire was founded in ninth century and the Angkor Wat was the Khmer rulers' tribute to Hindu Gods. I was equally thrilled to see engineers from the Archeological Survey of India renovating one of the ruined temples as part of the Ta Prohm Conservation Project