From frescoes inside Golden Temple and Ladakh Monasteries to Colonial Bungalows, architect & heritage conservationists remodel them all

Preserving culturally significant monuments and  artefacts, conservators like Namita Jaspal from Punjab and Sujatha Shankar in Chennai are given to redo the Walls and Halls of the building across the country.

Namita Jaspal, the chief conservator of Heritage Preservation Atelier lab has not just the private buildings in Punjab and Haryana but she is also credited with restoring wall paintings of the 16th Century Golden Temple in Amritsar, 18th and 19th Century temples built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and a nine-foot flag gifted by the Chinese to the British Indian Army in the 1800s.

According to her, it took three-four years to complete the project as there was a lot of footfall and we could only work at night. They have also done frescos and wall paintings in temples from Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s time. In all of them, there was an amalgamation of faith as there miniature painting depciting Lord Krishna’s life.

NIlabh Sinha, principal director of Delhi-headquartered INTACH Conservation Institutes has performed restoration work on Ladakh’s 12th Century Mangyu temple complex. Nilabh, who also conserved nine oil paintings of the Rashtrapati Bhavan in 2008 and 2009.

Nilabh’s team also repaired, conserved and restored the complex’s structure. They employed locals and trained them to continue preserving the monastery. “Local monks too were involved in our project,” says Nilabh, who has also restored the 19th Century, limestone Flora Fountain in Mumbai.

Emphasizing the difference between material conservation and monument conservation he is of the opinion that the former involves any material that constitutes an art form, ranging from textiles to paintings, while the latter is a more elaborate process requiring architects and engineers.

Sujatha Shankar, the convener of INTACH’s Chennai chapter is another eminent architect who specialises in architecture, planning, and restoration and conservation. She has restored a colonial bungalow based in Purasaiwalkam which was over 100 years old that evolved from Indo-Saracenic styles, it was restored into vernacular architecture by putting back light fixtures and the flooring.

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