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2007 Awards Entries for Culture Heritage Conservation



Gajner Palace, Rajasthan

One of the most significant palaces on Gajner Lake, the Palace was built in the early decades of the 20th century by Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner. Before independence, the palace was a symbol of the social life of the Indian royalty and British aristocracy in India. In 1976, the palace was converted by Maharaja Karni Singhji of Bikaner into a hotel. In 1999, the conservation project was started, affecting about 388 acres in total. The revitalization process of the palace complex, under cooperation with the community, has resulted in the protection of the architectural heritage of Gajner Lake.

Maitreya Temple, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir 

Comprised of three buildings altogether, the Maitreya temples have been used for worship by the community in Basgo for the last five hundred years until the present day. The main building, Chamba Lhakhang, is believed to have been built in the 15th century. The other two temples, the Chamchung and the Serzang, were constructed in the 16th century, with subsequent additions made by later rulers. They are constructed from local materials, such as stone, clay and wood. The principle aim of the villagers was to restore and safeguard the heritage temples. As a living religious site, the project had to ensure that all restoration activities conformed to and respected the sanctity of the site.

Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya, Mumbai

The Mani Bhavan, built in 1914, was the house in which Mahatama Gandhi lived during his stay in Bombay from 1917-1934. In 2003, the conservation plan for the historic Grade I heritage building was started. The issues facing the building included from structural distress leakages and deterioration, incongruous repairs and change of material finishes, along with an urgent need for upgraded services. The aim of the project was to restore the structural and architectural integrity of the building, without compromising on the authenticity of the place. The building is presently in the care of prominent Gandhians and is keeping Gandhi's legacy alive through the activities of its public museum and library.

The Army Navy Building, Mumbai

The Army Navy Building, a Grade IIA heritage building of Maharashtra state, is built in the Gothic Revival and Indo-Saracenic styles of the late 19th century. Built in the 1860s for military use, the building is constructed of load-bearing brick walls, with a local sandstone ashlar masonry exterior and lime-plastered interior. The conservation process was undertaken in two phases. Starting in 1996 and completed in 1997, Phase I dealt with façade restoration. Phase II, from 2002 to the present, has focused on revitalizing the interior and change the facility into a modern office building.

The Convocation Hall, Mumbai             

The Convocation Hall was built in 1869 in the Neo-Gothic architectural style. Over its history, this hall has been plagued by leakages from its tiled roof and termite infestation. In 2005, the restoration of the Convocation Hall was started. The project focused on structural conservation, upgrading services and restoring the interior to ensure that the building could be functional once again. It now serves as a hall for public uses and ceremonies.

Vijay Raj Palace, Gujaraj

The Rajvant Palace was completed during the reign of Maharaja Vijaysinghji in 1910. It took nearly 13 years to complete the massive reclamation of the riverside land and build the vast three-story palace. A two-story annex called Rajvant Palace was built in the 1910s. The palace complex was later converted into a luxury hotel in 2000. The Government of India recognized the Vijayraj Palace Hotel as the first heritage hotel in the state in 1996. However, during that time, water seepage and lack of maintenance had started to adversely affect the condition of the complex. The owners then embarked upon its renovation and restoration while maintaining its basic structure and design.