Which are the sacred objects in India?
The sacred objects, vestures, ornaments, and relics of India are mostly located in the north-western parts of the country and in the south-western states.
But, the north is home to the largest collection of sacred objects and relics in the country.
These are the state and local sacred objects (SPOs) and SPOs of various states.
While in the state of Karnataka, the State Archaeological Institute (SAI) maintains the collections of sacred places, in the states of Karnal and Tamil Nadu it has been collecting the collection of SPOs for the past three decades.
The collection of relics in these states has been the subject of controversy in the past.
The collection of state and national sacred objects has been divided into two categories: those of temples and shrines and those of sacred sites and sacred structures.
The National Institute of Archaeology and Museums (NIAIM) has published an overview of the collection in its ‘Guide to State Sacred Objects and the States’, a document which explains the status of the national collection.
The guide states that there are 3,000 SPOs in the collection and that of the 8,000 identified SPOs, 2,000 have been identified as state or local.
According to the NIAIM, of the 1,845 SPOs identified in the last 10 years, around 5,500 have been found in states where there is no designated sacred place and only 1,000 are in any other state.
This is because of a number of reasons.
In the states where they have been discovered, the objects have been in a protected area and have been buried for long periods of time.
The number of these objects has also been reduced due to the removal of many religious sites in the 1980s and 1990s.
The NIAI also notes that in some states, the number of objects in the national inventory has been reduced from the 1.7 million identified in 1990 to the 0.3 million identified at the present time.
This is why the number and status of these SPOs and SPO of other states is important for the state.
According to the latest official information, there are more than 50,000 temples and more than 200,000 shrines in the whole country.
According the NDA government, there is an estimate of 7.3 lakh SPOs.
Of these, around 2.7 lakh are in Karnataka and around 2 lakh in Tamil Nadu.
The remaining 3 lakh belong to other states.
The NIA estimates that of all the SPOs that are identified in India, only about 15% of them are in the five states.
The rest of the SPO collections are scattered across the country with only a few of them in Tamilnadu and Karnataka.
For the rest, the information is hazy.
This means that, for example, in a state like Karnataka or Tamil Nadu, the estimated number of SPO in the area is quite low.
However, the estimate of the number in the region as a whole is around 100,000.
There are various reasons for the discrepancy in the numbers of SPOS identified in these five states, which are listed in the guide.
First of all, there was a period of time when there were only a small number of designated SPOs but the number has increased rapidly.
Secondly, there were some SPOs located in rural areas and in areas where there was not a designated SPO.
Finally, there have been instances of SPAs being demolished or destroyed.
These reasons are cited by NIA in the ‘Guide’ to State and Local Sacred Objects.
In addition to these reasons, the guide also lists a number as a potential problem that the SPIs may encounter in collecting them.
It states that some of the objects may not be easily accessible or accessible through traditional means.
The same problem applies to the collection itself.
In addition, it also points out that SPOs are often situated near a temple and that these are important places for worship.
The information is vague on what are the guidelines for the collection.
The National Institute for Archaeology & Museums, 2017, ‘Guide of State Sacred Items and the SAD’.’
Guide of state sacred objects’ (NISA Guide to State & Local Sacred objects), Karnataka Department of Archaeological Survey, 2017.