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Artists and INTACH Launch Campaign to Save Heritage Structures in Udupi

Artists, in collaboration with the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)-Udupi subchapter, have initiated a campaign to preserve the heritage structures of Udupi. The campaign aims to raise awareness about the importance of protecting these structures and prevent the demolition of a 117-year-old building that served as the old jail.

Background and Documentation Efforts

The campaign was launched by artists associated with Bhaasa Gallery and Studio, along with INTACH-Udupi, to safeguard the architectural heritage of Udupi. As part of the initiative, a sketching and documenting event took place at the old taluk office and old jail premises in Udupi. The site has historical significance, as it is believed that several freedom fighters were imprisoned there during the Quit India Movement and the Salt Satyagraha.

Courtesy: mangalorian.com

Architectural Significance and Potential Demolition 

The heritage building, constructed in 1906, showcases the traditional Madras roofing technique and features walls made of laterite stone and lime plastering. Its unique architecture reflects the region’s historical context and cultural heritage. However, there are plans to demolish the structure and replace it with a modern commercial building. Concerned about the potential loss, artists and heritage enthusiasts emphasise that preserving the building would ensure its longevity for at least another two centuries, unlike contemporary concrete structures.

Importance of Public Consultation and Tourism Potential The campaign advocates for public consultation before making decisions about demolishing significant heritage structures. Supporters argue that while development is crucial, preserving historically important buildings can contribute to the region’s tourism potential. The building in question, if protected, could become a valuable tourist destination, attracting visitors interested in experiencing the architectural legacy and cultural history of Udupi. By showcasing the unique architectural features and preserving the building’s authenticity, it has the potential to serve as an example  to the city’s rich heritage.

Courtesy: mangalorian.com

Limited Number of Heritage Buildings in Udupi 

Concerns are raised about the scarcity of heritage structures in Udupi. If the 117-year-old building is demolished, only the Board School building will remain as a tangible reminder of the city’s architectural heritage. With the rapid pace of urban development, it is crucial to prioritise the preservation of such structures to maintain a connection to the region’s history and cultural identity.

Courtesy: mangalorian.com


The collaborative efforts of artists and INTACH-Udupi to protect the heritage structures of Udupi highlight the significance of preserving historical landmarks. By raising awareness about the architectural and cultural value of these buildings, the campaign aims to encourage public participation and ensure the sustainable preservation of Udupi’s rich heritage for future generations.

Feature Image Courtesy: mangalorian.com

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