Version Archived on 29th Sept, 2004; see also comments by Conservation Specialists across the globe.

Drawing upon, the experience of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), in conserving the unprotected architectural heritage of India within an institutional framework for two decades;

Respecting, the invaluable contributions of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and State Departments of Archaeology (SDA) in preserving the finest monuments of India;

Valuing, ASI’s pioneering role in promoting scientific methods of practice and the highest standards of professionalism in preserving those monuments;

Acknowledging, the importance and relevance of principles enunciated in the various international Charters adopted by UNESO, ICOMOS, et al;

Conscious, however, that a majority of architectural heritage in India still remains unidentified, unclassified, and unprotected, thereby subject to attrition on account neglect, vandalism and insensitive development;

Recognising, the unique resource of the ‗living’ heritage of Master Builders, Sthapatis, Sompuras, Raj Mistris who continue to build and care for buildings following traditions of their ancestors;

Recognising too, the concept of jeernodhari and the symbiotic relationship binding the tangible and intangible architectural heritage in the varied cultural landscapes of India;

Noting, the growing role of a trained cadre of conservation architects in India who are re-defining the boundaries of contemporary conservation practices;

We, members of INTACH, gathered here in New Delhi in the 4th day of November, 2004, adopt the following Charter for Conservation of Unprotected Architectural Heritage in India.


1.1The majority of the architectural heritage of India is unprotected. Together with the monuments protected by ASI/SDA, they constitute an unique civilisational legacy. The unprotected legacy however, is being wiped out on account of insensitive modernization, uncontrolled urbanization and the fact that it does not command the same respect as the protected monuments. Much of this legacy is still in use, and the manner in which it continues to be kept in use, represents the ‘living’ heritage of India. This heritage is manifest both in tangible and intangible forms, which together defines the composite culture of the country. Conserving it will root the present in the past, and become a source of inspiration for the future. This ‘living’ heritage defines the ‘Indianess’ of India in a more intrinsic manner than the iconic monuments protected by ASI/SDA. Its continued relevance in contemporary society is an unique cultural characteristic that is as worthy of conservation as the protected monuments.
1.2This cultural characteristic is not legally protected. The buildings and precincts, which constitute it, are subject to demolition or unsympathetic interventions. The traditional and knowledge of building skills is also in danger in the absence of patronage and official recognition. Nevertheless, unlike other societies, there is still a significant amount of ‘living’ heritage in India. It highlights the potential to conserve both traditional buildings and traditional ways of building. This civilisational marker must be conserved not only because there are few other examples of its presence in the world, but also because it provides alternate, often more appropriate, models for modernizing the built environment.
1.3Conserving traditional skills and knowledge systems associated with the architectural heritage ensures culture survival in a globalising environment on a sustainable basis. It offers the opportunity to not only to conserve the past, but define the future. It also provides alternate avenues for employment and a parallel market for local building materials and technologies, which needs to be prioritised at present when resources for development are severely constrained.
1.4This ‘living’ heritage also has symbiotic relations with natural environments within which it originally evolved. Understanding this inter-dependent ecological network and conserving it can make a significant contribution to improving the quality of the environment.


2.1Both the tangible and intangible architectural heritage needs to be conserved. The tangible heritage includes historic buildings of all periods and their setting in the historic precincts of cities, and its relationship to the natural environment.
2.2The intangible heritage includes the still extant culture of traditional building skills and knowledge, the rites, ritual and social life and lifestyles of the inhabitants associated with the tangible heritage, which together form the ‘living’ heritage.
2.3Focussing on the conservation of unprotected architectural heritage therefore offers the opportunity to maintain the traditional relationship between the tangible and intangible heritage. This ensures that the conservation of heritage continues to have meaning in the society in which it exists. In this manner, what to conserve will evolve over time, and will at all times have a contemporary logic to justify its practice.


3.1Both the tangible and intangible architectural heritage needs to be conserved. The tangible heritage includes historic buildings of all periods and their setting in the historic precincts of cities, and its relationship to the natural environment.
3.2While western ideology of conservation advocates minimal intervention, indigenous traditions idealise the opposite. Western ideology underpins official and legal conservation practice: it is appropriate for conserving protected monuments. However, conserving unprotected architectural heritage offers the opportunity to patronize indigenous practices. It is therefore, necessary, and the outset, to identify where one system should be applied and where the other. For this purpose, INTACH must make a comp rehensive inventory of the extant heritage, both tangible and intangible (See Article 7). This inventory should separate the building heritage of the country into two categories(See 7.11.3):
  1. Buildings/areas protected by ASI/SDA. Here only the official and legal instruments of conservation and internationally accepted principles should be adopted;
  2. Other buildings/areas of exemplary significance which, through not protected by ASI/SDA, possess equivalent heritage value as protected monuments. Here also, the official and legal instruments should be adopted for their conservation;
IIThe remaining buildings/precincts of historic or heritage value, both modern and historic, including those produced within the last hundred years, listed by INTACH: this category can adopt either ideology for their conservation. The decision to adopt indigenous practices for its conservation should be based on the availability of skilled and knowledgeable raj mistris. In any case, this category of architectural heritage should accommodate the imperatives of development and the welfare of the c ommunity as the overarching objective for undertaking conservation.
3.3.1The traditional knowledge systems and the cultural landscapes, in which it exists, particularly if it is "living", should define the authenticity of unprotected architectural heritage. In the absence of such contexts, the official and legal guidelines should determine the authenticity being conserved.
3.3.2Traditional knowledge systems and cultural landscapes vary from one regional/ cultural context to another or within the same region/culture. Thus, the values of ‘living’ architectural heritage can differ from one context to another, reflecting the cultural diversity of the country. In each case, however, it should respect the holistic understanding of the architectural heritage sought to be conserved (See ARTICLE 7.1.4).
3.4.1Local master builders build, rebuild, restore, renew and make additions/ alterations to historic buildings in response to contemporary exigencies or evolving local needs of the community: they must be encouraged to follow their traditions.
3.4.2An exact replacement, restoration or rebuilding under such circumstances must be valued because it ensures continuity of traditional building practices.
3.4.3Conjectural restoration must nevertheless respect the overall spatial and volumetric composition of historic settings. Its parameters should be defined through comprehensive urban design studies. These parameters should also guide new urban development in the vicinity of the old.
3.4.4The ASI/SDA role prohibiting development within 100 meters radius of a protected building is often detrimental to the welfare of society. Ideally, for each case its efficacy must be examined to establish the beneficial objectives of this rule, but in the case of unprotected architectural heritage, however, the strategy described in 3.4.3 should be followed.
3.5.1The integrity of the heritage is to be defined and interpreted not only in terms of the physical fabric of the building but as the collective knowledge systems and cultural landscape it represents. This knowledge system, where it exists, must mediate the process of conservation /restoration /rebuilding of the unprotected architectural heritage in order to reinforce the cultural landscape. This dynamic concept considers the integrity of the individual building to be evolving in response to contemporar y needs of local society.
3.5.2The evolving concept of integrity accepts the introduction of new architectonic element, material and technology whose use must nevertheless be on account of the insufficiency or non-availability of local traditions. The introduction of new elements may reflect contemporary ideals of modern additions to old buildings.
3.6.1The patination of historic fabric due to age or natural decay mechanism should not compel the consolidation of a ruin as it exits, frozen in time and space. In conformity with local aesthetic traditions, and for the well being of the historic building/ precinct, renewal, restoration, repair or rebuilding is acceptable. Patina may, where necessary, be considered as a sacrificial layer.
3.7Rights of the indigenous community
3.7.1Each society has its own distinctive culture constituted by its traditions, beliefs, rituals and practices - all intrinsic to defining the authenticity of the unprotected architectural heritage. The strategy to conserve must respect the fact that local cultures are evolving over time, and therefore encourage active community involvement in the process of decision-making. This will ensure that the symbiotic relation between the indigenous community and their own heritage is strengthened through conser vation.
3.8Respect for the contributions of all p riods
3.8.1The contributions of earlier periods which produced the historic fabric and later interventions, including contemporary interventions, either based on traditional systems of building knowledge or modern practices, must be respected as constituting the integrity of the heritage sought to be conserved. The objective of conserving the unprotected architectural heritage is not so much to reveal an authentic past, but to mediate the evolving cultural significance of the architectural heritage.
3.8.2The coherence of the whole in terms of its urban design, architectural composition and meaning it holds for the local community should determine any intervention in the process of conservation.
3.9Inseparable bond with setting
3.9.1An unprotected historic building/precinct of heritage value is inseparable from its physical and cultural context, and belongs to the local society as long as they continue to value and nurture it. The conservation process must be sensitive to this relationship, and reinforce it.
3.9.2If the unprotected historic building/precinct does not display an apparent bond with the contemporary society, its relevance for conservation may be questioned and its future subject to the needs of modernization.
3.10Minimal intervention
3.10.1Conservation may include additions and alterations of the physical fabric, in part or whole, in order to reinstate the meaning and coherence of the unprotected architectural heritage. In the first instance, however, conservation should attempt minimal intervention.
3.11Minimal loss of fabric
3.11.1The nature and degree of intervention for repairing, restoring, rebuilding, for reuse or introducing new use, should be determined on the basis of its contribution to the continuity of cultural practices, including traditional building skills and knowledge, and the extent to which the changes envisaged meets the needs of the community.
3.12.1The reversibility of interventions need not dictate the conservation strategy. In order to use the unprotected architectural heritage for the socio-economic regeneration of the local communities, the historic building/precinct can be suitably adapted and modified for an appropriate reuse. For this it is only essential that the process of intervention contribute to conserving the traditional context as far as possible in the modified form.
3.13.1The legibility of any intervention must be viewed in its own context. If traditional craftspeople are employed then it must be accepted that their pride of is in the fact that the new work is in complete harmony with the old and was not distinguishable from it. Thus, historic ways of building must be valued more than the imperative to put a contemporary stamp to any intervention in historic building.
3.13.2Where modern material or technology is used, it could be used to replicate the old or be distinguished from it, depending on the artistic intent of the conservation architect.
3.14.1If however, the local conditions are such that all strategies to conserve the unprotected architectural heritage are found to be inadequate then the option of replacing it should be examined. This process recognises the "cyclical" perceptions of time, whereby buildings live, die and are rebuilt. This is the concept of jeernodhari: regeneration of what decays. This belief is fundamental to conserving the traditional ways of building and consequently maintaining the continuity of local knowledge syst ems. This process must be discussed, debated and decided in consultation with all concerned stakeholders.
3.14.2Where the existence of a cultural resource is under severe threat by natural calamities or man-made hazards the building may be dismantled and reassembled at another appropriate site after undertaking thorough documentation.
3.14.3If a historic structure has outlived its significance, and its meanings to local people are lost, it may either be left undisturbed to meet its natural end, or its parts may be re-used to meet other exigencies.
3.14.4A comprehensive documentation of all valuable contents and significant components of the resource must be undertaken before their removal from original location, if this is the only means of ensuring their security and preservation in whole or in part in another location or context.


4.1Retain visual identity
4.1.1In a globalising world, it is necessary to retain the visual identity of place created by the presence of unprotected architectural heritage. This image should not be preserved in the manner of legally protected monuments, but must accommodate the imperatives of change in making the heritage relevant in contemporary society. Hence, it cannot be sanitised from, but integrated with the day-to-day life of society.
4.1.2In this respect the objectives of conservation can mediate even new buildings/ neighbourhoods by requiring them to make reference to the old by employing elements, methods and devices of the architectural heritage so that the new is linked with the old.
4.2Adaptive re-use
4.2.1Reusing historic buildings and neighbourhoods is economically sensible. It is an effective strategy to conserve architectural heritage, particularly by using traditional craftspeople in the process. This process distinguishes between preservation as an ideal on the one hand, and on the other, the strategy to prolong the useful life of the architectural heritage by retaining as much (and not necessarily, all) of the surviving evidence as a vestigial presence.
4.2.2Priority must be accorded to retaining the continuity of traditional functions. Any new use must be introduced only after studying its effect on the local context, and must conform to the carrying capacity and vulnerability of the architectural heritage.
4.2.3All changes must respect the coherence of the whole, and must, to the extent possible, engage traditional materials, skills and knowledge in the process.
4.2.4At the outset, local people must be made aware of the changes envisaged, and the benefits to be derived explained to them
4.3.1In order to reinstate the integrity, or complete the fractured ’whole’, restoration is an appropriate conservation strategy. It must aim to convey the meaning of heritage in the most effective manner. It may include anastylosis, or reassembling of displaced and dismembered components of the structure. It may also involve conjectural building or replacement of missing or severely deteriorated parts of the fabric. Invariably restoration work must be based on an informed understanding of the resource a nd its context, and in conformity with the contemporary practices of local craftspeople.
4.3.2In consonance with traditional ideals, replication can be accepted as an appropriate strategy not only to conserve unprotected historic buildings, particularly if the process encourages the also historic ways of building.
4.3.3Conservation strategies should endorse partial or complete reconstruction of a severely affected unprotected historic building/precinct. It must aim to achieve the completeness or coherence of the ‘whole’ in order to facilitate appreciation of its meanings in the community. The rebuilding of historic structures will enhance the visual and experiential quality of the built environment, thereby providing a local distinctiveness to contest the pervasive influence of globalisation.
4.3.4In addition, reconstruction/ rebuilding will provide impetus to develop a parallel market for local buildings materials, and provide opportunities for the use of alternative systems of building even in new buildings.
4.3.5Reconstruction based on conjectural evidence is appropriate where this evidence is supported by the knowledge of local craftspeople, including folklore, beliefs, myths and legends, rituals, customs, oral traditions, etc. The objective of this practice must be to recreate the original meanings of the resource, and reinforce its bond with the society.
4.4Employment generation
4.4.1The criteria for conservation must focus on the potential of employing local raj mistris, labour and materials. Prolonging the economic viability of traditional ways of building conserves the intangible architectural heritage. In conditions of resource scarcity, the use of architectural heritage can provide an alternate strategy to meet contemporary needs as well.
4.5Local material and traditional technology
4.5.1The use of local materials and traditional technologies must invariably be preferred. Its choice must be based on the availability of traditional knowledge systems. Modern substitutes should be considered only after its use is proven efficient and judicious, and must not compromise the integrity and continuity of local building traditions.
4.6Integrated conservation
4.6.1Conservation of architectural heritage must integrate with the social and economic aspirations of society. To that extent, conservation must be considered as an appropriate development option.
4.7.1The objective of conservation should be to sustain the building and/ or the traditional skill and knowledge system of building. Continuity in this context must be seen as evolving over time. The test of its validity must be the positive contribution it makes to the quality of life of the local community.


5.1Guidelines for Conservation by Sir Bernard Feilden
5.1.1In general, "Guidelines for Conservation" written by Sir Bernard Feilden for INTACH in 1989, should be followed, unless otherwise covered by the imperatives of this Charter.
5.2Heritage zone
5.2.1For urban precincts planning objectives need to be defined in terms of the Heritage Zone concept propagated by INTACH. In general, Heritage Zone concept propagates that the conservation of unprotected architectural heritage must align with the development process.
5.2.2Urban conservation must be incorporated in the statutory Development Plan of cities. A process of dialogue and negotiation with government town planning departments is essential to achieving this objective. Regulations to control/ mediate development including new construction, demolition or modification to existing buildings around historic structures or within historic precincts must be formulated and incorporated within the "Special Area" provision of the Town Planning Act.
5.3Role of the conservation architect
5.3.1Trained conservation professionals and experts in the related subjects must be employed for the conservation and management of architectural heritage. As the head of the conservation team, conservation architects should encourage inter-disciplinary inputs from other experts and local craftspeople, consequently forming an informed working team to undertake conservation work (ARTICLE 9).


6.1Role of local communities
6.1.1Local communities/individuals must be entrusted with responsibilities to conserve their own heritage. Where outside expertise is necessary, stakeholders must be made active participants at all stages of the conservation process. All decisions regarding conservation and management of heritage must be taken in consultation with local communities in consonance with the 73rd and 74th Amendments to the Constitution of India.
6.2Role of INTACH
6.2.1The role of INTACH is to institutionalize the conservation of the unprotected architectural heritage all over India. It should accomplish this objective by establishing Local Chapters.
6.2.2The Local Chapter of INTACH should promote the culture of conservation (ARTICLE 8), and make an inventory of architectural heritage (ARTICLE 7). They should develop ways and means to conserve local architectural heritage in consultation with Regional and Central offices of INTACH.

The Local Chapter should compile a yearly "State of the Architectural Heritage Report" and submit yearly and quinquinial plans for conservation works to be undertaken in their locality.

6.2.4The Regional/ Central offices of INTACH should compile this data to produce a national "State of the Architectural Heritage Report" which should highlight heritage in danger and formulate conservation strategies for their protection.
6.2.5INTACH should facilitate and coordinate its activities with the Government and other interest groups, local, national and international, which are concerned with the conservation of architectural heritage.
6.2.6INTACH must also act as a watchdog to protect architectural heritage. To undertake this task it should establish inter-disciplinary Advisory Committees at the Regional and National Level. These Committees should also act as clearing-houses for all conservation plans, assessment reports, scientific studies, funding proposals, legal and administrative measures for conserving the unprotected architectural heritage.
6.3Fiscal measures
6.3.1Innovative financial schemes must be offered to individuals or communities to promote the conservation of their cultural property, in order to encourage their involvement and interest in the preservation of their own heritage. The Advisory Committee of INTACH should dialogue with the government to initiate the formulation of appropriate fiscal policies to promote conservation.
6.3.2The provision for ‘heritage fund’ must be included in the annual or quinquennial budgetary allocations of Central and State Governments. The local governing bodies should have access to these funds through transparent mechanisms.
6.3.3The policy of "adoption" of a historic building/area by a competent and concerned community group, trust or private entrepreneur of reputation that in no way harms the interests or well being of the society should be encouraged.
6.3.4The owners or caretakers of listed heritage should be offered incentives by way of favourable tax rebates, grants and loans, transfer of development rights and so forth, in order to encourage their interest in the conservation of their cultural property.
6.3.5Public authorities, private companies, governmental bodies and non-governmental organizations should be encouraged to offer adequate financial assistance to traditional craftspeople and agencies involved in craft trades.
6.5Punitive measures
6.5.1Punitive measures as included in the existing framework of legislation concerning heritage protection, town planning acts and building bylaws must be extended to cover all listed buildings. In principle, permission must be sought for any intervention in listed buildings or precincts. Where the opportunity exists, a new set of regulations can be implemented.
6.5.2Administrative or criminal prosecutions must be considered in cases of deliberate damage to listed heritage causing irreparable harm to the architectural heritage leading to probable unrest of any kind - social, cultural, political, economical - in the society.


7.1.1The built heritage of our country, which forms a part of our cultural heritage, is a priceless non – renewable resource that is seriously threatened. The responsibility of preserving our heritage rests with us – the citizens of India. The Central Government through the ASI protects monuments more than 100 years old declared to be of national importance. Monuments of importance to States are protected by the respective SDA. However, existing legislation covers only about 5000 monuments to be looked aft er by the central government and approximately 3500 by the states. Considering India’s vast cultural heritage, these numbers do not seem adequate. Innumerable historic buildings and precincts of architectural, historical, and aesthetic importance remain "unprotected", largely neglected, threatened by urban pressures and thus are in need of conservation.
7.1.2Since the policy framework for protection and integrated conservation are still a developing field in our country, it is essential to take stock of our built heritage. INTACH has taken up the programme for creating an inventory of built heritage in India which includes notable buildings aged 50 years or more and are architecturally, historically, archaeologically or aesthetically of importance.
7.1.3TheNational Register of Historic Properties attempts a comprehensive inventory of the built heritage of this country. This database would identify and record the built heritage for research, publication and protection of the built heritage of the country. It would serve as resource material for heritage regulations and conservation areas and help in framing of Heritage Laws.
7.1.4A similar Register of Craftspeople associated with the architectural heritage must be undertaken by specialist cultural organizations (ARTICLE 8.6). It is important to reiterate the fact that both the building being listed and the associated activities that keep the building in use constitute the ‘living’ heritage. The Register of Craftspeople is therefore, essential to view the architectural heritage in a holistic manner
7.2Inventory of properties/buildings
7.2.1Since a large part of India’s cultural heritage has so far remained undocumented, preparing an inventory of heritage buildings worthy of preservation, is the most important task.
7.2.2Inventories are a primary tool for the conservation and protection of the built heritage. Strategies for conservation are meaningless without knowledge and understanding of what exists. Survey, analysis and the compilation of the inventory of buildings and structures are vital individually and in groups. Only on the basis of an understanding of the areas can appropriate policies and programmes for conservation be drawn up.
7.2.3Inventories are useful for prioritising work for conservation, identification of tourism potential and routes, for considerations in planning development projects such as infrastructure and education, improving public awareness by recognition of the value of this heritage and identification of potential projects. Only when such information is available, assistance from national and international aid organisations and cultural foundations can be sought for future preservation and extensive documentat ion projects.
7.3.4The main aim of listing is primarily to document the fast disappearing built heritage and then present it to scholars and general public in a simple, readable format, which would then aid conservation by generating public awareness. Once a property/building is included in such a list, it also becomes justifiable to undertake necessary conservation and preservation initiatives by having it included in the Master Plans of towns and cities. Ideally, the footprints of all listed buildings should be incl uded in the Master Plan documents of cities.
7.3.5Buildings protected by the ASI and SDA should also be included in the lists of areas they fall within. These buildings of archaeological, architectural and historical value need to be included in order to present a complete representation of the area’s built heritage.
7.3Selection criteria

Although inter–related, the following three key concepts need to be understood to determine whether a property is worthy of listing.

  • Historic significance
  • Historic integrity
  • Historic context

One or more of these concepts need to be applicable to a building to make it worthy of listing.

7.4Historic significance
7.4.1Historic significance is the importance of a property to the history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture of a community, region or nation. In selecting a building, particular attention should be paid to the following:
  • Association with events, activities or patterns
  • Association with important persons
  • Distinctive physical characteristics of design, construction or form, representing work of a master.
  • Potential to yield important information, such as illustrating social economic history. For e.g.: Railway stations, town halls, clubs markets, water works etc.
  • Technological innovation viz., dams, bridges etc.
  • District-town planning features like square streets avenues etc., e.g.: Rajpath in New Delhi.
7.5Historic integrity
7.5.1Historic integrity is the authenticity of a property’s historic identity, evidenced by the survival of physical characteristics and significant elements that existed during the property’s historic period.
7.5.2Historic integrity enables a property to illustrate significant aspects of its past. Not only must a property resemble its historic appearance, but it must also retain original materials, design features and aspects of construction dating from the period when it attained significance.
7.6Historic context
7.6.1Historic context is information about historic trends and properties grouped by an important theme in the history of a community, region or nation during a particular period of time.
7.6.2Knowledge of historic context enables the public to understand a historic property as a product of its time.
7.7Precincts or multiple property
7.7.1A historic building complex may comprise of numerous ancillary structures besides the main structure. Each such structure contributing to the complex needs to be documented on individual proformas. For e.g., Jahangir Mahal, Diwan–i–Aam, Diwan–i–Khas and Moti Masjid all form part of the Agra Fort complex but are also individual buildings in their own right.
7.8.1Listing work comprises of two phases:
  • Background research; and
  • Field work.
7.9Background research
7.9.1Before commencing the actual fieldwork, the lister should gather basic information from various sources including gazetteers, travel books, and several other specialised books containing information about the architecture and history of the area to be listed/documented. This work could be done in the libraries of various universities, the A.S.I., the National Museum, the Central Secretariat, the respective State Secretariats, Institutes of Advanced Studies and Schools of Planning and Architecture. I in a given area, local experts and university scholars form the resource persons who could also provide the required guidance and help.
7.9.2This would ensure that no important structure or representative style of building is left out. Background researches essentially helps in identifying historic areas, historic development of the area, significant events in the area and important persons. In some well documented areas, distinctive physical characteristics of design, construction or form of building resource can also be identified.
7.10Field work
7.10.1First and foremost it is necessary to carry out a field survey to identify the buildings and the areas to be recorded. Later detailed physical inspection of the property as well as meeting local people such as owners of the property, talking to other residents, local panchayats, etc. needs to be undertaken. By physically inspecting the property the lister can gather facts and information regarding the physical fabric of the building e.g. physical characteristics, period of construction and so on tha t need to be crossed checked with literature survey. By conducting a dialogue with the residents, one can determine the changes to the property over time, ownership details, historic function and activities, association with events and persons, and the role of the property in the local, regional or national history.
7.10.2When gathering information, the lister must keep in mind how it will fit into the final form. The proforma, first of all, is a record of the property at the time of listing and consists of current name; historic or other name(s); location; approach and accessibility; current ownership; historic usage and present use.
7.10.3Claims for historic significance and integrity are supported in special features. State of preservation, date and grading follows.
7.11Documentation for the national register
 The report for the National Register would include the following:
7.11.1Introduction: Brief write–up on the history/architecture of the city/ settlement. Brief details, like the architectural style(s) or the vernacular, building materials and construction methods, to serve as background material for the individual buildings documented using the listing format. A note on the methodology employed for identification and listing of structures. References and further readings on the subject should also be included.
7.11.2Summary:A list of buildings with the following essential details.
  • Serial No.
  • Name of the Property/Building
  • Postal address
  • Period/ Date
  • Ownership Status: Protected / Unprotected, Private / Public
  • Usage: In Use / Abandoned / In Partial Use
  • Grade (I*/I/II/III)
7.11.3This Charter recommends that buildings classified as Grade 1*, I and those classified as Grade II, which are exceptional, should be conserved in accordance to the provisions of the official and legal manuals of practice (for example, the Works Manual of ASI and the Conservation Manual of Sir Bernard Feilden), and others including all in Grade III which may be conserved in accordance to principles enunciated in this Charter (See ARTICLE 3.2).
7.11.4Mapping of historic settlements: a map with listed properties/buildings should accompany each listed settlement/area properly indicated/ marked on that map. The scale of the map depends on the size of the area/ town/ settlement.
7.11.5Detailed format for all the structures:The data or information for each building is to be recorded on INTACH’s format under the following fields:
  • Serial Number, Date of Listing, Map Reference or location on map to be given on each page as per guidelines
  • Name, Other names, Name of the Precinct or complex (if any) in which the property is located
  • i.e., postal address, approach and surroundings of the property
  • Ownership Status and Name & Address of the owner
  • Age/Date of the Property and its Source
  • Usage: In Use/Abandoned/In Partial Use and mention of present and past uses
  • Property Category & Typology
  • Historical (or social, cultural, archaeological or any other) Significance
  • Architectural Description
  • Construction Materials and Techniques
  • Decorative Features
  • State of Preservation, threats and condition description of the property
  • Value and Grading
  • Potential of the building/site/settlement that may prove helpful for necessary future interventions.
  • Sources and References of Information
7.11.6Besides the above information, each proforma must have:
  • Details of listers (name and a dress)
  • Details of the reviewer
7.11.7Minimum one photograph of the property/building for identification purposes to comes on first page of the proforma/format. All the significant elements of the property that also need to be photographed should be given on third page under ‘Additional Photographs’. All photographs to include the Roll Number and Exposure Number.
7.11.8Plans/Drawings: A conceptual plan (not measured drawn) should be given for each building listed. Drawing like floor plans, elevations, details of the building wherever available (with proper citations), or possible to draw, can also be given.
7.11.9Appendices: any additional information related to or affecting the built heritage of the city/town/region documented and its conservation should be included as appendices e.g. laws and regulations on planning and conservation etc.
7.11.10Glossary: A list explaining the technical and the special words used must be provided e.g. Imambara – a shrine/religious structure of Shia Muslims, sanctuary of enclosure erected in the memory of Hazrat Imam Hussain, maternal grandson of Prophet Muhammad.
7.11.11Bibliography: All books, publications, articles, unpublished work should be mentioned in the bibliography. The uniform format should be as followed throughout.
7.11.12Team: The constitution of the team that worked on the project should be mentioned. The list should include the name, designation and the correspondence address of all the team members


8.1Public responsibilities
8.1.1The responsibility for care and maintenance of heritage must be entrusted to the local community, for the protection and conservation of any cultural resource is ensured only if it enjoys the love and respect of the local people.
8.1.2In agreement with the Constitution of India, conservation of heritage must be the duty of every Indian citizen, and all administrative, legislative and financial assistance must be provided in this regard at all levels.
8.2Public awareness
8.2.1It is essential to create public interest, concern and awareness toward the significance of cultural heritage, its protection, conservation and enhancement for the benefit of not only the present but also for future generations. This can be encouraged by engaging communication and promotion techniques: thematic publications, print and electronic media, cultural programmes, educational fairs, heritage site visits and excursions, exhibitions, workshops, lectures, seminars and so on.
8.2.3Regional national or international historically significant days, festivals and similar occasions could provide opportunities for community celebrations sensitively designed to draw public attention. Such events can be organized in or around historic structures/ areas thereby reinforcing the role of heritage in the well being of society.
8.2.4Heritage walks can be used as an effective and informative tool by which local people can be encouraged and involved in the understanding, appreciation and protection of their own historic surroundings and cultural context. Such small-scale activities can result in a chain reaction of localized conservation projects through community participation and contribution. These collective efforts need to be publicised such that they can serve as models to be adopted and adapted by other communities as well. Cultural walks linking various historic nodes must also be tailored to promote tourism, thereby creating economic benefits for the local community.
8.2.5The legislation and regulations laid down in the administrative system, building bye-laws, town planning acts and such other measures relevant to the protection and conservation of architectural heritage must be made accessible to public through interesting publications, user friendly manuals and so forth.
8.2.6Governments at all levels and their associates authorities should support and facilitate the non-government organizations, registered charitable trusts, heritage cooperatives, and private initiatives to organize awareness programmes highlighting various aspects of heritage conservation; consequently informing local people of the ways and means to deal with the challenges involved therein.
8.3Education in primary and secondary schools
8.3.1Respect and affection for heritage both natural and cultural and concern for its protection and conservation should be inculcated in school children, and this must form a crucial aspect of education. Children must be encouraged to experience historic environs by engaging them in outdoor play activities, cultural events, picnics, and extra curricular subjects involving drawing or painting of cultural sites.
8.3.2School teachers should be given specialized training in order to make them aware of the issues involved with the appreciation and preservation of heritage.
8.3.4Modern education system should include subjects on India natural, cultural, and living heritage; it must highlight the multifaceted relationship between cultural resources and society, reinforcing their inseparable bond.
8.4Undergraduate education
8.4.1The institutes, colleges and universities for the education of architects, engineers, archaeologists, planners, officers being inducted into all-India and State administrative services, management professionals, material chemists and such other subjects relevant to heritage conservation and management should encourage inter-disciplinary interaction on shared issues and common concerns; introduce a wider understanding of heritage with reference to social, cultural and economic aspects of the society
8.4.2The education of professionals must include short training periods wherein the student work with master craftspeople in their own learning environment or building/ conservation sites. This would provide an opportunity to gather practical experience on application of skills and use of materials, adding to their theoretical learning in the academic environment.
8.4.3It is essential that the knowledge and skills of these trained professionals are rooted in the age-old principles and practices, for their own intellectual well-being; and for those going abroad for higher studies to be true ambassadors of India.
8.5Post-graduate education
8.5.1In addition to the knowledge of history and theory of Conservation, which will primarily include the Western point of view, and a through understanding of UNESCO, ICOMOS and other recognised international conventions, recommendations, Charters, and guidelines for conservation of monuments; the specialized education and training of conservation professionals must build upon traditional principles and practices of building and conservation. They should be able to take the most appropriate and pragmati c stance relevant to the specificity of their own context and issues rather than blindly adhering to the ‘universality’ of foreign ideology. Working with an inter disciplinary team of professionals should be encouraged as an effective conservation and management mechanism.
8.5.2It must be stressed that conservation architects must acquire hands-on experience and practical understanding of materials while training or working for short periods with local master craftspeople. This will ensure a healthy and sustained relationship amongst the teachers, students and crafts people, which can be mutually beneficial later while working on conservation projects, training workshops, awareness programmes and so forth.
8.6Education and training of crafts people
8.6.1The ideal way to preserve a craft is to practice it. In order to ensure a sustained continuity of craft traditions, it is essential that systematic education and training environments are provided and supported at all levels by governments, non-governmental organisations and private entrepreneurs. In addition to individual initiatives of modest scale within limited resources, the NGOs can support small to medium sized schools, while governments can offer to run fully equipped training centres with a wide range of skills and all related facilities.
8.6.2Building Centres set up by HUDCO are important initiatives that can be leveraged to promote traditional conservation practices. These Centres train and upgrade the skills of various trades of builders. Their objectives focus on the dissemination of knowledge on the use of appropriate materials and technologies. Conservation architect should associate themselves with these centres in order to link their objectives of conservation with those of Building Centres.
8.6.3A comprehensive list or inventory of specialized crafts and crafts people must also be prepared that can serve as a resource base for the owners, care takers or managers of heritage properties, and also for the professionals involved in the conservation and management of historic buildings/areas.
8.6.4The monologue aspect of modern ‘teaching’ system should be abandoned, and a dialogue of mutual ‘learning’ must be adopted as a training principle, where both the instructor and the crafts person benefit from each other by exchanging ideas, ideologies and experiences. Training programmes must aim toward the sustainability of building system and skills of indigenous crafts people that are rooted in traditional knowledge base and local cultures.
8.6.5The education of crafts people seeking advanced skills or specialization must reconcile the crucial aspects of traditional texts and techniques with the contribution of modern theories and technologies, consequently bridging the gap between indigenous and ‘universal’, so to say, principles and practices of conservation.


9.1Conservation professionals shall:
9.1.1Ensure that their professional activities do not conflict with their general responsibility to contribute to the quality of the environment and welfare of society;
9.1.2Apply their knowledge and skills towards the creative, responsible and economic development of the nation and its heritage;
9.1.3Provide professional services of a high standard, to the best of their ability;
9.1.4If in private practice, inform their client of the conditions of engagement and scale of consultancy fee, and agree that these conditions should be the basis of their appointment;
9.1.5Not sub-commission to other professional(s) the work for which they has been commissioned, without prior agreement of their client;
9.1.6Not give or take discounts, commissions, gifts or other inducements for the introduction of clients or of work;
9.1.7Act with fairness and impartiality when administering a conservation contract;
9.1.8Maintain a high standard of integrity;
9.1.9Promote the advancement of conservation, standards of conservation education, research, training and practice;
9.1.10Conduct themselves in a manner, which is not derogatory to their professional character nor likely to lessen the confidence of the public in the profession, nor bring conservation professionals to disrepute;
9.1.11Compete fairly with other professionals;
9.1.12Observe and uphold INTACH’s conditions of engagement and scale of charges;
9.1.13Not supplant or attempt to supplant another professional;
9.1.14Not prepare project reports in competition with other professionals for a client without payment or for a reduced fee (except in a competition conducted in accordance with the competition guidelines approved by INTACH);
9.1.15Not attempt to obtain, offer to undertake or accept a commission for which they know another professional has been selected or employed until they have evidence that the selection, employment or agreement has been terminated, and the client has given the previous professional written notice to that effect;
9.1.16Provided that in preliminary stages of works, the client may consult, in order to select the professional, as many professionals as they want, provided that they make payment of charges to each professional so consulted;
9.1.17Comply with guidelines for competitions and inform INTACH of their appointment as assessor for a competition;
9.1.18When working in other countries, observe the requirements of codes of conduct applicable in that place;
9.1.19Not have or take as partner in their firm any person who is disqualified;
9.1.20Provide their employees with suitable working environment, compensate them fairly and facilitate their professional development;
9.1.21Recognise and respect the professional contribution of their employees;
9.1.22Provide their associates with suitable working environment, compensate them fairly and facilitate their professional development;
9.1.23Recognise and respect the professional contribution of their associates;
9.1.24Recognise and respect the professional contribution of all consultants;
9.1.25Enter into agreement with consultants defining their scope of work, responsibilities, functions, fees and mode of payment;
9.1.26Not advertise their professional services nor shall allow their name to be included in advertisement or to be used for publicity purposes except in the following circumstances;
  1. notice of change of address may be published on three occasions and correspondents may be informed by post;
  2. exhibit their name outside their office and on a conservation site, either under implementation or completed, for which they are or were consultant, provided the lettering does not exceed 10 cm. in height, and this in agreement with the client;
  3. advertisements including the name and address of professionals may be published in connection with calling of tenders, staff requirements and similar matters;
  4. allow their name to be associated with illustrations and descriptions of their work in the press or public media but they shall not give or accept any consideration for such appearances;
  5. allow their name to appear in advertisements inserted in the press by suppliers or manufacturers of materials used in a project they have conserved, provided their name is included in an unostentatious manner and they do not accept any consideration for its use;
  6. allow their name to appear in brochures prepared by clients for the purpose of advertising or promoting projects for which they have been commissioned;
  7. produce or publish brochures, pamphlets describing their experience and capabilities for distribution to those potential clients whom they can identify by name and position;
  8. allow their name to appear in the classified columns of the trade/ professional directory and/or telephone directory;
9.3If a conservation professional practices as a partner in a partnership firm or is in-charge and is responsible to a company registered under the Companies Act 1956 for the conduct of business of such company, they shall ensure that such partnership firm or the company, as the case may be, complies with the provisions of the sub-regulation 9.1;
9.4Violation of any of the provisions of sub-regulation 9.1 shall constitute a professional misconduct.


12004, EnameICOMOS Ename Charter for the Interpretation of Cultural Heritage Sites
22003, CilotoIndonesia Charter for Heritage Conservation
32000, ChengdePrinciples for the Conservation of Heritage Sites in China
41994, NaraThe Nara Document on Authenticity
51981, FlorenceHistoric Gardens - The Florence Charter
61979, Burra Rev.1981, 1988, 1999The Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural Significance
71975, AmsterdamEuropean Charter of the Architectural Heritage
81972, ParisConvention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
91964, VeniceInternational Charter for Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites
101931, AthensThe Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments