Padma Shri Awardee Arun Sharma breathes his last at 91

The world of archeology is mourning the demise of one of its most revered figures, Padma Shri Dr. Arun Kumar Sharma, Who died at the age of 90 at his residence in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. Sharma’s career was marked by significant contributions to Indian archaeology, including his key role in the excavation of the Ram Janmabhoomi Ayodhya site.

Early life and education

Born on November 12, 1933, in Chandkhuri, Raipur district, Dr. Sharma’s educational journey led him to complete his MSc in Anthropology from Sagar University in 1958. His passion for archeology led him to join the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) a year later. Later, where he excelled and topped the All India Diploma course in Archeology and earned the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Gold Medal.

distinguished career

Contribution to ASI

Dr. Sharma’s 33-year tenure with ASI was marked by exemplary service, culminating in his retirement as Superintendent Archaeologist at ASI Nagpur in 1992. His work during these years laid the foundation for many archaeological milestones and discoveries across India.

Ram Janmabhoomi Ayodhya Excavation

As the senior-most member of the team, Dr Sharma’s excavation at the Ram Janmabhoomi Ayodhya site on the orders of the Allahabad High Court was a defining moment of his career. The team’s findings that a temple was demolished to build a mosque made an important contribution to one of India’s most historic and controversial archaeological investigations.

Advisor to Government of Chhattisgarh

After his retirement, Dr. Sharma continued his archaeological activities as an advisor to the Government of Chhattisgarh since 1994, guiding the state in preserving and promoting its rich historical heritage.

Notable Achievements

Padma Shri Award

In 2017, Dr. Sharma’s contribution to Indian archeology was officially recognized when he was awarded the Padma Shri by the late President of India Pranab Mukherjee. This honor underlines his lifelong dedication to the field and his significant impact on Indian archaeology.

Restoration of Lord Ganesha idol

Even in the eighties, Dr. Sharma’s commitment towards archeology did not diminish. In 2016, he led a team to restore the idol of Lord Ganesha on Dholkal mountain in the Naxal-hit Bastar region. The statue, which was vandalized and broken into 67 pieces, was painstakingly restored within a week under his guidance.

Padmashree awardee Arun Sharma breathed his last at 91_40.1

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