New Delhi, October 14, 2023: Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is planning to establish gift shops in its monuments creating an opportunity for the Cultural and Creative Industries to work closely with the monuments. ASI intends to leverage souvenirs for generating interest and promotion of heritage monuments.

In order to enhance interest and recognition of Indian cultural crafts and heritage leading to their conservation, development and sustaining livelihood of the associated artisans and their communities the ASI has released an Expression of Interest on and An entire list of 84 monuments is available on the EOI.

For the past two years the ASI has been deliberating the policy for running high quality souvenir shops at monuments of national importance. The souvenir shops intend to provide a visitor experience that the people of India can engage with in order to connect with their heritage. Souvenir varieties will range from replicas of highlighted features of the site, such as architectural fragments, important sculptures, inclusion of One District One Product (ODOP) and artifacts of antiquarian value. Besides replicas, this souvenir shop can serve as a playground for creative ideas where craftspeople, artisans, corporate conglomerates, boutique manufacturers and startups can participate in manufacturing items that speak directly to the culture of India.

This public amenity was formerly provided by the ASI in the form of a publications counter. This humble publication counter now will evolve into a more multidimensional offering for the general public where the scope of the souvenirs will be defined by the ASI with academic support in better understanding a monument.

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The intent of the ASI in this EOI is beyond a simple gift shop which only sells magnets and souvenir mugs. Instead interested parties are encouraged to imagine far more exciting offerings using technology and historic techniques that are regionally important and globally relevant. From the use of 3D printing for creating replicas, inclusion of One District One Product (ODOP) products, to redeveloping and packaging old games of Ancient and Medieval India, could expand the relevance of souvenirs that are well thought out.

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