The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) was founded in 1984 in New Delhi with the vision to spearhead heritage awareness and conservation in India. Today INTACH is recognized as one of the world’s largest heritage organizations, with over 228 Chapters across the Country. In the past 40 years, INTACH has pioneered the conservation and preservation of not just our natural and built heritage but intangible heritage as well. Headquartered in New Delhi, it operates through various divisions such as Architectural Heritage, Natural Heritage, Art & Material Heritage, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Heritage Education and Communication Services (HECS), Heritage Crafts and Community, Chapters, INTACH Heritage Academy, Heritage Tourism, Listing Cell and INTACH Knowledge Centre.

INTACH’s mission to conserve heritage is based on the belief that living in harmony with heritage enhances the quality of life, and it is the duty of every citizen of India as laid down in the Constitution of India. The objectives spelt out in the Memorandum of Association constitute INTACH’s Mandate and Vision.

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Charter for the Conservation of Unprotected Architectural Heritage and Sites in India

New Delhi, 4th day of November 2004

Drawing upon the experience of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage
(INTACH) in conserving the unprotected architectural heritage and sites 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 establishing highest standards of professionalism in preserving monuments;

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

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

Recognizing 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;

Recognizing, too, the concept of jeernodharanam, the symbiotic relationship binding the tangible and intangible architectural heritage of India as one of the traditional philosophies underpinning conservation practice;

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

Convinced that it is necessary to value and conserve the unprotected architectural heritage and sites in India by formulating appropriate guidelines sympathetic to the contexts in which they are found;


The ethical commitment that every INTACH Member follows are:

  • Cherish and protect our common heritage
  • Care for the conservation of the local environment
  • Spread concern and a sense of belonging amongst the local community
  • Respect our own culture and that of others
  • Encourage creative expression and inspire young minds to develop secular and cultural values
  • Uphold INTACH’s goal and its mission to conserve heritage

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