Veteran archaeologist and Padma Vibhushan Prize winner BB Lal died on Saturday at the age of 101. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid rich tributes, saying he will be remembered as a great intellectual who “deepened our connection to our rich past”.
Mr Lal was Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from 1968 to 1972. He is said to have found temple-like pillars during excavations at the Ayodhya site in the mid-1970s, where the temple of Ram is currently under construction.
Prime Minister Modi paid tribute to him and tweeted: “Shri BB Lal was an outstanding personality. His contributions to culture and archeology are unparalleled. He will be remembered as a great intellectual who deepened our link to our rich past Saddened by his passing Mon His thoughts are with his family and friends Om Shanti.
Shri BB Lal was an outstanding personality. His contributions to culture and archeology are unparalleled. He will be remembered as a great intellectual who deepened our connection to our rich past. Saddened by his passing. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. Om Shanthi. pic.twitter.com/eA3MlNI27Q
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 10, 2022
Professor BB Lal, as he was affectionately known, was one of ASI’s youngest Managing Directors and left an extraordinary legacy.
ASI’s former Additional Director General, BR Mani was among several ASI scholars and senior officials who attended Prime Minister Lal’s funeral at Lodhi Crematorium here.
“He was a great character and a seasoned archaeologist. He was my teacher and mentored four generations. I met with his family members to express my condolences. His son told me he died on Saturday around 8:40 a.m. at his home in Hauz Khas,” Mr Mani told PTI.
Asked about the excavations at Ayodhya carried out by Mr Lal, he said: “The site was near Babri Masjid. It took place in the mid-1970s, but no reports have been made about it.”
Officials said he had been one of ASI’s youngest chief executives.
Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy also paid tribute to the famous archaeologist and tweeted that the country “has lost one of the most brilliant minds”.
He said Mr. Lal had contributed significantly to India’s excavations and archaeological efforts and had trained archaeologists for more than four decades.
A senior official said: “At ASI, we are all saddened by his departure. He has mentored over four generations of scholars and produced outstanding work in the discipline. ASI in a tweet said: “Padma Vibhushan Prof BB Lal’s contribution to archeology is immeasurable. A dean in his field, he devoted his entire 101 year life to the subject. He may be gone but his work continues and will continue to teach and influence generations to come.Our tribute to the great soul.
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