Source: The Hindu:
Of the Ministry of Culture’s 100 model heritage monuments for 2016-17, eight are from Karnataka.
While two — in Hampi and Pattadakal— will find place in the first list of 25 monuments, those in Bidar and five others will find mention in the second list of 75 monuments. They include Srirangapatana, temple complexes in Aihole, Belur- Halebid, Vijayapura, and Shravanabelagola.
All these are towns that house national monuments identified by the masterlist of the Archaeological Survey of India. While towns like Hampi and Srirangapatana see high footfall, the tourism potential of towns like Bidar, Aihole and Pattadakal is yet to be exploited.
The Ministry of Culture will provide funds for the restoration and upkeep of monuments, upgrade of infrastructure and tourism promotion. This had been communicated to the ASI officers in these towns recently.
ASI officials will be tasked with building toilets, interpretation centres, audio-visual centres, cafeteria, and souvenir shops in the vicinity of the monuments.
Hi-tech illumination and light and sound facilities will be created. Archaeologists and conservation assistants will be asked to provide facilities like drinking water, apart from maintaining security. Important areas will have free Wi-Fi. All material and boards will have instructions and information in Braille.
Ramps would be built for physically-challenged persons.
Mounesh Kuruvatti, ASI conservation assistant in Bidar, said most facilities earmarked for model monuments were already available in Bidar. We have a well equipped cafeteria, an interpretation centre and other facilities like ramps and information boards. We will work on providing the rest,’’ he said. “We have three national monuments — Bidar fort, Ashtur tombs and the Madrasa of Mahmud Gawan. The challenge will be to ensure that visitors have easy access to these amenities,” he said.
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