‘Make heritage sites tourist-friendly’ 

Prajakta Joshi
Friday, 19 April 2019

On the occasion of World Heritage Day, celebrated on April 18, several organisations in the city have appealed to the government to conserve and promote the heritage sites in and around Pune.

Pune: On the occasion of World Heritage Day, celebrated on April 18, several organisations in the city have appealed to the government to conserve and promote the heritage sites in and around Pune.
 
There have been demands to provide basic facilities at such sites to make them tourist-friendly.

“While Pune is considered to be the cultural capital of the State, many of the monuments and places of historical importance in the city have been neglected by the government,” President of city-based Itihas Premi Mandal, Mohan Shete said.

Shete demanded a committee of experts to take care of the heritage places in the city. “In Kasba Peth, the heart of the city, there are remains of a 700-year-old fort. There is a need to preserve these relics so that the future generations can also witness them and learn about history,” he added.

While Pune itself has been gifted with many places of heritage, so are the areas around the city. The Buddhist caves in Karla-Bhaje near Lonavala at a distance of merely 60 kilometres from Pune are a great attraction. Travellers and explorers not just from Pune and Mumbai, but also from other areas visit these caves. 

However, Pune-based ‘Bauddha Kenya Bachav Kruti Samiti (an action committee for the conservation of Buddhist caves) has brought it to the notice of the government that there is a need to make the spot tourist-friendly by providing the visitors with essential amenities.

“While the government charges entry fees to see the caves, there is no basic facilities such as washrooms provided to the visitors. There is no arrangement for drinking water. The iron railings on the way up the caves are insufficient, which makes it prone to accidents,” Founder President of the Committee Dr Keshav Kshirsagar said.

He also said that another set of such caves, at a distance of just three kilometres from the Bhaje caves has been left totally neglected.

“We were shocked to see that the beautiful 100-year-old caves have not at all been conserved. In fact, the government seems to be ignorant of them as there is no record of such caves anywhere. It’s sad that some people have ruined these caves by building around them with cement and bricks,” Kshirsagar added.

Itihas Premi Mandal demands

  • Special attention must be paid to the conservation of many beautiful and unique temples in the city like Nageshwar, Kedareshwar, Juna Kal Bhairavnath, etc.
  • There is a need to promote interesting and historic places in the city like Aga Khan Palace, Pataleshwar caves, Shinde Chhatri, etc., amongst domestic as well as foreign tourists. Booklets and pamphlets about these attractions, as well as the several museums in the city must be printed and distributed. These pamphlets must be made available at hotels and boarding houses.
  • Along with places of historic importance, Pune also has a heritage of nature. The places of geographical importance, as well as flora and fauna here, must be preserved. 

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