ASI makes efforts to get Unesco heritage status to Kondaveedu fort

The Kondaveedu fort was neglected for decades and valuable monuments were destroyed by the thieves.

Guntur: The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has begun the process to get Kondaveedu fort, Amaravati Maha Stupa, Gandikota fort, Chandragiri fort and Guntupalli caves in the tentative list of Unesco world heritage sites.

ASI director (world heritage) K. Lourdu Samy has issued a circular to submit a proposal in prescribed format along with detailed drawings, site plans and good photographs in order to send the proposal to the Unesco World Heritage Centre for tentative listing.

The Kondaveedu fort was neglected for decades and valuable monuments were destroyed by the thieves. The Kondaveedu Development Committee (KDC) had started the renovation of the, starting with the construction of ghat road.

Besides this, Iskcon has started Butter Krishna golden temple project adjacent to Kondaveedu fort and this will turn the Kondaveedu fort into an international tourism centre. Situated on 25 km of distance from Guntur, the Kondaveedu Fort was built by Anapotha Reddy in 1250 A.D and later developed by Ana Venkata Reddy and Prolaya Vema Reddy.

There were three forts on the hilltop - one is Kondaveedu and two others unnamed forts. According to historians Roy Chaudhuri and Amol Mujumdar, the fort was considered impregnable with 24 bastions and spread across 30 hillocks during the rule of Gajapathis.

Interestingly, water scarcity haunted the Palnadu region, but Vedulla Cheruvu on Kondaveedu still has sufficient water and animals come here to quench their thirst.

Tourists visit Kondaveedu on Sundays and holidays, but are unable to see the other forts and other monuments due to the absence of inner roads. KDC convener K. Siva Reddy said the primary gravel ghat road till the fort was nearing completion, but sadly there was no permission to lay inner roads.

He sought permission from the government to lay inner roads. Amaravati Development Authority chairman J. Veeranjaneyulu said there were bright chances of getting the Unesco heritage tag to Kondaveedu fort and Amaravati Stupa. Minister for Agriculture P. Pulla Rao said the Unesco recognition would help promotion of tourism in Amaravati.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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