Hyderabad: Delhi’s Red Fort and Qutub Minar, Agra’s Taj Mahal, Varanasi’s Sarnath and Mahabalipuram’s monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India will soon have world class amenities and technological facilities.
These five monuments have been selected in the first phase out of 3,650 ancient monuments, archaeological sites and remains of national importance by the ASI, which will provide ultra modern facilities for visitors on par with some western countries and other places.
Sources in the ASI said similar facilities will be extended to other major monuments in various states including Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh in future.
Telangana state has the Golconda Fort, Charminar and the Warangal Fort while AP has Chandragiri Fort, Nagarjunakonda, Guntapalli Buddhist monuments, Buddhist stupa in Amaravati, rock cut temple in Undavalli under ASI’s jurisdiction.
For the five monuments in the first phase, ASI plans to provide electronic information delivery about the monument and its history in story-telling mode, virtual reality-based 3D walkthrough of the monument, 3D projection show, free WiFi, and audio and video guides.
ASI is also focusing on cleanliness, cloak rooms and washrooms, turnstiles at entry and exit points with seamless integration with the ticketing system, ATMs at entry and exit points, memento and souvenir shops, book stores, refreshment facilities, battery operated vehicles, free parking, valet parking for high value tickets, safe drinking water and first aid, carpets in and around monuments, and other innovative measures to enhance the popularity of the monuments and bring them on par with world renowned tourist places.
“The aim is to provide world class services using latest technology being used internationally. ASI is experimenting with new ideas, new technologies and new business models,” an official said.
ASI has invited expression of interests from specialists on a pilot basis for a year to conceptualise, design, install, provide and maintain world class facilities for tourists at select monuments at no cost to the government, ASI, user or visitors.
Successful bidders will be given the option to advertise their company. Donations received will have to be ploughed back for services and profits will be shared with ASI as decided mutually.