Hyderabad: Golconda fort has overtaken Charminar in the number of visitors it gets. According to 2014-16 data, which is the latest available, Golconda fort earned Rs 3 crore for the Archaeological Survey of India and Charminar, Rs 2.66 crore.
The number of visitors at Golconda fort grew, but remained static at Charminar. The ASI made more money from the 3 monuments in TS than the 5 it maintains in AP.
Currently, the entry fee at Golconda is Rs 15 per Indian, and Rs 200 per foreign tourist, Rs 25 for still camera and Rs 130 for the sound & light show. Charminar's entry fee is Rs 5 per Indian and Rs 100 per foreign national. The sound and light show at Golconda is a good revenue earner.
Sources told DC that after the Telangana government shifted its base for flag-hoisting on Independence Day from Paradise ground to Golconda fort, the latter has benefited from getting help from regional municipal bodies in the form of facilities such as fogging, anti-larva operations and tree pruning.
The government also tends to show case it more. It was decked out for the visit of Ivanka Trump, daughter of the US President during the 2017 Global Entrepreneurs' Summit, and it's the venue of several government-sponsored dinners and private interviews of film and sports stars.
Mr Milan Kumar Chauley, superintending archaeologist, ASI, told Deccan Chronicle that the revenue collected for Golconda in October 2018 was Rs 70,000 more than for Charminar. "Every month there is a difference of about Rs 50,000. The highest money flow comes from Golconda and lowest from Warangal fort," he said.
Mr Chauley said his office had received many complaints about lack of parking space, absence of cloak rooms and poor availability of toilets at Charminar. Ongoing work on the pedestrianisation project caused drop in visitors, he said.
Charminar's revenue has remained static. The 10-year-old Charminar pedestrian project has picked up pace in the last few years leading to large-scale construction activity around the monument. This may well have put off visitors.
There are three ticketed monuments administered by the ASI in Telangana: Charminar, Golconda Fort and Warangal fort. In Andhra Pradesh there are more - Buddhist Stupa and remains of Amaravati, ancient remains of Nagarjunakonda, the rock-cut Hindu temple at Undavalli, Buddhist monuments and Chandragiri. The revenue collected from the entry fee at the ticketed monuments of the ASI is remitted into the Government account in the Consolidated Fund of India.
ASI currently manages and maintains 116 ticketed monuments in 19 states. The ASI's annual revenue dropped by 25 per cent between 2014 and 2016 due to decline in footfalls at the Taj Mahal in Agra and Hampi in Karnataka. Revenue dropped by more than Rs 10 lakh for 10 monuments, including the Taj Mahal....