TENALI (GUNTUR Dt.): The 14-century fortress built by Prolaya Vema Reddy from early 1324, and later developed by Anavota Reddy, and Anavema Reddy the successive kings, is in a state of utter neglect, but the recent interest shown by Department of Archaeology and Museums provides big hope.
The department had chalked out a Rs.10-crore plan for major development and restoration of its past glory, which was under consideration by the Central Government for providing funds from the 13th Finance Commission Grants to come into force from April 2010.
Special attention would be paid on attracting tourists to the hitherto unexplored areas of the fort. A large majority of people even from the Guntur district are unaware of the fort, though it is situated only 18 k.m. from the district headquarters. The approach to the hill-top construction, a popular ground for ‘Treasure Hunters’, was inaccessible due to lack of steps or road. Two years ago the R&B was given the task of conducting a survey for laying a ghat road from the eastern side of the hill, but it is yet to come out of their drawing boards. The Government had also sanctioned Rs.5 crore for laying of the 3.5 k.m. ghat road once estimates were sent, and the Department of Archaeology was also ready to support them with Rs.1 crore reserved from 12th Finance Commttee grants, but things were not moving forward, said its Director P. Chenna Reddy told The Hindu here on Saturday.
“Even in the 13th Finance Commission Grants we are prepared to provide them money for Ghat Road, which was essential even for us to carry out restoration and conservation works,” Mr. Chenna Reddy said. Initially a ropeway is also being proposed on BOOT basis from western side for easy access and materials to be carried to hill-top.
Ancient rock pathway would be restored through resetting and providing railing, temples re-constructed, Gopinath Temple at the foothill would be brought back to life by consecrating it on priority basis, he added. About Rs.3 crore would be spent every year to develop a children’s play area, developing the massive tanks, masjids, and temples.
All the view-points, bastions, garrison barracks, stables would be restored and internal roads developed for the tourists with signage.