Hyderabad

Golconda Fort to have second entrance

The circled area in the map is where the second entrance to the inner fortification of Golconda Fort would be opened by Archaeological Survey of India.

The circled area in the map is where the second entrance to the inner fortification of Golconda Fort would be opened by Archaeological Survey of India.  

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At present, visitors enter and exit from Bala Hissar Darwaza

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has begun working with the officials of the State government to open a second entrance to the inner fortification of Golconda Fort as part of its crowd management system.

“In 2016, there were 3.5 lakh visitors on one day during Bonalu. In 2017, the numbers rose to five lakh. Even on festive days and holidays, the number is crossing 30,000. This massive surge of people cannot be managed with only one entrance that we have,” said Milan Kumar Chauley, Superintending Archaeologist of ASI in Hyderabad.

Currently, all the visitors to the Golconda Fort have to enter and exit from the main Bala Hissar Darwaza.

The ASI’s plan is to open what is called Murda Darwaza or Murda gate on the northern side of the Bala Hissar Darwaza.

“The police officials who managed the crowd during Bonalu festival said there are chances of a stampede with such a narrow entrance and asked us to suggest alternatives. This is what we have proposed and the work is in progress for readying the infrastructure inside the fort,” said Mr. Chauley.

Bonalu is celebrated according to the Hindu calendar in the month of Aashadam during monsoon. On the first Sunday of the month, pilgrims trek to the hillock shrine of Jagadamba to pray.

The sacrificial offering and cooking of food takes place in the area known as Nagina Bagh. The ASI now plans to shift this cooking spot to the area near the first landing.

A big challenge

Though the plan seems simple, it could be a big challenge to execute as there are a few families occupying the land between the main road and the Murda Darwaza. One of the squatters on the land has a workshop.

Alternative site

“There will be resistance as we have been here for a long time. But if the government gives us an alternative site and assurance of regular business, then we don’t mind shifting,” says Ali Pasha, who runs a soft drink shop abutting the Ashoorkhana near Habshi Kaman.

“The State government has been very helpful. We have managed to remove the encroachment in the Ashoorkhana. We are hopeful that this area would also be cleared up where we can set up an entrance plaza,” said Mr. Chauley.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 5:18:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/golconda-fort-to-have-second-entrance/article22911433.ece

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