Vijayawada

Kethavaram caves set to get a facelift

Rock art in Kethavaram caves in Kurnool district.

Rock art in Kethavaram caves in Kurnool district.   | Photo Credit: U_SUBRAMANYAM

Officials busy drawing up plans; ‘UNESCO tag is the goal’

Kethavaram caves are all set to get a facelift for entering the prestigious list of world heritage sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) by next year.

The caves, located at Kethavaram of Orvakal mandal, are home to rock art which dates to the Palaeolithic age. Paintings of deer, bulls, foxes, rabbits, and humans made by ancient inhabitants of the caves have been a hit among locals for a while now.

However, minimal connectivity has proven to be a concern. The district authorities have made proposals to lay new roads leading to the caves and are planning to begin work soon.

District Tourism Officer B. Venkateswarlu told The Hindu that elaborate plans are being drawn up to attract more tourists from all over the country. “The Panchayat Paj Department will lay roads and the Tourism Department would ensure proper water supply,” he said.

Moreover, the District Water Management Agency (DWMA) would see to it that avenue plantations happen promptly, and conservation works would be taken care of by the Archaeology department, added Mr. Venkateswarlu.

Connectivity matters

Tourism officials said that about ₹ 1 crore was spent for developing the caves and estimate that an equal amount is needed for undertaking the new set of works.

The authorities are planning to approach UNESCO in 2020 to get proper certifications. They expect that with proper publicity, the Kethavaram caves would become a major attraction and in turn generate jobs for the locals.

“The airport at Orvakal set to open soon, we are expecting a significant surge in foreign tourists,” said the District Tourism Officer.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 10:16:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/kethavaram-caves-set-to-emerge-from-shadows/article29739300.ece

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