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India showcases Iconic Monuments
  • February 2018
To promote Tourism through India' s glorious culture and Heritage, the Ministry of Culture, Government India will showcase India’s cultural vibrancy to the entire world through  Iconic ASI monuments like Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri, Agra (U.P),Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Aurangabad (Maharashtra),Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutb Minar and Purana Qila (All Delhi),Khajuraho group of temples (Madhya Pradesh),Hampi group of monuments (Karnataka),Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu),Sun Temple, Konark (Odisha); andGolkonda Fort, Hyderabad (Telangana) with world class amenities. 
In the Budjet speech the Union Finance Minister Mr. Arun jaitley said “India is blessed with an abundance of tourist attractions. It is proposed to develop ten prominent tourist sites into Iconic Tourism destinations by following a holistic approach involving infrastructure and skill development, development of technology, attracting private  investment, branding and marketing. In addition, tourist amenities at 100 Adarsh monuments of the Archaeological Survey of India will be upgraded to enhance visitor experience.”
According to Dr. Mahesh Sharma Miniser for culture, re-connecting the people-especially the youth- with their indigenous culture, its multi-faceted nature, magnificence, opulence and historical importance is an urgent and pressing need in the context of India as a Nation.
Budget allocation of Ministry of Culture for 2018-19 is increased by 104 crore (i.e Rs 2843 crore) in comparison with previous budget (i.e Rs 2,738.47 crore)and  the Archaeological Survey of India has been allocated Rs 974.56 crore, which is 5.42 per cent more than the 2017-18 allocation.World class amenities in 100 Adarsh Monuments, E-ticketing facility for all ticketed Monuments, Cultural Mapping of India, Rashtriya  Sanskriti  Mahotsav, Ganga Mahotsav, 8th Theatre Olympiad, Festival of India aboard, Digitisation etc are the proposed activities.
 At Taj Mahal  all amenities  include Improved ticketing and queue management system and installation of turnstyles along Eastern and Western gateways of Taj complex.Special facilities for high value ticket holders, Creating slots (3 hour each) for visitor’s entry Closure of south gate for entry proposed, exit is permitted .Ticket fee  revision from Rs. 40 to Rs.50 and a special ticket of Rs. 200 for the entry to main mausoleum to be introduced shortly to ensure the protection of built fabric and better crowd management. Development of greenery in Taj Corridor area between Taj Mahal and Agra Fort .Night viewing from Mehtab Bagh, and  Coordination with Ministry of Tourism, ADA and local Police for handling lapka culture is  also recommended.
Red Fort: Nearly 48 ongoing works related to the conservation of monuments (26 works), refurbishment of British period Barrack buildings to incorporate 6 museums and exhibitions, development of gardens and landscapes (7 works) and scientific cleaning of monuments (9 works) including retrieval of paintings from the ceiling of Chhata Bazar. Major works include Conservation of Mughal Period buildings 
NBCC Proposal for developing amenities and improvement of Purana Qila lake is also in front. Conservation works within Qutb Minar has initiated by ASI and Humayun’s Tomb in collaboration with AKTC is in full swing. Works related to amenities in Khajuraho Group of temples and Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha will take up with the support of Indian Oil Foundation (IOF) under NCF Scheme.  Phase I works of Agra Fort, Hampi Group of Monuments, Shore Temple Mahabalipuram and Golkonda Fort is already started. 
Mr. Mahesh Sharma  stated that three new museums, a Virtual museum on Lord Rama in Ayodhya, one on a theme of Kumbh Mela,at Allahabad  and another in Gorakhpur highlighting local culture will be opened .Through Cultural Mapping scheme all the artists in every corner of the country are being registered on the central portal; and through a competitive process they will be divided into various categories over the next three years. It will help to provide assistance to these artists and to preserve arts and crafts. 

Tourism India, India' s Travel & Tourism Magazine, Kerala, India.

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