Sunday, May 17, 2009

ASI to repair, beautify Golghar for attracting tourists

PATNA: Cracks have developed in city's landmark Golghar, a huge granary built by Captain John Garstin for the British army in 1786 after the
terrible impact of the 1770 famine.

"At least half a dozen big cracks have been detected which needs immediate restoration work," said acting superintending archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Patna circle, N G Nikose.

Talking to TOI, Nikose said that the 323-year-old structure also needs minor repairs on its stairway. During rainy season, the surface water also touches its base wall and has damaged the outer wall of the structure, he said.

The massive structure is 29m high and the walls are 3.6m wide at the base. The winding stairway around this monument offers a brilliant view of the city and the Ganga flowing by. Golghar is a state protected monument.

The Bihar government has already released Rs 96 lakh to the ASI for its restoration. "As soon as the amount is transferred to us, we will start the restoration work immediately. It will take at least four months to complete the restoration work," Nikose said.

The Bihar culture department has decided to develop the interiors as well as the exteriors of Golghar to make it one of the major tourists destinations in the state. On its exteriors, murals would be engraved on the walls depicting a complete history of Pataliputra till modern age, said an official.

A high tech audio-visual system would be installed inside the Golghar for screening short films on Buddhism and Jainism on regular basis. A children's park and an amphitheatre would also be set up for holding variety of programmes regularly. The much awaited light and sound programme at Golghar is also included in the detailed project report (DPR). It would cost nearly Rs 3 crore.

Source: The Times of India


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