Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district, will become the country’s first monument to have a hydraulic lift, a senior Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official said on Sunday. Located about 30 km from Aurangabad city, Ellora is home to one of the largest rock-cut temples in the world, containing Hindu, Buddhist and Jain sculptures, and the most visited tourist destination in the area. is observed. “ASI is taking up several projects to make the Ellora caves, which are spread over an area of 500 meters, more tourist-friendly,” Aurangabad Circle Superintendent Archeology Malin Kumar Chawli told PTI. That these projects are either in approval stages or are being implemented.
He said that out of the 34 caves in the complex, cave number 16, popularly known as Kailash Cave, is a two-storied structure and tourists have to climb stairs or go up a ramp to view it from the top.
He said while the cave has a staircase and a ramp for smooth movement of wheelchairs, the ASI has proposed installing small lifts on both sides of the structure.
“There will be no construction activity for installation of these lifts. The procedure will be small with an area of 9 square feet, in which a wheelchair user can easily reach the first floor,” the official said.
The move will make Ellora the country’s first World Heritage Site under the ASI to have a lift facility, Chawli said, adding that higher authorities had given in-principle approval for the project earlier this month. was given Tourists will also be able to see the Kailash Cave, which is the only monolithic structure surrounded by hills, and a route will be built for it on the upper hill, he said.
The official said that the ASI plans to install lights for some paintings and do conservation work on some parts and paperwork is underway to estimate the cost of the project.
The ASI is making several small improvements to make the cave complex, which sees 2,000 to 3,000 visitors including international travelers, more accessible and tourist-friendly.
“We plan to increase the number of ticket counters at Ellora and set up a central counter for visitors who want to hire guides. There will be a single entrance and exit to the complex and we will have selfie booths for tourists. Some even have landscaping plans with the points to make the experience more enjoyable,” said Chawli.
The ASI also plans to set up three to four toilet blocks with sanitary pad disposal machines, he said, adding that the service of electric vehicles in the cave premises will start next month.
Chawli said all these projects were in various stages of approval and implementation and could take a year to complete.
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