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Gururgam's forgotten heritage sites to be revived

Gurugram: There is a ray of hope for Gurugram's forgotten heritage as the Haryana government wants to revive the tourism potential of the state. Gurugram is famous for its forts, baolis and palaces but poor maintenance and lack of awareness of these sites have resulted in the degradation of these historical sites over the period of time.

The state of apathy was reflected in early part of 2018 when a baoli built during the British time was about to get usurped for the widening of the road. The project was stopped due to the intervention of the civil society but the baoli at Badshapur still is reeling under poor maintenance.

If the Haryana government plan is implemented, not only money will be spent on the beautification of the monuments but there will also be a concerted effort to bring in more tourists to these places. Even though the past of Gurugram is not widely known, the city that gets its present name from Guru Dronacharya has been a vital part of the kingdom of Delhi. It has the monuments not only dating back to Mughal but also the Prithviraj Chauhan era all of which are today deteriorating under public apathy.

The most prominent among this degradation is the Badshahpur fort. Having been constructed in the year 1216 AD, the historical structure today faced the challenge of unchecked encroachment. Over the years, more than 150 residential structures have come around the fort. Ironically, even though the monument is among the state government's tourism sites, no measures have been taken to preserve the rich historical tradition. The similar fate today is faced by the bundh (artificial water body) that is a few distances away from the fort. Set up during the Mughal era's time, the land has been taken by the locals in the area.

Another historical monument that is degrading under public apathy is the Sheesh Mahal that was built in the mid-1700s by a Mughal vassal. Over the years, various historical events were held at the place which also included the war between 1857 mutineers and the British. Presently, a lot of complaints have been received from the place being used by drug addicts.

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