Saturday, 28 April 2012

Now, Cycle your way to Ajanta Caves

Eco-friendly tourists and enthusiasts can now cycle their way to the world heritage site — Ajanta Caves — from next month.According to reliable sources, tourists will now be able to take a bicycle ride on the 4-km-long (one side) journey from the T-point to Ajanta Caves. A separate track dedicated for bicycles is being constructed along the existing tarred road.
The district administration during 2011-12 had tabled a proposal for a separate track for bicycles before the District Planning Committee (DPC), which has okayed it and the work of the bicycles track has already been started under the supervision of the PWD.When contacted, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) senior regional manager Chandrashekar Jaiswal did confirm the development, but directed this scribe to contact the office concerned. He, however, pointed out that the entry of private vehicles from the T-point was banned by the then district collector V Radha in 2002 and eco-friendly buses were introduced to carry tourists. "The aim behind the decision is to preserve and sustain the green cover around the world heritage site," he said, adding that the special buses are operated by the MSRTC.
According to Abrar Hussain, an approved tourist guide at Ajanta Caves, the world heritage site is being developed as a perfect eco-friendly destination. "The MTDC had banned entry of private vehicles at the base of the horse-shoe site of Ajanta Caves. Thanks to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), there is not a single mobile tower in its periphery. And now allowing tourists to ride bicycles is another welcome eco-friendly step," he said. The sources added that the district administration would be spending around Rs 4 crore on the construction of the bicycle track.
Bicycle craze in Aurangabad
Once upon a time, it was a craze among young FITs and economy class tourists to cycle their way to various places of interest in the city and heritage monuments like Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Caves, Panchakki, museums and even Ellora and Khuldabad. Once the bicycle track is ready, the past will come alive, it is hoped.

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