Wednesday 16 October 2013

Bala Quila – Alwar’s Way of How Not to Promote Tourism

Bala Quila (fort) is in the Alwar City of Rajasthan which is about 150 kms from Delhi. As the toll road between Bhiwadi and Alwar is good it takes only about three hours to reach there.

Bala Quila, Alwar

From the main road it is about six kms on a steep hill and when I reached the base I found that due to Navratras (an Indian festival) the police were not allowing any cars etc to go up as large numbers of pilgrims were going up on foot on the road as there are couple of locally important temples on this stretch.

Traditional Rajasthani Architecture of the Bala Quila

I was in no mood to walk all this distance and back in hot weather but luckily the persons selling Prasad (offering for the deity) were entrepreneurial enough and were giving bikes on rent. So I took a bike and went up. The hill was green and wooded after rains and therefore very picturesque.

A Gun with wooden wheels at the Bala Quila Fort

The main compound of the fort has been occupied by the wireless department of the police and if you want to go inside this area then you need to go to some stupid official in the city and get permission. This is truly the Rajasthan’s way (and in other instances in other parts of India as well) as to how not to promote tourism.

Back side of the Bala Quila

After all why will someone first go to some shabby office just to take permission and then go to visit this place? Why not just keep an entry fee and allow direct access to tourist. And why the police have to be given possession of an important ancient heritage monument which actually requires specialised maintenance.
The Boundary Walls & Stairs of the Fort

The fort walls have stairs on the inside which are quite steep. Bala Quila was constructed by Hassan Khan Mewati in 1492. It was later captured by the Jats, Mughals and then by Maharao Raja Pratap Singh in 1775 who is considered the founder of Alwar.

Jai Pol - one of the entrance gates to the fort

The fort is nearly 304 meters above the Alwar city and extends five kms from north to south and 1.6 kms from east to west. It has 15 large towers and 51 small ones. There are six entrances to the fort.

An Antelope

As the fort area is densely wooded there is some wild life also in this area. I was lucky that when I was trying to circumnavigate the area (there is no specific path or and I made my own way) I was able to spot an antelope from very close quarters.

View of Alwar from Bala Quila

As the fort is at a height it gives a complete bird’s eye view of the Alwar city and the surrounding areas.

To promote Alwar as a tourist destination Rajasthan has to make some efforts though to remove the glitches that I have mentioned above. 


Unknown said...

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Dimpy Roy said...

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Anil Yadav said...

Thank you.