Many prominent heritage buildings across the country and protected sites in the national capital will soon be featuring sound and light shows. Regarding this, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is planning to take this proposal up and organise weekly ‘musical events’ in a move to attract more tourists.
At present, around 12 sites, including the Purana Quila in Delhi, hosts these sound and light shows, which have been suspended since March as the country went into lockdown to contain the spread of Coronavirus. As per the ASI officials, the ministry has already given in-principle approval for musical shows at 12 other locations, including the Shore Temple in Chennai, Raigad Fort in Mumbai, and Leh Palace in Leh.
Referring to this, a government official in the know-how stated that the proposal to conduct regular musical programmes has already been sent to the Culture Ministry some time ago. The proposal also defines provisions for food kiosks, and added that their policy has been framed to promote the rich legacy of the country and not to discourage visitors. He further emphasised that there are some good examples from other countries, and this plan will likely help them to generate revenues.
Reportedly, such programmes can be conducted at ticketed monuments. As per the records, as of now, the ASI manages 3691 monuments, of which only 143 are ticketed sites. Also, there are around 170 sites in Delhi with ASI, of which only 13 are ticketed sites, such as Safdar Jung’s Tomb, Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort, Qutub Minar, Hauz Khas, and Purana Qila.
Experts are also of the view that ASI and other agencies need to change their mindset, and conduct frequent programmes at historic buildings, so as to enable people enjoy and celebrate heritage. The archaeology department of Delhi government has also planned similar activities at sites under its jurisdiction, so as to promote the sites as centres of arts and cultural heritage.