Drought hit Bidar turns to tourism for jobs with ‘Swadesh Darshan’

Bidar district of Karnataka lies far away from the IT hub of Bengaluru, some 700 kilometers away, bordering Maharashtra and Telangana, and has been subject of government’s apathy for decades. Rich in architecture, history and religious significance, the city has over thirty tombs and several forts, besides being one of the holiest places for Sikh pilgrims. Bidri artwork, an intricate metal handicraft, is a specimen of fine craftsmanship. Bidar’s tourism potential is immense, but footfalls are measly. With the quality and variety of products at Bidar’s disposal, its chances of becoming a major tourist draw is uncontested. Its strategic location can also help catapult footfalls into neighbouring states. However, owing to prolonged neglect, not much of it has yet been realized. Its misfortune does not end here. The region has been drought-hit, facing serious crisis in the recent months.

Bidar Fort1Some of it could change in the coming days, as the state government has recently sent a proposal to the MOT under the centrally sponsored ‘Swadesh Darshan’ scheme – which aims at integral development of theme-based circuit – to connect important forts. The decision is aimed at creating adequate alternative employment for locals. 

“We have submitted a 274-crore proposal to develop a tourism circuit connecting Bidar Fort, Basavakalyana Fort and Gulbarga Fort. A presentation was also made and the proposal was discussed in detail in a recent meeting,” Bidar Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tiwari told PTI.

In the recent months, three forts received around twenty thousand tourists in a month’s time. After the proposed development is undertaken, these forts are expected to witness a threefold increase in footfalls, feel district tourism department officials.

As per available reports, the central government has asked the state government to examine the feasibility of connecting destinations like Bijapur and Hampi in the circuit. 

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