Published on : Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Tourists flocking to Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram not only get the opportunity to immerse themselves in the 8th Century architectural marvels. However, they are compelled to undergo meager amenities that do little justice to tourist hotspot’s World Heritage Site tag.
Each and every vehicle entering the Mamallapuram special grade town panchayat will be charged. However, it does not offer sufficient tourist amenities comprising toilets and drinking water. In addition, tourists need to go through an ever-growing menace of the hawkers. Also, the pay-and-use toilets close to the monuments are poorly maintained.
As per M Charles, president of Tourists Guide Federation of South India, visitors are being charged at different religious places and they get very little in return.
To quote M Charles, “Mamallapuram is the most sought-after destination which foreigners never miss while travelling to South India. But there are no amenities for them except for two poorly-maintained pay-and-use toilets at the ASI sites.” Foreign tourists add more than 50% of the revenue to all ASI monuments like Shore Temple and Five Rathas. The entry fee for all foreign nationals, excluding those from SAARC countries and Thailand, is Rs 500 per head.
“But there are five UNESCO-notified monuments in Sri Lanka. Their premises offer toilets of international standards, seating arrangements, cafeteria and do not charges for shooting pictures. But we have fixed Rs 500 as the entry fee for foreign nationals and charge for using cameras and toilets separately without providing clean facilities or seats for the visitors to relax,” Charles said.