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The Management Issues Of Ajanta Caves Travel and leisure Essay

Tourism is the largest industry in the current world scenario, ethnical and heritage tourism being most vital part as it unleashes the annals and authenticity of a country to the visitors. Tourism worldwide is booming and so do the hazards to the authenticity of the tourism sites due to the increased visitation. And when it involves the heritage and cultural sites, the genuineness of the websites could be easily deteriorated by increased visitor quantity but never can be regained as it is a gift idea from the annals. So, the only possible way is to control and keep maintaining it to the utmost extent, but at the same time, providing a great level of "edutainment" to the guests.

Managing such sites has always been difficult to the specialists as they rarely can control the traveler traffic as it generates greater income for the country. Understanding and promoting ecological tourist behavior (Pearce 2005) has been a competent tool to maintain the authenticity of any vacationer sites. The attention of holidaymakers can be aimed to the enhancing features of the vacation spots as well as the importance of sustaining the interpersonal and environment. The focus of the literature is to unveil the ecological tourism management methods on the planet heritage travel and leisure site known as Ajanta caves, which can be found in Aurangabad, India.

Ajanta Caves

The Ajanta caves are contains 30 rock cut cave monuments situated 107 kilometres north of Aurangabad, known as "city of gates" in Maharashtra express of India. The caves bought its name from a close by village named Ajanta located about 12 km. These caves were uncovered in 1819 and instantly the discovery became very famous and Ajanta achieved an essential tourist destination on the planet. Since 1983, Ajanta caves have been a UNESCO World History Site. The caves are well-known for its paintings, which are believed to be the masterpieces of Buddhist religious art and widespread pictorial fine art.

These will be the first Buddhist cave monuments time frame from the 2nd and 1st century B. C. During the 5th and 6th decades A. D. many more richly furnished caves were added to the group. These caves are excavated in horse-shoe formed bend of rock and roll surface nearly 76 m high overlooking a narrow river known as Waghora. The caves were excavated in different times (circa. 2nd century B. C. to 6th century A. D. ) according to the requirement. Each cave was linked to the stream by the flight of steps, which are actually almost demolished, although traces of some could be discovered at some places.

The site is available to tourists from 9 am to 5 pm on all day s except Mon.

Entrance Price: Individuals of India and site visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - Rs. 10 per brain.

Others: US $ 5 or Indian Rs. 250/- per head

Management issues of Ajanta Caves

Archaeological survey of India is the only real department responsible for maintaining and managing the website through its various branches like conservation, technology and horticulture. The management issues falls into two categories; the first one leading to deterioration of the caves which needs immediate attention and the next being the desired measures that could take the site to a great level of sustainability. The principal issues are:

Construction and development (developmental pressure)

Lack of open public information system


Insect activity due to migration from forest reserve.

Deterioration of rock surface

Entry of bats into the cave interior

Scribbling on rock and roll surface by visitors

Construction and enlargement (developmental pressure)

UNESCO has generated certain standards for destinations to be in the list of world heritage sites and one of the main norms is the restriction of reconstruction. Reconstruction or further development of the website can be carried out only with the last appointment with advisory systems of UNESCO. It also calls for rules and regulations in the local and national levels that should guarantee the safeguarding of the site against any development and constructions which may hinder the authentic values. So, you can find pressure from an international agency for stopping expansion works up against the nationwide development pressure. Hence, to be in the world traditions list, archaeological study of India is obliged to protect the site from any further constructions which is not necessary apart from guarding it.

Visitor management

Lack of practices to control the number of guests is creating lots of issues to Ajanta caves. The norms allows 40 guests at the same time in each cave but currently the number of tourists at a time on an average is more than twice the permitted quantity. This may lead to destruction and pilferage, at exactly the same time cause increased humidity which may lead to fungus expansion inside the caves, appealing to insects and more regularly bats.

Lack of public information system

Lack of general population information system not only restricts the level of popularity of the website, but also restricts the knowing of the general public and the vacationers, the value of conserving it. A more developed public information system can make great level of consciousness one of the visitors to cooperate with the archaeological team to protect and look after the website. Ajanta caves have a large potential to employ first and second agencies (Pearce 2005) like media, travel and tour operators and other autonomous information real estate agents like media articles and documentaries. Archaeological review department should consider the exemplory case of amazing India campaign's move that made Amir Khan (famous Bollywood super star) its grand ambassador for promoting travel and leisure in India and creating public recognition to be hospitable towards tourists.


The caves encounters water leakages using parts, credited to cracks created by tree root base and heavy rainfall. This has been an issue for quite some time since it was excavated. Water can result in deterioration of rock and roll areas and paintings and can also cause biological episodes. Even though precautions has been used by creating an anti drain system (Rizwanullah, S. 2009) on top of caves which acquired serious problems, there are other caves in which similar problems are came across after heavy rainfall. A couple of limits to these constructions too as per the rules of UNESCO which really is a dilemma for the regulating authority.

Insect activity and Admittance of bats into the cave interior

There is a issue of bugs and other small pets or animals migrating from the nearby forest reserve to the caves which may cause problems to the cave interiors and paintings. As referred to above uncontrolled visitor number is also accounting to attracting insects. To tackle this, fumigation and Polyvinylchloride treatments are being conducted often.

Deterioration of rock and roll surface

Penetration of small woody origins of vegetation outrageous of caves has been creating minute crack over the rock and roll surface and normal water leakage is causing the deterioration of rocks for a long time. These problems are watched periodically and activities are completed as per needs. However international assistance must acquire any information and technology for treatment of the rock surfaces.

Scribbling on rock surface by guests.

This is another concern in preserving the caves. This is relatively uncontrollable as the personnel cannot watch the activities of visitors from learn to end currently situation. These activities are adding to the challenge of preservation aside from deterioration and crack formation.

The supplementary issues are:

Additional training for staff

Staff would become more reliable and effective if indeed they receive more training in the traditions preservation techniques like Gps device, GIS, Photogrammetry, image documents, cartography etc. with international assistance.

Lack of GIS and GPS.

Archaeological study of India is excited for making use of global placement system (GPS) and physical information system (GIS) which can boost the preservation of site with advanced techniques. Gps navigation can make the website prepared for just about any serious risks or natural disasters. GIS helps to analyse and deal with geographical information influencing the site.

Multimedia visualisation & CDs

This is an appealing technique that could be an extra feature to general public information system and also for improving the visitor experience.

Lack of visitor management plan

Visitor management in history sites like Ajanta caves is essential as it isn't an environment built for vacationer purpose and consequently has limited taking capacity. Even though Ajanta caves have pathways which control the movements of the site visitors and information planks to teach them, there is absolutely no proper visitor management ideas in use because of this site. Strategies should be designed to make site visitors more sensible and aware of culture and nature, conservation of the environment and also to increase likelihood of repeat visits. Preparations should be produced to spread the visitors all around the caves and decrease the time spend in delicate areas like wall paintings and to promote off season appointments to lessen the mass during season.

Lack of disaster or risk preparedness plan

Even though archaeological department has facilities to deal with small issues impacting the site, it generally does not have resources to meet any major dangers or disasters. GIS and Gps navigation can be produced use for such purposes.

Current management practices

Periodic reporting - archaeological survey of India is appreciated to get ready and send a detailed survey on conservation of the website each year explaining the positioning of preservation and monitoring. It includes the impacts by tourists, mother nature and other factors influencing the site and also the measures considered for minimizing the same.

Access to the caves - the access to the caves is governed from 4 kilometres away from it. Vehicles aren't allowed to go away beyond this aspect and the visitors are taken from there to the site in non polluting buses, run by the Maharashtra Move Corporation. That is a smart move by the authorities to reduce the environment and noise pollution throughout the caves and protect the buffer area (ASI 2002) of the website.

The chemistry branch - looks after the things like chemical treatment and preservation of paintings.

The garden branch - preserves the vegetation surrounding the caves.

The conservation branch - looks after the structural conservation and preservation of the caves.

Geological investigations by geology survey of India - conducts the geophysical studies of caves and the encompassing areas.

Communication of heritage values to the public and holidaymakers - ASI has presented brochures and booklets explaining the heritage values of the site and need for conservation. In addition, it uses print and audio press for communicating. All of the activities taking place in the site are also uploaded in the state website of the ASI namely http://www. asi. nic. in/. World traditions day (April 18) and world heritage week (November 19-25) are other activities used for interacting the values and conservation of the Ajanta caves.

Educational programmes - ASI conducts painting competitions, debates, exhibitions etc on world traditions day and week in which school and college students can positively participate. This can helps to create awareness of the ancient monuments and importance of conservation of it on young era. This effort by ASI can be viewed as as an investment for future years as it educates the next era about the history values and history.

Aforestation - To lessen pollution and stop soil erosion. Horticulture office is looking after this part to construct suitable vegetation throughout the inexperienced belt of Ajanta caves. This can help maintain the environment but at exactly the same time increase insect people and subsequent insect episodes inside the caves.

Other management practices

Path ways and pedestrian ft. bridges

Illumination of the cave interiors

Construction of dropped and busted pillars

Construction of fallen and collapsed facades

Approach streets up to the foothill

Erection of barricades before the paintings and colored surfaces to limit the travellers from touching it.

Viewpoint and methodology stepped pathway by forest division.

Available facilities for the visitors

Drinking water center.

Post office.

Guide facilities.

Porter facility.

Illumination of caves

Guide books, brochures and pamphlets.

Public amenity

Descriptive signage

There are no existing strategies for general population use of the website.


A site information system at the foothill or near to the vehicle car parking area.

Pre recorded ethnic texts and emails at the entry or parking area

Public participation


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