History & Culture

Buxa Fort to get makeover

KOLKATA: The historic Buxa Fort — located within the Buxa Tiger Reserve at an altitude of 2,800ft and one of the prominent heritage monuments in north Bengal — will soon be restored by the West Bengal Heritage Commission (WBHC).

The 7th century structure, which can’t be reconstructed entirely, might be preserved as a museum. The repair work of a 5km approach road to the fort has begun, reports The Times of India.

On Tuesday, WBHC announced the renovation of the fort could begin by the second half of 2018.

A few crumbling walls and weather-beaten pillars are all that is left of the fort. The fort cannot be restored back to its original state due to its long design but the remaining structure can be preserved and used as a tourist destination, according to Ashish Acharjee, consultant, WBHC.

“The fort has tremendous scope for eco-tourism. It is already a popular trekking route. Buxa Fort could be the focal point for a trip to the Dooars but we need to develop its precincts first,” said Acharjee.

Elaborating on the renovation work, he said avenues were being explored to “build around the fort”.

“Some parts of the surviving structure could be joined. Some will have to be reinforced to strengthen them. The rest will have to be left as they are,” he added.

Even though it’s a 7th century structure, not much was known about the Fort till 1864, untitil the British captured it following the 2nd Indo-Bhutan war.

“It’s sad that despite its rich history and fabulous location, nothing has so far been done to preserve the fort. It will not be an easy job, though. We need an integrated approach involving the forest department, PWD and tourism ministry,” the consultant said.

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