Unauthorized guides and touts are often found at the monuments in Aurangabad, which has several world heritage sites. Recognized guides say that they often present distorted information. Many complaints have been made against the presence of the touts.
Joint secretary of Aurangabad Guide Welfare Association Amod Basole said that 66 recognized guides were operating in the city but many unauthorized ones are also active at tourist destinations of Ajanta, Ellora, Bibi-Ka-Maqbara and Panchakki.
“The number of unauthorized guides varies in different spots but on an average nearly 50 to 60 of them are active. Some of them have even prepared identity cards on their own and try project themselves as if they are authorized guides. They charge Rs 100 to Rs 200 from tourists and pass on incorrect information. Most of them are uneducated and do not possess knowledge about the monuments,” Basole, who is a recognized guide, said.
Ministry of Tourism has an office in Aurangabad, where visitors can approach for tour information and to hire guides for their visits. However, the recognized guides are not posted at all the sites throughout the day. Rupesh Mishra, who was visiting Bibi-Ka-Maqbara on Thursday, said that he tried to find a recognized guide at the site but could not find any. “We had to rely on a person who was claiming to be authentic guide. But when we asked for his identity card, he could not show us. Moreover, from his way of communication, we had doubts about his knowledge,” he said.