These days I am involved in heritage planning in the Braj area. I find this very challenging so I thought to have some discussion with intellectuals.
Braj spans mostly across Uttar Pradesh, but it has some parts of Rajasthan and Hariyana. The major places of intrest are: Mathura, Vrindavan, Goverdhan, Barsana, Nandgaon, Gokul,Kaman.
There are thousand of old temple and kunds in this area.There are dozens of beautiful hills with several heritage spots and rich flora and fauna.
Here the challenge lies in planning of the kund, and landscaping of nearby groves. It has to be done in such a way that it can attract people who come in this area for spiritual purposes without disturbing the local ecology. Also it has to be cost-effective.
Parmanand, Keeping human intervention to a minimum is a must. I suggest as few human pathways as possible and NO motorised vehicles. There may be scope for introducing very light horse-drawn carts (provided there are no tigers).
You could have small meditation cells within the preserved areas and general purpose visitor accomodation (with carparks) outside the preserved areas.
And NO cutting of wide road tracks through habitats, because this tends to isolate and disrupt the ecology.
It may be possible to establish some wildlife viewing hides and one idea I had to use "see through" mirror glass for much larger viewing windows.
Frank John Snelling
Restoration of sacred groves and kunds of Braj
Thanks for the nice response. I was also thinking in the same direction. But the groves are not so dense these days. Earlier there used to be many wild animals but right now only peacock and in some part deer are left. I agree that there shouldn't be paths for any vehicular entry.
Right now we are working in a public and private partnership, so we also want to link all these kunds and groves to the community. Also there are so many religious stories linked with these kunds and groves with Lord Krishna, so we have to educate them as to its importance.
We are working there with community participation and we also want to turn these things to raise the standard of living of local residents by promoting rural tourism in that area. I will appreciate if you can help us in any way in this noble cause.