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Andhra Pradesh - Karimnagar Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Elgandal fort opened again

Staff Reporter

– Photo: Thakur Ajay Pal Singh

Queuing up:People at Elgandal fort, which was opened after a gap of two months, on the outskirts of Karimnagar on Sunday.

KARIMNAGAR: The ancient Elgandal fort and the tourist spot located on the outskirts of Karimnagar town amid picturesque shores of LMD reservoir, which remained closed for about two months, was opened for the visitors on Sunday following pleas made by the villagers to the Archaeology Department.

The Elgandal fort was closed to the visitors following the intrusion by a horde of wild bears albeit sloth bears in the first week of November last year. Frightened by the blasting at the stone and granite quarry operations in the nearby hillocks of the Elgandal village, the wild bears have converted the fort as their safe place for shelter during the nights.

Ever since, the villagers spotted the wild bears numbering around the six, they alerted the forest officials. The forest officials visited the spot and found that a female bear had delivered cubs and it would be difficult for them to shift the animals as they would become furious. They in turn informed the Archaeology Department to close the fort for the visitors.

Accordingly, it was closed to the visitors since November first week onwards. The villagers have also barricaded the entry of visitors into the fort. However, following the closure of the fort, the villagers, who were eking out their livelihood by doing small business near the fort, became unemployed.

When the visitors' pressure increased to open the fort, the villagers, including the sarpanch, MPTC member and local youth along with lathies, fire, drum beats ventured into the fort and searched for the bears and on each hillocks and thick bushes. Sensing that the wild bears have disappeared after the growth of the cubs, they informed the same to the Archaeology Department and secured permission for opening the fort for the general public. The villagers heaved a sigh of relief after a gap of two months. They still suspect that the wild bears may intrude into the fort anytime and suggested that the authorities should chalk out a comprehensive plan to protect the villagers and the tourists at the fort.

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