Gobindgarh Fort, which was inaugurated on December 12 by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, has finally started to be on the path of being converted into the region’s first virtual reality theme park. This fort, which was an abandoned site for years, has now witnessed life with tourists pouring in, and history and culture coming alive with the help of new technology.
As the night falls, the walls have a story to tell through laser shows — light and sound projection mapping; and whispering walls (Kanda boldiya ne) show, that have now become an attraction for people coming from different cities and states. The entry ticket is just Rs 25; after 5pm it is Rs 150.
On Saturday, HT team visited the fort. It was seen that ‘lion of Punjab,’ 7-D show tells the audience about the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in the 19th century, and is being projected with holography and Pepper’s ghost technology.
Gobindgargh Fort is now a PPP model (public-private partnership), which has been restored by the state government, but is being designed and created by Mayanagri World that is chaired by Bollywood actor, director and producer Deepa Sahi. Deepa, along with award-winning director Ketan Mehta is heading to transform this place into a unique 3-D virtual world.
“Things have started to fall into place, people are coming to the fort more frequently, to know about its historical importance. For now, we are ensuring that people who are unaware of the significance of the place, get to see what the place is all about,” said head of operations Jugvinder Singh, who was busy gearing-up the staff on duty and interacting with tourists.
“Irrespective of the fact that installation and construction work is on, we are welcoming people and creating awareness about the place as there was a time when I came from Mumbai and even local rickshaw and auto drivers used to ask if this place is some hotel? And where it is?” he added.
Singh said that more than 70% work in the first phase has been completed and the rest will just take one more month. “Tosha Khana is open for tourists but a few bronze, copper, and silver coins are to be installed, because of which about 20% work is left. Even at the bunglow, 30 % work is done,” he said.
Three retail shops have been taken up and are functional; and seven food carts are running. There are horse rides, and bhangra, gidha and gatka performances. While landscaping, horticulture, visual elements such as paintings, flags are adding colour to the bricks of the fort.
The second phase is still in pipeline, including zip-line sport activity, battle of Saragarhi show and ‘flying over Punjab’ show are there, where people will be given a view of the landmarks of Punjab using 3-D technology.
The second phase will take around six months to be completed, irrespective of the partial completeness, the footfall of tourists is good; even foreign tourists can be seen exploring history here.