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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Patna’s iconic Golghar set to receive visitors again from August

Golghar in Patna was closed for entry of tourists as it had developed cracks due to unregulated footfalls and vibrations from heavy traffic on the Ashok Rajpath adjoining it.

patna Updated: Jun 24, 2017 18:14 IST
Reena Sopam
Reena Sopam
Hindustan Times, Patna
Repair work in progress at Golghar in Patna.
Repair work in progress at Golghar in Patna.(AP Dube/HT photo)

PATNA: Patna’s most famous heritage building, the Golghar, will be ready to take visitors again after the conservation work is completed in August.

“The restoration work is expected to be over by August, when it will be thrown open to the public again,” DN Sinha, superintending archaeologist, ASI, Patna Circle, said.

“We are making the monument tourist-friendly by installing a lightning conductor atop the 96-feet high structure to avoid any accident or casualty by lightning and thunderstorm,” he added.

Although it is a state protected monument, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has undertaken the preservation work in the last five years to restore its former glory.

Director, state archaeology, Atul Verma, said the Golghar was closed for entry of tourists as it had developed cracks due to unregulated footfalls and vibrations from heavy traffic on the Ashok Rajpath adjoining it. The department was now planning to fortify the structure, while devising a way to restrict visitors on the Golghar campus, he said.

Located in the heart of the Bihar’s capital city, the Golghar was designed as a granary on the orders of then governor general of India Warren Hastings in 1784.

The British age monument has remained among the main attractions of the city, drawing thousands of locals, domestic and foreign tourists. It also offers a majestic view of the Ganga flowing nearby. But for last several years it has remained closed for restoration work.

The beehive-shaped structure was designed by Captain John Garstin of the Bengal Engineers, part of the East India Company’s Bengal Army. Its construction was completed on July 20, 1786 with a capacity to hold 14 lakh metric tonnes of grains at one time. The granary served a huge purpose of saving lives during the Bengal famine, in which millions died in the Bengal presidency, which then comprised Bihar and Odisha also .

Archaeologists said the 145-step spiral staircase of the pillar-less structure, which has a width of 125 metres and rises 29 metres, had also turned slippery due to heavy use.

The stairs were originally made to carry grain bags up one flight, deliver their load through a hole at the top and descend through the other. However, the granary had a design flaw with the gate at the base opening inwards, which failed to work when it was full.

In 2010, three vertical cracks were noticed in the 3.6-metre thick wall of the heritage structure right from its entry point to the top of the staircase. To stop further damage and decay, ASI experts were engaged to seal and re-plaster the cracks.

First Published: Jun 24, 2017 18:14 IST

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