Ahmedabad: In a bid to promote heritage based-tourism here, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has finalised the ambitious project to renovate and beautify the 600 year-old Bhadra fort and its adjoining areas in the heart of the city.

AMC which has already bid for the UNESCO World heritage status for the city, last week signed a memorandum with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to restore the splendor of Bhadra Fort built by the founder of the city, Ahmed Shah, in 1411 AD.

The project aims to beautify the half a kilometer stretch from the fort where Sultan Ahmed Shah used to hold his royal court to the Teen Darwaja in the next two years.

The area between Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaja will be an exclusive pedestrian zone with a specially designed walkway besides various landscape and design elements like fountains, lighting, swanky street furniture, signage and public amenities will built to beautify the Bhadra Plaza.

"The entire project aims to boost the heritage tourism in the city, which is home to many famous monuments of the Mughal era," Municipal Commissioner, Guruprasad Mohapatra told.

The project is being implemented under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), and has been designed by the CEPT University here, he said, adding that Rs 74.39 crore have already been approved for it.

The full project includes development of the public plaza and a pedestrian space from Bhadra Fort to Teen Darwaja, restoration of the fort itself, development of Azamkhan Sarai area, a pedestrian bridge connecting Bhadra fort to the Sabarmati riverfront, and multilevel parking space.

"Work on the public plaza and the pedestrian space from Bhadra Fort to Teen Darwaja will commence from January 26 and is likely to be completed within 10-12 months," Mohapatra, said.

Once the project is completed it would become easier for the tourist to know about Ahmedabad, its history, present and the future, he added.

When asked about the vendors who presently do business on the stretch between the Bhadra fort to Teen Darwaja, Mohapatra said that they would be coming up with a vendor's policy soon which would take care of that issue.

The Bhadra fort once included royal palaces and a garden inside the fort But now houses city civil and session’s court.

To the east of the fort stands the triple gateway or Teen Darwaja, from which sultans used to watch processions from the palaces to the Jama Masjid. The royal entrance is triple arched and richly carved.

The fort campus has been put to a variety of uses in the past — from a 'musafirkhana' (inn) during Moghul period a jail during British rule. During Maratha rule, a temple dedicated to goddess Bhadra Kali was established there.

(Agencies)