Seven Wonders of India

In this election season, one can hardly expect to see something like ‘Seven Wonders of India’ on the most respected 24×7 news channel. I have been watching Pranay Roy from his star News days. Today Pranay has created a media empire of his own.

I have been watching the serial on ‘Seven Wonders of India’. Whenever I missed I felt bad about it. Beside TajMahal, the wonder of wonders, selected among ‘Seven Wonders of India’ on NDTV were Jailsalmer Fort, Nalanda, Minakshi temple, Konarak, Khajuraho, Dhola Vira, and Red Fort. And I wonder why Ajanta Ellora and Hampi didn’t get into the list. But as Pranay Roy explained NDTV has selected 7 out of shortlisted 21 out of total of 222 sites from all over India. It had two spiritual wonders too- Tawang Monastery and Golden Temple.

Rightly described as the eighth wonder of the evening, the dance performance of Aiswairya Ray Bachchan and her group was one of the most wonderful one that provided entertainment to the celebrities and suited the ambience of the occasion. But perhaps the most exciting was the dresses and costumes made out of textiles and weaving of various regions presented by models. And last but not the least was the fantastic music through drums of India.

We have not been to three of the seven wonders- Minakshi temple, Jaisalmer fort, and Dhola Vir and the spiritual one, Tawang monastery. I am sure god permitting we shall make it soon. Some dignitaries talked of going and seeing the places of interest in foreign countries. I went to see many places in Europe and Japan finding some space in between my business trips. Let me confess I didn’t enjoy the visits as I was not knowledgeable about its history. I have been visiting many places in last few years, but I hardly find visitors that belong to the class of people that were present at Pranay’s function. Perhaps that is one reason that these places do hardly have good hotels and other basic infrastructures. I wish they would have been visiting the some of the 222 wonders in India.

I wish some of the big business houses would have been volunteering offered to government to undertake the task of developing the infrastructures or protection of these wonders. I saw Konark for the first time in 1965. I vested it again in 1970s and found a lot of surface erosion. Perhaps the numbers of our heritage sites are too large to be maintained suitably with the government budget. It requires technology and research too, for the prevention of deterioration, besides educating the people visiting it to avoid mutilating it.

One of the coordinators of the function talked of creating heritage sites for the Gen Next. I am sure the creation such as Akshardam near Noida is one that will meet the expected standard. And I wish BJP instead of talking to construct Ram Mandir at disputed site proposes to help building Nalanda International University as the grandest in the world in which Indians of tomorrow could take pride.

And then I request NDTV to market prepare and market DVDs at nano price, the total of the sites state wise and that of the finale function too.

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