Tuesday 10 September 2013

Walking on a white path

Close to two and half million tourists visited  the main palace in Mysore and all of hem had to remove their footware if they wanted to enter the palace.
The main palace is the most visited building in the world after Madam Tussads in London. But unlike Madam Tussads, all visitors here have to compulsorily remove their footware if they want to have a glimpse of the interiors of  what tourists say is the world’s best palace.    
However, the walk from the ticket counter to the palace interiors and from there to the Maharaja’s private museum will be a rather “hot” one during summer. The sand and concrete pathway to the palace gets so hot during March, April, May and June that tourists, particularly foreigners, find it difficult to tread across the hot sands.
The summer experience of  bare foot walking was all the more painful this year when Mysore experienced a torrid climate and temperatures soared, making people fret and fume.
Many visitors and others, particularly foreigners and they number more than 10,000, complained to the Mysore Palace Board about the boiling sand they would have to walk on to reach the palace. Women, elderly and children found it difficult to walk barefoot. Seeing their discomfiture, the board decided to take a leaf from the Dharmastala temple management which had paved the footpaths leading to the Manjanutha temple with heat resistant slabs.
These newly designed walkways gave pilgrims at Dharmastala a little relief from the sweltering summer. The Mysore Palace Board decided to go in for such a walkway so as to make walking a  walking a pleasure for tourists, even as they enjoyed the sight of the palace.
It, therefore, built a 150-feet heat-resistant walkway on a trial basis, which it plans to extend to other areas in a phased manner. The walkway is about two feet wide and it has been painted white. The white paint will absorb the heat and thus ensure that the soles do not get scorched by the heat of the sand.   
The white paint does not allow the heat to settle and disperses it. The paint diffuses the ultra violet rays and, therefore, the temperature remains much less than the temperature on the concrete.
The Board has spent Rs. 42 per square feet to develop the 150-feet walkway. It now plans to extend the white pathway to other paths that tourists take within the palace compound.
In vase you visit the palace, walk on the white path and ten on the concrete so that you can literally fell the difference.
How we wish that the Government takes notice and ensures that similar heat resistant walkways are introduced at major tourist attractions and in places where the Sun seems to shine the brightest such as Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal, Banashankari, Mahakuta, Gulbarga, Bidar, Raichur, Hampi, Bijapur, Lakkundi, Lakshmeshwar and many other town and villages. As it is these places record high temperatures during summer and walking on the road or even footpath barefoot is a nightmare, more so if it is a place of  religion.  

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