Known for its culture and legacy the town of Dhubela in the district of Chhatarpur, Madhya Pradesh can soon emerge as a heritage village to lure domestic as well as foreign tourists and help as a potent source to generate income. Home to Maharaja Chhatrasal, one of the greatest warriors of Central India and the great female warrior Mastani Bai (second wife of Bajirao Peshwa) Dhubela has a deep rich history to make one and all plunge into but not many know about it. Despite being strategically located on NH 39 between the two highly touristic towns of Orchha and Khajuraho, Dhubela, however, has not received the due it deserves. That may change now after a report prepared by Architecture students from World University of Design (WUD), Sonepat, Haryana under a project with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) drew the attention towards a hidden marvel.
Students have not only taken the initiative to capture the mystique of this gem from Indian history but have also prepared an integral and holistic sustainable development plan for Dhubela under funding of INTACH. The same has been sent to the state government for approval.
The student team thoroughly studied the tourism profile of the region, and formulated a plan and a project report. Among the suggestions made in the report are:
- Introduction of a light and sound show, organization of events and performances in the indoor as well as outdoor spaces of the monuments.
- Development of the street market and building of a crafts centre in the heritage zone to promote the economy and crafts of the locals.
- Modification of the main road, desilting of lake and restoration of all the monuments to improve the basic infrastructure.
- Creation of information centres, heritage trails, restaurants at various important nodes and homestays to upgrade and augment tourist facilities.
- Inclusion of Dhubela in the circuit of Orchha and Khajuraho to introduce broad based regional growth by providing Dhubela promotional brochures in every MP hotel and information centres.
- Provision to connect major railway stations like Jhansi, Orchha and Khajuraho to Dhubela and introducing last mile connectivity to augment transport facilities.
- Development of easily accessible approach roads to all monuments, introducing heritage trails, tracks for pedestrians, separate roads for Buggy rides and other non-motorized vehicles.
- Construction of a gateway using Bundelkhandi design elements to demarcate the entry of Dhubela.
Mani Singh who is one of the team members said, “By making an attempt to restore the locales in and around Dhubela, we are trying to achieve a ‘Heritage Village’ concept that is very prominent in the European countries. You could also see a similar pattern when you visit Jaipur or Amritsar.”