Step back in time and revel in an era of a departed civilisation! Stoned marvels, fine etchings, cultural riches, scenic wonders, centuries of history and endless tales—these are just some ways in which a heritage destination pampers you. Not only does it transport you to an era lost long back, it also enriches you with a lot of first-hand knowledge. There’s a lot you gain from such spots of historical significance. These are iconic sites and trust me it’s no mean task to preserve and protect remains of ancient civilisation even if they are dressed in stone!
Governments take immense pain to give heritage zones a place under the spotlight. And finding a place on the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a great achievement indeed! Tourism to the site increases several notches and in turn boosts the revenues. That’s why you’ll do the planet, its history and the future generations a huge favour if you help keep heritage sites in prime shape.
** Don’t write on the structures. Visitors get a kick by inscribing on forts, castles, iconic buildings or even centuries old trees in a rainforest! These etching could be anything from names to hearts and even painstakingly drawn sketches! That’s the worst thing you can do to a heritage site. Consider this. If a site attracts 5000 people a year and even if 500 people leave their names behind on the walls each year how long will the glory of the legendary structure last? Will the archaeological and historical value of a place still lure you if it has lost its look in the recent past? Moreover, give a thought to the pains that the local authorities take to maintain the site. Do you really want it all to go down the drain?
** Never deface any part of a heritage site. You are tampering with a very precious slice of history if that’s the case. Ruining a heritage site is unpardonable. No apologies matter because the damage is purely irreversible. Recently there was an outrage in Egypt and China when a teenaged Chinese tourist defaced a 3,500-year-old hieroglyphics on the wall of an ancient temple in Luxor. Of course, the youngster and his parents apologised but the damage had been done. And what a blow to the local Egyptian authorities who have been preserving the centuries old structure with amazing success! ** Maintain cleanliness in the vicinity of heritage zones. A lot of labour goes into keeping places of tourist interest clean. You don’t want wrappers and plastic bottles to spoil your mood or your photographs, do you? Don’t litter. Every tourist attraction has dustbins stationed at regular intervals. Use them. Ditto for wash rooms! Don’t allow your children to answer Nature’s call behind a rock or tree. Most heritage sites are sprawling areas spread across miles. You might spend a full day at such a hotspot. Follow a discipline not only for yourself but for the sake of the visitors who follow you.
** Carry your essentials. You are unlikely to find shops inside a heritage zone. So it’s a good idea to carry water bottles, tissues or napkins. Eating may not really be prohibited inside but avoid carrying an entire picnic basket with you. Dry stuff like biscuits works best. But remember to throw the wrappers in the dust bin. If you are touring in the throes of summer carry a water bottle. In fact, an extra water bottle is strongly recommended because you may not find water within the premises. Besides, you won’t get dehydrated too. Keep these few factors in mind and you’ll return home having gained not just the holiday weight but a great deal of knowledge and a treasure of joyful memories!
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