Sawai Madhopur railway station, which is the gateway to Rajasthan’s famous Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, will be soon India’s first Heritage Railway Station.
It will be opened by Suresh Prabhu
, the railway minister.
The 5000-6000 square feet railway station wall has been painted with trees, tigers, hyena, flowers, birds, lakes, amongst other things from nature.
The art has been made by a team of local artists led by Narayan Singh and Gajanand Singh, who are original members of the Ranthambhore School of Art. The school was founded in 1988 by Valmik Thapar, known as India’s ‘tigerman’.
Thapar told about the concept to the Railway Minister who liked the idea and gave it a go ahead. World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-India was roped in to provide funds.
“The station has become a living art museum of wildlife. The junglescape has created a buzz. People are curious, excited and are asking questions, taking photographs. It is generating awareness and will have other ripple effects,” said
The station has also become the pride of the local community. People are stopping by to see the unique station and it has also attracted local villagers, foreign tourists.
The added advantage of the heritage station is that people don’t want to desecrate the images.
The heritage station project will be extended to the stations of Kota, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Bharatpur and Udaipur.
Also, passengers travelling by the Jan Shatabdi will have a bonus as the train is being painted by the Ranthambhore artists.