Shimla, May 17 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh government will spend Rs 25 crore on renovating and developing the historic British Raj ‘Bantony Castle Estate’ here as a major tourist attraction.

Speaking at a function here, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today noted that the castle was one of the historic and monumental buildings of Shimla town with a very rich history.

He said the building was a fine example of the Anglo-Gothic architecture and since the commanding building was strategically located on Mall Road, it would be an added attraction for the tourists.

Thakur said the hilly state had several historic buildings and monuments which could be developed as major tourist attractions.

He said organising ‘Gram Shilp Mela’ was a new beginning for the Bantony Castle as artisans from different parts of the state got an opportunity to exhibit their artifacts.

The BJP leader said the ‘Aaj Purani Rahon Se’ scheme started by the state government looks at exploring folklores, historic events and cultural tourism in the state.

The Bantony Castle, owned by a business family and housing the state police headquarters, was acquired by the government for Rs 27.84 crore two years ago.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.