Raigad Fort to reverberate with history again

A light-and-sound show, facade lighting, audio guides will be part of a facelift of the historic Raigad Fort, capital of the Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Known as the Gibraltar of the East, Raigad is spread over 1,300 acres and is the country’s largest fort. Its preservation and restoration have been announced as the main goal in the first-of-its-kind durg parishad or fort assembly held on Monday.

“The work order for the light-and-sound show as well as the façade lighting has been given. Before the monsoon, people will get to see Raigad in a completely new light,” said Sambhaji Chhatrapati, chairman of the Raigad Development Authority (RDA) that has taken up the task of the reviving the fort.

Over ₹600 crore has been sanctioned for the RDA by the State, of which over ₹110 crore has been earmarked for Raigad. “We have a broad vision for the fort. We are looking at developing Raigad as a heritage hill station. Besides the fort, we will be uplifting 21 villages in its periphery and create new avenues for the local people,” he said.

The durg parishad organised by the RDA brought together over 50 groups of fort lovers from across the State. This was the first time that these self-motivated groups, who take up cleanliness, preservation and awareness campaigns of Shivaji’s forts, came together under one roof to talk about their challenges and offer suggestions. The event also saw an announcement of a government resolution (GR) that will look at assigning the fort lovers work related to its upkeep.

Santosh Hasurkar, a founder member of Durgveer Pratisthan, said forts fall under various government organisations, which are not always appreciative of the work done by fort lovers. “There are so many State and Central agencies like the zilla parishad, forest department, and the Archaeological Survey of India, who have problems with the work done by fort lovers. There has to be some authority given to the durg premi (fort lovers) who have been working for the past several years cleaning water bodies, removing plastic and other waste, spreading awareness among people,” Mr. Hasurkar said.

State Tourism Minister Jaykumar Rawal, who was at the event, said work like making pathways, desilting water bodies on forts, and beautification can be streamlined through teams of fort lovers.

“We need to make this a people’s movement,” he said.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 9:27:56 am |