Enlist Forts of Maharashtra as UNESCO World Heritage Sites

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The forts of erstwhile Maratha Empire are not just silent sentinels of history, but in essense are a legacy of righteous rule, culture and nationalistic ideals. 

History Researchers, fort lovers and heritage activists have been demanding that the premier forts of Maharashtra as well as those in erstwhile Maratha Empire pan India, be converted to UNESCO World Heritage sites.

This, will prevent their misuse and defacation as well as be free  unwarranted behavior of individuals and organizations. Besides, most importantly, expertise of internationally esteemed experts will be available for restoration and conservation purposes. The international tourism status will bring employment to local population, local arts and crafts will get international attention, dandpatta and swordmanship of Maratha style will get international attention, besides a host of other benefits including valuable foreign exchange. 

Primarily, forts as Raigad, Rajgad, Sindhudurg, Jinji, Pratapgad, Panhala, Vijaydurg, Devgiri and such be included in UWHS. Raigad, Rajgad, Pratapgad and Sindhudurg are the hallmark of the great legacy, foresight and diplomacy, of the Maratha Emperor being witness to the landmark events of visionary and exemplary national leader, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who had visioned these sites more than just the spots of beauty or adventure. He had stated that “....in forts not only the kingdom gets its strength but these hill forts are also instrumental in survival, nourishment and well being of our people, particularly in the wake of attack by our enemy”


We urge the Archeological Survey of India and Maharashtra Government to coordinate and bring our invaluable heritage and cultural legacy on UNESCO WHS list.

"Maratha forts were not just military fortification but monuments of ways of  living with nature. Though forts would fall under culture, TERRE is proposing it be put under ‘mixed’ category."

- Rajendra Shende

Former UN Diplomat

Director TERRE Policy Center


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