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The Maharashtra government has submitted a list of 14 fort sites to be included in the Tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites are from the era of 17th century Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. UNESCO has accepted the nomination in Tentative Lists of its World Heritage Site.
- Tentative list is an inventory of properties a country believes deserves to be a World Heritage Site.
- UNESCO includes the properties in the Tentative List. It is the first step before the identification of a site as a World Heritage Site. After that, a country has to prepare a nomination document that will be considered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for a World Heritage Site.
- A site identified as a World Heritage Site becomes a location of an “outstanding universal value”. This signifies the exceptional cultural and/or natural significance of the site which is of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.
About 14 Forts in Maharashtra’s Proposal:
- Raigad Fort: It was originally called Rairi. It is built on a large wedge of a hill in the Sahyadris separated from the main range by a ravine. The fort was the capital of the Maratha Empire.
- Rajgad Fort: It was the capital of the Maratha Empire under Chhatrapati Shivaji for almost 26 years before the capital moved to the Raigad Fort.
- Shivneri Fort: It was Shivaji’s birthplace. It consists of 7 gates. Similarly, it is an example of Bahamani/ Nizamshahi architecture providing a backdrop to the narrative of guerrilla warfare.
- Torna Fort: It was captured by Shivaji in 1646 when he was 16. This fort marked the beginning of the Maratha empire.
- Lohagad: It is one of the most picturesque valleys and is believed to have been built in the 14th century. It is an example of Maratha hill fort architecture until the Peshwa period.
- Salher Fort: It is one of the highest forts in the Sahyadris located in Dolari range of Nashik.The fort witnessed a key battle in 1672 between Marathas and Mughals.
- Mulher Fort: It is one of three forts situated on a hill flanked by Mora to the east and Hatgad to the west. The surrender of Mulher ended the third Maratha War.
- Rangana Fort: It is the site that Aurangzeb tried to conquer along with Bhudargad and Samangad in his Deccan campaign. But he did not succeed.
- Ankai Tankai Forts: Ankai and Tankai are separate forts on adjacent hills with a common fortification wall.
- Kasa Fort: It is popularly known as Padmadurg. It is built on a rocky island off the coast of Murud and provides a base for naval military operations.
- Sindhudurg Fort: It was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1668, This sea fort is considered a masterpiece in military defense.
- Alibag Fort: It is popularly known as Kulaba Fort. It was chosen as one of the forts to be modelled as a naval base by Chhatrapati Shivaji.
- Suvarnadurg: It was built on an island. It was repaired and strengthened by Shivaji Maharaj in 1660.
- Khanderi Fort: Khanderi was officially named Kanhoji Angre Island in 1998. It was built in 1679 and was the site of many battles between Shivaji Maharaj’s forces and the navy of the Siddhis.
Source: Indian Express