Raigad Fort in the Konkan, where Shivaji was crowned Chhatrapati in 1674 and which he made his capital, will be spruced up at a cost of Rs607 crore as part of the Maharashtra government’s plans to develop tourism and pilgrim sites across the state. The fort was destroyed by the British in 1818. Some conservation efforts have been carried out over the years given its significance as the seat of Maratha power.
The plans include conservation and documentation of the historical structures and providing basic amenities for visitors. The state government is also proposing to push for UNESCO heritage site status for the fort.
The area around the Lonar crater lake in Maharashtra’s Buldana district, which was formed when a meteor crashed into the earth during the last ice age, will also be developed at a cost of Rs93.46 crore. A research centre, laboratory, a tourist information centre, an auditorium and museum, a viewing platform and pollution-free buses are among the amenities planned.
At a meeting with key ministers and officials on Wednesday evening, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis approved development plans for the temple town of Mahur in Nanded (Rs 216.13 crore) and the hill station of Mhaismal and pilgrim centres of Verul and Sulibhanjan (Rs 438.44 crore).
Fadnavis said the concerns and needs of the locals would be kept in mind while developing facilities for visitors to these spots.