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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Age-old forts bear witness to rise in nationalism, says Pune historian  

cities Updated: Sep 20, 2019 20:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

In the past 25-30 years, we have noticed that a lot of youngsters tend to visit forts in the state. Shivaji Maharaj established his empire with the help of these forts only,” said Pandurang Balkawade, historian.

He was talking at the book launch of ‘Untold Stories of Shivaji Maharaj and his Forts’, a book by Sandeep Tapkir, historian and fortress practitioner. The event took place at the book nook seminar in Pune International Literary Festival 2019 (PILF).

“Shivaji Maharaj created the mindset of nationalism among the people and these forts bear witness to this though process even today. The forts in Maharashtra have seen fights and struggles, giving them an edge over the other forts across the country. They have been attacked by the Mughals and later the Britishers multiple times. Once the Britishers took over, in 1818 they started demolishing forts in the Sahyadri ranges and across the country. The reason the condition of these forts deteriorated was that the Britishers made accessing these forts very difficult for the common people,” said Balkawade.

“We need to conserve our forts because these are symbols of our great history. Unfortunately, only 82 of 500 odd forts in the state have been officially registered. We need to create awareness among the youth regarding the importance of these forts. I am happy that young historians like Sandeep are writing about the current conditions of our forts,” added Balkawade.

Sandeep Tapkir said, “In this book, I have covered various unknown facts and information about forts is the Ratnagiri district. So far I have visited 300 forts in the state and hopefully, I will write a book on each district and all the forts that are there in the future.”

First Published: Sep 20, 2019 20:27 IST

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