Church to give heritage tour
In a bid to get the community more acquainted with its past, the Archdiocesan Heritage Committee (AHC) — the heritage conservation wing of the Archdiocese of Bombay — has organised its first field trip to the ruins of a fort on November 14.mumbai Updated: Nov 03, 2010 01:42 IST
In a bid to get the community more acquainted with its past, the Archdiocesan Heritage Committee (AHC) — the heritage conservation wing of the Archdiocese of Bombay — has organised its first field trip to the ruins of a fort on November 14.
The committee will take a group of 40 Mumbaiites to the Chaul port near Alibaug, where Portuguese traders had built a church and a fort in the 1520s.
Today, most of the fort walls are intact, though the buildings and the main church are not only standing as broken ruins, but also struggling against encroachments.
Though the tour will focus on the history of the church, the field trip is open to people of all communities.
“We are trying to get all members of society involved in the preservation of valuable spiritual monuments,” said Father Warner D’Souza, one of the six members of the heritage committee, which has been documenting the city’s churches ever since it was constituted five years ago.
This June, the heritage committee took its first step towards community involvement by organising an interactive seminar on the history of city churches.
The field trip is their second such venture.
“Three or four decades ago, people were not interested in heritage structures but today they are more open to it,” said Father Larry Pereira, a priest and historian who will guide the group on the trip.
According to Pereira, the Chaul port was well known by Greek and Roman traders more than 1,500 years ago and
references to it have also been found in Borivli’s Kanheri Caves.
Today, he says, there are more than 1,000 people living within the fort, though it is supposed to be protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
“The encroachments have spoilt the ancient look of the fort. It is necessary to spread awareness through such trips in order to prevent such ruin in other places,” he said.
(Registration for the field trip is open at Bandra’s Mount Carmel Church until November 5)