Maha govt & Centre ink MoU for conservation of Raigad fort

Jan 20, 2016, 07:33 IST | PTI

Mumbai: A tripartite agreement has been signed by Maharashtra government, Centre and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for the conservation of Raigad fort, which was once the capital of Maratha empire under Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

State Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde, who briefed reporters about three-day 'Raigad Mahotsav', which is scheduled to be held on the fort in Raigad district from January 22, said the government will adhere to the ASI policy and will not make any structural changes at this historical place.

Tawde said conservation norms of the ASI do not allow any changes to the original structure and also create any replica.

"The MoU will now pave the way for obtaining important permissions from the ASI for holding the Mahotsav every year, while the state government, too, will be able to grant certain permissions. The government seeks to put Raigad fort and its history on the international tourist map," he said.

Talking about the Raigad Mahotsav, which will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on January 21, Tawde said the event seeks to inform and educate people about the life and times under the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

Exhibition of coins, letters and weapons will be a part of the event and scenes depicting those times will be showcased, which is being created by noted Bollywood art director Nitin Desai.

"Scenes recreating the life and times of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj will be put up at Pachad village at the base Raigad fort. How the warrior king used to hold court with his ashta-pradhans (council of eight ministers), the queen's palace and other things will be shown there," he said.

The state government has allocated Rs 5 crore for the event, which was announced in the state's annual budget last year, Tawde said adding that since there is limited space on the fort, entry will be restricted to 8,000 people only.

Photographs of forts taken by Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who himself is likely to attend the closing ceremony on January 23, will be showcased at the exhibition, he said.

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