Mumbai: Six medieval and British period forts in Mumbai will soon be developed as tourist sites, venues for cultural events and a numismatic museum by the state government.
This project will cover the forts of Bandra, Worli, Shivdi, Mahim, Dharavi and Saint George. “The forts will be developed into sites where cultural and other events can be organized. This will generate resources for their conservation, make the project financially self-sufficient and develop these sites as cultural places,” said Tejas Garge, Director of Museums and Archeology for the Government of Maharashtra, adding that a final proposal would be sent. . soon in government.
Forts will receive a sound and light show detailing Mumbai’s history, accessible via a mobile app to avoid nearby noise pollution. An architect was appointed to draw up a conservation and protection plan for these forts and the development of a fortified circuit.
Garge added that the project was spearheaded by the departments of tourism and culture after a meeting between Aaditya Thackeray, minister of tourism and minister responsible for the suburban district of Mumbai, and minister of cultural affairs Amit Deshmukh.
Last week, Deshmukh convened a meeting where it was ordered that aside from government funding, options such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds and similar collaborations be explored for work other than that related to the conversation.
Committees under the district collectors of the city of Mumbai and the suburban district will monitor the works other than those related to archaeological conservation.
Sewri Fort, which was originally built by the Portuguese on the island of Sewri and later reinforced by the British to protect the eastern waterfront, will see spaces develop in its halls for exhibitions, events live and cultural programs.
Similarly, Fort Worli will see the wall reinforced, a stage built for events and the existing pier reinforced for visitors to the site by sea. Dharavi Fort or Kala Killa, which also dates back to the colonial era and marked the northern end of British rule in Mumbai, can be included in slum sightseeing tours that cover the largest slum that has become an industrial powerhouse of Mumbai. ‘Asia.
Fort Saint George was built by the British, but was later dismantled along with Fort Bombay, after the British threat against the Marathas and Napoleon subsided.
Today, parts of the powder keg survive and house the office of the Museums and Archeology Branch. Management plans to conserve and enhance the site and also develop a numismatic museum, which will house its coin collection, Garge noted.
Bandra Fort will benefit from an information center, security and restoration of parts of the original fort. At Mahim, which is alternatively believed to be the fort and capital of King Bimba, who ruled Mumbai in the 13th century, present-day Mahikavati or Mahim or a structure dating from the Gujarat Sultanate era, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will move the approximately 600 barracks in and around the site.
Garge added that the project would cost approximately ₹50 crore, including rehabilitation of barracks at Mahim Fort.
Bharat Gothoskar, founder of heritage and experiential tourism initiative “Khaki Tours”, said that while some forts in south Mumbai, such as Bombay Fort and Dongri Fort, were lost, seven others survived. Bombay Castle was now an Indian Navy establishment and therefore off-limits to citizens, and Dharavi Fort has slums on all sides.
“However, the other five forts have huge tourism potential,” Gothoskar said, adding that while Worli fort could be used for water sports, Bandra and Worli fort could be developed for entertainment, music and shows. sound and light. Fort Sion, which falls under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), can be a rock climbing and activity site for young adults, while a children’s activity and nature center can be developed in Shivdi fort. In addition, the two small watchtowers of Sion and Wadala can be kept and added to the circuit, these forts being connected to a bus service.
The project will cover the forts of Bandra, Worli, Shivdi, Mahim, Dharavi and Saint George.
These will be developed into tourist and activity centres.
Tourism infrastructure will be developed with lighting, light and sound shows.
A numismatic museum at Fort Saint George behind CSMT station will house an enviable collection of coins.