"Maratha Military Landscapes" To Be India’s Nomination For Recognition As UNESCO World Heritage List For 2024-25

"Maratha Military Landscapes" To Be India’s Nomination For Recognition As UNESCO World Heritage List For 2024-25

Maratha Military Landscapes of India, developed between the 17th and 19th centuries, represent an extraordinary fortification and military system envisioned by the Maratha rulers

New Delhi, January 31 (TNA) The “Maratha Military Landscapes of India” will be India’s nomination for recognition as UNESCO World Heritage List for the year 2024-25. The twelve parts of this nomination are Salher fort, Shivneri Fort, Lohgad, Khanderi Fort, Raigad, Rajgad, Pratapgad, Suvarnadurg, Panhala Fort, Vijay Durg, Sindhudurg in Maharashtra and Gingee Fort in Tamil Nadu. These components, distributed across diverse geographical and physiographic regions, showcase the strategic military powers of the Maratha rule.

The Maratha Military Landscapes of India, which developed between the 17th and 19th centuries, represent an extraordinary fortification and military system envisioned by the Maratha rulers. This extraordinary network of forts, varying in hierarchies, scales and typological features, is a result of integrating the landscape, terrain and physiographic characteristics distinctive to the Sahyadri mountain ranges, the Konkan Coast, Deccan Plateau and the Eastern Ghats in the Indian Peninsula.

There are more than 390 forts in Maharashtra out of which only 12 forts are selected under the Maratha Military Landscapes of India, of these eight forts are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. These are Shivneri Fort, Lohgad, Raigad, Suvarnadurg, Panhala Fort, Vijaydurg, Sindhudurg and Gingee Fort whereas Salher Fort, Rajgad, Khanderi Fort and Pratapgarh are protected by the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Maharashtra. In the Maratha Military Landscapes of India, Salher Fort, Shivneri Fort, Lohgad, Raigad, Rajgad and Gingee Fort are hill forts, Pratapgad is a hill-forest fort, Panhala is a hill-plateau fort, Vijaydurg is coastal fort whereas Khanderi fort, Suvarnadurg and Sindhudurg are island forts.

The inception of the Maratha Military ideology dates back to the 17th Century during the reign of the Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by 1670 CE and continued through subsequent rules until Peshwa rule till 1818 CE. There are two categories of nomination- cultural and natural criteria, the Maratha Military landscapes are nominated in the category of cultural criteria. There are six criteria (i to vi) for cultural sites and four criteria (vii to x) for natural sites for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

At present, in India, there are 42 World Heritage sites, out of which 34 are cultural sites, seven are natural sites and one is mixed site. In Maharashtra, there are six World Heritage Sites, five cultural and one natural these are, Ajanta Caves (1983), Ellora Caves (1983), Elephanta Caves (1987), Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004), Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018) and western Ghats of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala is serial property in natural category (2012). The Maratha Military Landscapes of India included in the Tentative List of World Heritage sites in 2021 is the sixth cultural property nominated for inclusion in the World Heritage List from Maharashtra.

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