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  • Context (PIB | IE | TH): India has nominated the “Maratha Military Landscapes” for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list for 2024-25.
  • 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 World Heritage List from Maharashtra.
  • There are two categories of nomination: cultural and natural criteria. The Maratha Military landscapes are nominated in the category of cultural criteria.
  • The 12 components of this nomination are the forts of Salher, Shivneri, Lohagad, Khanderi, Raigad, Rajgad, Pratapgad, Suvarnadurg, Panhala, Vijaydurg and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra and Gingee Fort in Tamil Nadu.
  • At present in India there are 42 World Heritage sites, out of which 34 are cultural sites, 7 are natural sites whereas 1 is mixed site.
  • In Maharashtra there are 6 World Heritage Sites, 5 cultural and 1 natural.
    • Cultural: Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai.
    • Natural: Western Ghats of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
  • The Maratha Military Landscapes of India developed between the 17th and 19th centuries.
  • Among the forts:
    1. Salher fort, Shivneri fort, Lohgad, Raigad, Rajgad and Gingee fort are hill forts,
    2. Pratapgad is hill-forest fort,
    3. Panhala is hill-plateau fort,
    4. Vijaydurg is coastal fort
    5. Khanderi fort, Suvarnadurg and Sindhudurg are island forts.

Details about Important Forts

Raigad Fort

  • Originally called Rairi, the fort is built on a large wedge separated from the main range by a ravine
  • In 1674 CE, the Rajyabhishek or coronation of Shivaji took place at this fort and it was here that he adopted the title of ‘Chhatrapati.’
  • In 1662 it was selected by Chhatrapati Shivaji for his permanent capital and actual shifting of the capital to Raigad took place in 1670.
  • After the death of Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1680, the glory of Raigad declined.
  • The English referred to Raigad as “the Gibraltar of the East,comparing its steep, inaccessible and solid nature to the famous monolithic rock formation near the Mediterranean Sea.

Raigad Fort

Rajgad Fort

  • Formerly known as Murumbudev, this fort was the first capital of the Maratha Empire under the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji for almost 26 years before the capital was moved to Raigad Fort.
  • It was one of the 17 forts that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj kept when he signed the Treaty of Purandar in 1665, with the Mughal General Jai Singh I.

     Rajgad Fort

Shivneri Fort

  • It is the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of Maratha Empire.

    Shivneri Fort

Pratapgad Fort

  • It became the site of the battle between Shivaji and Afzal Khan.

Pratapgad fort

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