Maratha Military Landscapes of India, For UNESCO

  • The “Maratha Military Landscapes of India” will be India’s nomination for recognition on the UNESCO World Heritage List for 2024-25.

Nomination List:

  • Salher fort.
  • Shivneri fort
  • Khanderi fort.
  • Panhala Fort.
  • Vijay durg.
  • Sindhudurg in Maharashtra.
  • Gingee Fort Tamil Nadu.

Maratha Military Landscapes of India:

  • Developed between 17 and 19 centuries.
  • Represent an extraordinary fortification and military system by the Maratha rulers.
  • They are a network of forts, varying in hierarchies, scales and typological features.
  • They are distinctive to the Sahyadri mountain ranges, the Konkan Coast, the Deccan Plateau and the Eastern Ghats in the Indian Peninsula.
  • There are more than 390 forts in Maharashtra out of which 12 forts are now selected.
  • Eight forts are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India: Shivneri Fort, Lohgad, Raigad, Suvarnadurg, Panhala Fort, Vijaydurg, Sindhudurg and Gingee Fort.
  • Salher Fort, Rajgad, Khanderi Fort and Pratapgarh are protected by the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Maharashtra.
  • Salher fort, Shivneri fort, Lohgad, Raigad, Rajgad and Gingee fort are hill forts.
  • Pratapgad is a hill-forest fort.
  • Panhala is hill-plateau fort.
  • Vijaydurg is a coastal fort.
  • Khanderi fort, Suvarnadurg and Sindhudurg are island forts.
  • Inception of the Maratha Military ideology dates back to the 17 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.

Nomination Criteria:

  • Criterion (iii): To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization that is living or which has disappeared.
  • Criterion (IV): to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble, or landscape that illustrates significant stage(s) in human history.
  • Criterion (VI): To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas or beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance.

Background:

  • In India, there are 42 World Heritage sites.
  • 34 are cultural sites, seven are natural sites and one is a mixed site.
  • In Maharashtra there are six World Heritage Sites, five cultural and one natural: 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 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 from Maharashtra.
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