In the heart of India's historical saga, where echoes of valor dance through the ages, a dazzling ensemble of forts awaits its moment in the global spotlight.
Behold the 'Maratha Military Landscapes of India,' an archaeological masterpiece that is set to captivate the UNESCO World Heritage stage for the 2024–25 cycle.
On the canvas of time, this nomination unfolds, chronicling the extraordinary fortification and military marvels envisioned by the visionary Maratha rulers during the enchanting 17th and 19th centuries.
Picture this: Salher Fort, Shivneri Fort, Lohgad, Khanderi Fort, Raigad, Rajgad, Pratapgad, Suvarnadurg, Panhala Fort, Vijay Durg, Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, and the mystical Gingee Fort in Tamil Nadu.
Twelve components were meticulously selected to compose a symphony of strategic brilliance, each fort telling a tale of resilience and tactical genius.
These forts, strategically sprinkled across diverse landscapes—from the majestic Sahyadri mountain ranges to the sun-kissed Konkan Coast, the rugged Deccan Plateau, and the mystical Eastern Ghats—showcase the Maratha rulers' military prowess.
It's not just a network of forts; it's a tapestry woven with the threads of landscape, terrain, and physiographic uniqueness.
Marvel at the diversity within this nomination! Hill forts stand tall like ancient sentinels: Salher Fort, Shivneri Fort, and Gingee Fort.
Pratapgad emerges as a hill-forest fortress, while Panhala poses regally as a hill-plateau citadel. Coastal grace exudes from Vijaydurg, and islands bear the weight of history in Khanderi Fort, Suvarnadurg, and Sindhudurg. Each is a gem, each a testament to strategic foresight.
The Maratha Military Landscapes paint a vivid mural that began its brushstrokes in the 17th century under the reign of the indomitable Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The legacy continued through subsequent rules until the rhythmic drumbeats of the Peshwa rule faded in 1818.
A journey through time, where stone whispers secrets of courage, resilience, and unwavering determination.
From the more than 390 forts that dot the landscape of Maharashtra, only a select 12 are chosen to be ambassadors of history.
Eight among them find refuge under the vigilant eyes of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), their walls echoing the need for preservation and reverence.
The 'Maratha Military Landscapes of India' nomination dons the crown of cultural property as it enters the UNESCO stage.
Criteria iii, iv, and vi are its shining armor, bearing testimony to cultural traditions, illustrating significant human history stages, and embracing outstanding universal significance.
As India presents this opulent tale to the world, the 'Maratha Military Landscapes of India' hopes to etch its name in the UNESCO annals.
Beyond recognition, it yearns to be a beacon, a symbol of India's commitment to preserving the whispers of stone that tell stories of valor, resilience, and a timeless spirit.
The curtain rises, and the world awaits in anticipation for this historical crescendo.
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