Maharashtra & the struggle to preserve its heritage

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Premises of Bhavani Mandap, Kolhapur. The locals generally catch up with each other as they visit the temple every evening.

Maharashtra is a land of paradoxes. Its heritage, though extremely magnificent on papers, is now nowhere to be seen in its complete glory. The forts and temples built by the ancient dynasties (Satvahana, Chalukya, Yadava etc) and later on by the Maratha empire were largely destroyed by the Mughals and the British east India company. Had the Marathas ever befriended the Mughals or East India company, they wouldn’t have faced such wipe out situation ever. But Marathas were too proud to not be self-destructive.

The Murud-Janjira fort though ideally was never with the Marathas is an astonishing piece of architecture. The fort built at the end of the 17 century has been forever unconquered and is still standing tall in the sea however very poorly maintained.

Today, there are no external enemies to destroy these monuments but the job is taken up by the citizens themselves. The forts in Maharashtra are mostly located on hill tops and provide excellent opportunity for some easy – medium difficulty level of trekking. They are visited by a large number of people, mostly enthusiasts who have no idea or value of the heritage that the monuments carry. They feel nothing wrong about spoiling or littering around (most of the Indians don’t, sadly).  Such people cannot be completely blamed for their ignorance. The bigger culprits are government bodies who have no interest in the restoration or maintenance of such places. The same amount of apathy goes with the state’s official language ‘Marathi’ and it’s sub languages, literature and folk arts.

a part of Panhala fort, Kolhapur

I was raised in a family and school that taught me our values, encouraged to learn more about our history and read more in my mother tongue. I feel it is very important rather necessary for any person to know his or her roots. For that, the first step is to create interest in understanding the heritage. It breaks my heart when I see the next generation knowing so little about the land  they are born in and it’s culture. I just wish we rise above the dirty politics, unhygienic habits and ignorance towards our own heritage and do something to understand and restore it… the least of all to respect it.

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Panhala fort, Kolhapur



  1. Thanks for introducing me to Maharashtra. I really enjoy your first photo

    • Thank you Abrie!! I agree I too was pretty intrigued when I clicked the photo. There was a lot of character to that place!
      I am planning to write more about Maharashtra soon. 😊 keep watching!

  2. Pingback:Heritage: Architecture Markthal Rotterdam | What's (in) the picture?

  3. Wow, great pictures. Panhala fort photo is amazing.

  4. Nice post. Which Ganpati temple is it?

  5. That’s a typo! It was clicked inside Bhavani Mandap. There’s a small temple of Tuljabhavani.