The state government plans to develop six medieval and British-era forts in Mumbai into tourist attractions, cultural venues, and a numismatic museum.
The forts of Bandra, Worli, Shivdi, Mahim, Dharavi, and Saint George will be included in this project. “The forts will be transformed into venues for cultural and other events.” “This will create money for their conservation, make the initiative financially self-sustaining, and develop these sites as cultural destinations,” said Tejas Garge, director of Maharashtra’s Museums and Archaeology, who added that a formal plan would be delivered to the government soon.
The forts will be treated to a sound-and-light show on Mumbai’s history, which can be viewed via a mobile app to avoid any noise pollution in the area. A plan for the conservation and protection of these forts, as well as the establishment of a fort circuit, has been drafted by an architect.
After a meeting between Aaditya Thackeray, tourism minister and guardian minister for the Mumbai suburban area, and cultural affairs minister Amit Deshmukh, Garge said the project was being driven by the departments of tourism and culture.
At a meeting last week, it was decided that, in addition to government funding, options such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds and similar collaborations be explored for projects other than conservation.
Other than archaeological protection, works will be monitored by committees under the district collectors of Mumbai City and the suburban district.
The Sewri fort, which was built by the Portuguese on the island of Sewri and then strengthened by the British to guard the eastern seafront, will see exhibitions, live events, and cultural programs established in its halls.
Similarly, the Worli fort’s wall will be rebuilt, a stage will be created for events, and the existing jetty will be strengthened to accommodate visitors arriving by water. The Dharavi fort, or Kala Killa, can be combined with slum tourism circuits that cover Asia’s largest slum-turned-industrial powerhouse. It dates back to the colonial era and marked the northern end of the British dominion of Mumbai.
The British erected Saint George Fort, but it was decommissioned along with the Bombay Fort once the threat of the Marathas and Napoleon had passed.
Parts of the gunpowder magazine still exist today and house the directorate of museums and archaeology’s office. According to Garge, the directorate intends to restore and strengthen the site, as well as create a numismatic museum to house its coin collection.
However, the five other forts have enormous tourism potential, “Gothoskar said, adding that while the Worli fort might be expanded for water sports, the Bandra and Worli forts could be renovated for entertainment, music, and light shows. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) manages the Sion fort, which might become a rock climbing and young adults’ activity site, while the Shivdi fort could become a children’s activity and nature center. Furthermore, the two minor watchtowers at Sion and Wadala can be preserved and incorporated into the circuit, with these forts being connected by a bus service.