‘Boost tourism biz around Shivaji’s forts’

Dec 24, 2016, 11.57 PM IST

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday directed Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials to help develop fort tourism in the country. He said forts, whose history was woven around inspiring warriors like Shivaji Maharaj, would take country’s tourism industry to a new high.

Pointing out tourism was the fastest growing sector and it mostly remained limited to the Taj Mahal, he asked the ASI to allow tourists to ride on horses in these forts in order to recall and recreate the feelings that had inspired people over generations. He added the grand memorial of the Maratha king in the sea would attract tourists in a big way.

Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray said each time people from Maharashtra have to go to Delhi for the ASI’s nod, appealing to the PM to handover historic sites that assumed significance in the life of the Maratha king to the state government. “We will take care of them properly,” he said.

It may be recalled that the department of tourism, Government of Maharashtra, had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Archaeological Survey of India and ministry of culture, Government of India, for various projects to develop tourist facilities and amenities in and around centrally protected monuments/sites in Maharashtra that included many forts.

Through this MoU, director, tourism, shall be allowed to arrange festivals like “Fort Festival” or “Diwali in Forts” around the monuments. Raigad fort, Sindhudurg, Shivneri fort, Rajgad fort and Pratapgad fort are some of the important festivals proposed, but there was no further progress on the issue.

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