Rare sketch of Rajgad fort to be handed over to the Department of Archaeology

ST Correspondent
Saturday, 28 July 2018

It was found in a UK magazine, ‘Goodwords’ of 1878

Pune: Gad Killa Sanvardhan Sanchalit Raigad Aani Rajgad Sanvardhan Samiti will hand over rare sketches of bastion of Rajgad fort, the capital of the Maratha Empire under the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for almost 26 years, to the Department of Archaeology. These sketches were published in ‘Goodwords’, UK magazine in 1878. Christian missionary Francis Gil, who came to Maharashtra in 1866, had drawn these sketches of the fort.

Prakash Dangat, president of the committee said that from last two years the research team of the committee after two years of extensive research, found a rare sketch of the bastion of this fort which was published in 1878  in Goodwords magazine of UK. The sketch was made by Gil who was an employee with East India Company. 

Dangat said, “Our aim is to restore and conserve the fort so that it could retrieve its original structure and value. To complete this aim we have been doing the findings in books, newspapers, scholar articles, Internet and all over the places nationally and internationally. We made a list of private book collectors in most foreign states for the same. One of the book collectors from England contacted us recently informing that a rare sketch has been found and the details were given to us.”

“Currently, two to three feet of the top portion of the main door of the bastion of the fort has been broken and there are some walls which are fallen down and the stairways are also in bad condition. The sketch reveals the exact structure of the fort. So now the main restoration needs to be done of the main door, walls and stairways. We have given the sketch to the Archeology Department and they said it will be considered soon.”

Vilas Wahane, Assistant Director of the Archaeology Department, said, “Currently the conservation work at Padmavati-Machi fort which is a part of Rajgad Fort is going on. The sketch will be considered soon in the upcoming project of State Government on conservation and restoration of Rajgad fort which will be similar to Raigad Fort. In that project the sketch found by Dangat will be studied and considered.”

Pandurang Balkawade, a noted historian, said, “The sketch found by Dangat should be studied and verified whether it is a true sketch. The State government will be soon making a project report on conservation and restoration of Rajgad fort. Research will be done extensively because even before the Raigad project of restoration and conservation was taken up, we had done extensive research for almost 10 years.”

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