Kashimira : There is again a ray of hope for the crumbling walls of the historic Ghodbunder Fort near Kashimira, which has become one the worst examples of utter neglect and apathy.
More than two years after much hyped announcements of launching an elaborate project to revive the historic fort and to beautify its vast surroundings, the proposal had continued its existence in the dusty files of the district administration.
However, in response to legislator Pratap Sarnaik’s repeated pleas, state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has finally given an in-principle nod to grant Rs 50 crore for the restoration and beautification of the 18th century Ghodbunder Fort to convert the historic landmark into a tourist destination.
Apart from facelift and preservation work, the Rs 70 crore project titled “Shiv Shrushti” to be undertaken by the tourism department will also have a museum depicting the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
“This fort is a monument of our glorious history and if we want to show this heritage to our new generations, it’s our duty and responsibility to preserve it. A well-maintained fort would be an added attraction for tourists and a fitting tribute to the legendary Maratha warrior,” said Sarnaik.
Originally named as Cacabe de Tanna, the Ghodbunder Fort, according to historians, was built in 1730 by the Portuguese who had settled in this region in 1530. The territory and fort remained under the rule of the Portuguese until 1737.
Despite several attempts, the Maratha warriors failed to capture the fortress, eventually the Maratha army besieged the fort and successfully occupied it by defeating the Portuguese army in the year 1737.
An ancient church in the vicinity of the fort, which was later transformed into a tourist guest house by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, now lies in shambles.