MP: Ginnorgarh Fort Located Inside Reserved Forest To Be Handed Over To State Archaeology

MP: Ginnorgarh Fort Located Inside Reserved Forest To Be Handed Over To State Archaeology

INTACH drawing up conservation plan; more may follow in future, will be added attraction for wildlife tourists

Staff ReporterUpdated: Thursday, June 20, 2024, 10:03 AM IST
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BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): The Ginnorgarh Fort, located inside the Ratapani Tiger Reserve in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh, has been handed over to the State Archaeology Department for conservation. The 500-year-old fort was under the jurisdiction of the forest department. It is for the first time that a monument located inside a reserved forest has been declared state-protected and will be looked after by the archaeology department.

The first notification for the takeover has been issued. And the draft of the second and final notification has been approved. A meeting of forest and archaeology departments has cleared the proposal. The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) is preparing a DPR for the conservation of the fort and once it is ready, the work will begin.

Ginnorgarh Fort was built by the Gond rulers of central India in the 15th century. In the 18th century, Rani Kamlapati, the widow of Gond ruler Nizam Shah, took refuge in the fort after her husband was poisoned by his nephew. During the Second World War, some Italian PoWs (Prisoners of War) were kept in the fort. A few remains and stepwells dating back to the Parmar era (11th century) have also been found on the premises of the fort.

The fort has been built at a height amid dense forests and commands a scenic view of the area around. 'Besides archaeological and historical importance, it is also a heritage building and needs to be conserved,' said commissioner, Archaeology, Archives & Museums, Urmila Shukla, adding that 'the forest department, however, neither has the funds nor the technical expertise to undertake the work.'

According to Shukla, many other structures of archaeological and historical importance located deep inside protected forests may be taken over by the archaeology department in the future. 'Such monuments are being identified,' she said.

The move will provide an additional attraction to the tourists visiting national parks and sanctuaries. Sometimes tourists are unable to sight animals and have to return disappointed.

'Well-maintained archaeological and heritage monuments inside the forests will offer them alternative places to visit,' Urmila Shukla, commissioner, Archaeology, Archives & Museums

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