- The deteriorating condition of forts in Maharashtra and the Islamization of forts makes one wonder if the Archaeology department itself has been relegated to history!
- It is shameful to all the political parties that forts in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Maharashtra are facing such neglect! – Editor, HinduJagruti.org
Mumbai : More than half of the fortifications at Bandra Fort on the southern edge of Mumbai have collapsed. If the ramparts are not repaired in time, all the ramparts of the fort are likely to collapse. Some of the structures on the fort have also completely collapsed. If this situation continues, other walls of the fort are likely to collapse in the future. The fort is an ‘Ancient Protected Monument’ under the Archaeological Department. As the fort is close to the sea, the construction of the fort has been affected to some extent by the seawater; However, a protective wall built outside the fort a few years ago is now protecting the fort from the waves.
1. In the year 2003, the Bandra Band Stand Residents Trust took up the issue of the Bandra Fort’s repair. Later, the then local MP Shabana Azmi donated some of the funds from the MP’s fund for the conservation of the fort. Congress MP Priya Dutt was also elected from this Lok Sabha constituency. The fort falls in the constituency of BJP MLA Ashish Shelar.
2. A few years ago, the issue of repairing this fort came up for discussion in Mumbai Municipal Corporation; however, the fort still awaits any actual repair work.
3. The walls have been defaced by couples who have carved their names on them. Although the fort comes under the jurisdiction of the Archaeological Department, there is no indication of this anywhere. No instructions have been issued to prevent the fort from being defaced or destroyed.
4. The fort could be developed as a tourist destination as a viewing point to see the vast Arabian sea; however, due to neglect by the government and the archeology department, the fort is falling apart day after day.
Letter from Mumbai Archaeological Department to Pune Archaeological Department
History of Bandra Fort
The fort was built by the Portuguese in the year 1640. The fort is built on a high cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea at the southern tip of Mumbai. The perimeter of the fort is not large; surrounding areas like Mahim and the Arabian Sea are visible. Therefore, this fort had strategic importance. The fort was presented to the British by the Portuguese in 1661. It is said that the fort was demolished to some extent by the British to avoid endangering their interests if it fell into the hands of the Marathas.