THE Raigad Fort that we see today is not how it looked when it was originally designed over 300 years ago. Situated in the Raigad district in the Sahyadri mountain range, the fort was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1674. While the major parts of the fort got destroyed by the Britishers when they attacked and captured it in 1818, the ravages of time ruined its other parts. Now, as many as 50 school and architecture students have come together to recreate Raigad Fort’s original 300-year-old architecture through a 3D model, that will be exhibited from October 17 to 23 as part of Diwali celebrations. The initiative has been taken up by Itihas Premi Mandal.
History enthusiast and president of Itihas Premi Mandal, Mohan Shete, said, “The fort witnesses thousands of visitors, but none of them have any clue how it looked when it was built. Given that in Maharashtra, the culture of making or buying a small fort is observed in most households, we thought why not make a fort model that none has seen so far. We contacted some senior architects and historians to procure the original architectural design of the fort and started working on the replica accordingly.”
The fort was divided into various parts such as Nagarkhana (where nagada was played), Rajsabha (the throne), Manore (tower), Bazaar Peth (the market), Jagadishwar Temple and the Main building. “Other than creating these parts as per the design, we are also going to have a light-and-sound show that will depict how Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj travelled up to the Jagadishwar Temple sitting on an elephant. Besides throwing light on its original design, the exhibition will also ensure the audience is educated about the rich history and glory of the fort,” says Shete, adding that the fort model will be 40 ft in width and 5 ft in height. It has been 15 years that Itihas Premi Mandal has been holding exhibitions during Diwali through artworks in different forms. In the past, the topics covered by them include Panipat War, Pratapgad Fort and so on.
The exhibition of the fort model will be inaugurated on October 17 at the hands of Ramchandra Dekhne, a scholar of literature on saints. The event will also see the felicitation of Anil Wagh, who climbed Lingana Fort in 32 minutes, and Maruti Gole, who is believed to have travelled from Agra to Raigad “on foot”.