If all goes as planned, then the sea forts of Maharashtra’s coastline and the petroglyphs or geoglyphs discovered in the Konkan region in the recent past could be listed as UNESCO world heritage sites.
The Maharashtra government through the tourism and cultural affairs department is planning to send a dossier to UNESCO for the nomination of sea/coastal forts, including Mumbai’s Madh fort and the petroglyphs of Ratnagiri.
Petroglyphs are images drawn by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving or abrading. The petroglyphs also called Katal Shilpa locally are present in and around the Ratnagiri area spread across open spaces on the outskirts of villages.
They are believed to be 12,000 years old and Ratnagiri and Rajapur has more than 1,000 petroglyphs across 60 sites.
These petroglyphs vary in shape and size. The carvings cover shapes of human figures, birds, animals, geometric forms and composite creatures.
The size of these petroglyphs also varies from site to site. Some of these are single and small in size while some come in clusters. An elephant carved on the stone surface is more or less a life-size depiction of an animal.
“We will be hiring an agency through a tendering process to prepare the nomination dossier, which will consist its universal value, different period of history and others details of the sites,” said a senior official, adding that along with petroglyphs, the department is in the process of preparing a dossier of all the coastal forts of the state.