A new museum to highlight the ancient history of the Junnar region of Pune district is soon to come up in the region. It will be housed near the Shivneri Fort, the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The museum is being constructed in collaboration with the Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Junnar-based Sahyadri Giribhraman Sanstha.
Junnar was the first capital of the Satavahana dynasty that ruled the Deccan Plateau region from 1st century BC. The rulers from this dynasty had trade relations with ancient Rome and Greece and their munificence is evident in the form of cave temples and chaitya grihas that dot the landscape of the state.
The famous Naneghat inscription in Junnar dates back to this dynasty. The hills and vales of the region are rich in artefacts from the era. Multiple excavations have been carried out in the region by the ASI and the Deccan College over many years.
Sanjay Khatri, head of the sanstha, said they asked for the construction of a museum to highlight the history of the region since 2007. “The then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh immediately agreed to the proposal, but nothing concrete came of it,” he added.
Khed Junnar MP Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil had followed up on the issue and written to Union Minister for Culture Mahesh Sharma and ASI Director General Usha Sharma. In-principle approval was granted to the project. The sanstha also spoke to the Deccan College, following which Vasant Shinde, head of the institution, agreed to the project.