While the greenery around it has been replaced by plastic and other waste, the open spaces have been occupied by hutments.
In an attempt to revive the historic memories attached to the fort and transform it into a tourist spot, a team of historians in the city and Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik, who sought permission for the restoration of the fort from the Archaeological Survey of India four years ago, pleaded with the government to sanction the required funds for the same.
“There are many heritage sites in Thane, which reflect the various eras the district has seen right from the Portuguese rule, through the Maratha rule, followed by the British right up to the present. We have been trying to safeguard these relics for years so that we can share our historic past with the next generation. In addition to restoring the fort, we are also planning to set up a museum (Shivshrushti) in the open space near it to educate tourists of its history,” said MLA Sarnaik.
Thane collector Mahendra Kalyankar sanctioned the fund of Rs 1 crore for the project earlier this week. The entire project is estimated to cost a total of Rs 1.80 crore. The process of inviting tenders is yet to start.
“We have been requesting for the beautification and restoration project for years and are glad that it is finally materialising. The Ghodbunder Fort site will soon be a must visit monument and a popular tourist attraction,” said Sarnaik.
SOURCE & CREDITS: TIMES OF INDIA
More about the Ghodbunder Fort:
Ghodbunder Fort is a fort located in Ghodbunder Village, Thane, Maharashtra, India, on the hill just south of the Ulhas River. It was built by the Portuguese, occupied by the Maratha Empire, and became the East India Company’s district headquarters. The place was called Ghodbunder because it was where the Portuguese used to trade for ghode (horses) with the Arabs. Hence the name Ghodbunder: ghode (horses) & bunder (port).
In 1530 the Portuguese came to Thane, and they began fortifying the hill area about 1550, but completion of the fort in its current form was in 1730. The Portuguese name for the fort was Cacabe de Tanna. It was under Portuguese rule until 1737. The Portuguese built a church in the fort that still stands, and is now used as a hotel. Two angels engraved on the inside wall of the church still remains. The old church can be seen clearly in the background of the courtyard photo.
In 1818, the British occupied the fort and made it the headquarters of the district administration for the East Indian Company, with a district collector stationed in Thane.
Currently the fort lies in ruins, but there has been some renovation work started by the Government to preserve it. The fort itself is under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).