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Maratha Military Landscapes

Facts for Prelims (FFP)


Source: TH

 Context: India has proposed the ‘Maratha Military Landscapes’ as its nomination for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List for the 2024-25 cycle.

AboutThe Maratha military landscape was conceived by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1670 CE. Crafted between the 17th and 19th centuries, the Maratha Military Landscapes represent an exceptional fortification and military system envisioned by the Maratha rulers.
There are three categories of nomination- cultural, natural and mixed. Maratha Military landscapes (developed between the 17th and 19th centuries) are nominated in the cultural category.
ComponentsHill Forts: Salher, Shivneri, Lohgad, Raigad, Rajgad, and Gingee forts; Hill-forest fort: Pratapgad; Hill-plateau fort: Panhala; Coastal fort: Vijaydurg; Island forts: Khanderi, Suvarnadurg, and Sindhudurg
Geographical DistributionAcross diverse regions in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Except for Gingee Fort, all forts are from Maharashtra
Establishment PeriodIn 1670 CE during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, persisted until 1818
SignificanceStrategic Utilization of Terrain: Utilized existing terrain for guerrilla warfare against Mughals and European coastal powers
Unique Military LegacyThe Maratha Empire’s warfare strategy is a unique example with global significance
RecognitionIncluded in the Tentative List of World Heritage Sites in 2021
Major FortsRaigad: Coronation site of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj; Shivneri: Birthplace of Shivaji; Sindhudurg: Built on an island in the Konkan region; Pratapgarh: Site of the encounter between Shivaji and Afzal Khan
Nomination CategoryCultural property for UNESCO World Heritage List


India has 42 World Heritage Sites (WHS), with 34 cultural sites, seven natural sites, and one mixed site. In Maharashtra, cultural WHS include Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), and Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai. The natural WHS is the Western Ghats spanning Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.