Pune: Western Maharashtra has a rich heritage of forts as well as the beauty of nature. Forts in Maharashtra have been monuments of countless splendour and pride since historical times. They attract many trekkers, tourists and are keepers of history.
But due to lack of proper information about the site and essential facilities for tourists, many forts are still witnessing a very little footfall. However, Sinhagad and Pratapgad are receiving a jam-packed crowd.
Dr Vaishali Talele holds a PhD in Geography from Savitribai Phule Pune University has conducted a study titled ‘Development of Heritage Tourism in Western Part of India, a Geographical Study’. During the research, she has visited several forts around Maharashtra. Apart from Sinhagad and Pratapgad, other forts are witnessing a low footfall. A study has revealed that people are fond of visiting forts but fail to plan a trip amid lack of geographical and historical information and transport facilities.
The rising number of tourists at Sinhagad and Pratapgad has not only increased the sound pollution but also problems such as air pollution, declining wildlife habitat, illegal constructions have gone up.
Dr Vaishali Talele said, “Development and conservation of forts is possible if locals participate in such drive. There should entry fee for forts now. It is necessary to carry out activities like Heritage Walk to increase tourism. At present, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has completed the mapping of forts but very little information of them is available online. We must try to provide detailed information to people.”
HERE’S WHAT TOURISTS SAY
· 96.8 per cent want hoardings and notice boards in fort premises
· 94.04 per cent of people demand quality roads
· 79.2 per cent people want proper traffic management and restroom facilities should set up
· 74 per cent wants a proper waste management system