The lecture is now online:
Strongholds of the World Lecture Series, Part 2
with Archana Deshmukh, Pune
Interdisciplinary lecture series of the Marburger Arbeitskreises für europäische Burgenforschung e.V., Germany, and Aarhus University, research programme “Materials, Culture and Heritage”, Denmark
When: September 10, 2021
Entry: 1:30 PM Copenhagen. Begin: 02:00 PM Copenhagen
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Coastal Defences of Maharashtra, India
This session from our lecture series “Strongholds of the World” will shed light upon the various typologies of defense systems along the western coast of Maharashtra, India, popularly known as Konkan. The components of defense systems comprises of island forts, coastal forts, fortified factories, fortified outposts, archeological remains, historic settlements, historic monuments and other cultural resources which form many complex military coastal cultural landscapes.
The Konkan is a narrow strip of land between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri Range famously known as Western Ghats, is not a continuous strip. The spurs of the Sahyadries gradually lose height as they approach the coast, and far in the sea they create islands. A distinctive feature of the coastline and to site varied typology of the built and natural heritage, and its historical, cultural, military, ecological significance within this region is the consequence of human interventions in the past, and testimony to the various cultures, the contribution of defense systems, which evolved and enriched this land. Due to its rich Maritime Tradition, trade and commerce flourished from ancient times.
The maritime forts which were built to guard commercial and territorial interests narrate stories about trade routes, piracy and battles and above all the aspirations of mankind to travel to new territories to better their lives. The forts, therefore, must be seen as the symbols of such aspirations and more specifically as important defense systems and military warfare in terms to understand the growth of this area in terms of cultural resources which includes various typologies of forts, its defense mechanism to protect the boundaries and to mark the territories
Archana Deshmuk is a practicing principal conservation architect of “Nasadeeya” Architecture and conservation firm based in Pune, Maharashtra. She has pursued Architecture degree from Maharashtra and Masters from New Delhi in Architectural Conservation. She has been in the field for more than twelve years and has worked in Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat on various projects related to forts and fortified heritage. She stood a merit student in her masters thesis about Maritime coastal cultural landscape of coastal Maharashtra in 2011. In February 2017 she organized a tour for Fortress group to study forts and fortifications of coastal and western Maharashtra with support of NscFORT, also organized a seminar in collaboration with MTDC, ASI and State Archeology along with various NGO’s working on Forts in Pune, Maharashtra.