Celebrated on 18 April, it started off as “International Day for Monuments and Sites” and after approval from UNESCO in 1983, it was made popular as World Heritage Day.
2021 World Heritage Day theme is “Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures”
This would be the apt title for our Indian heritage – it’s complex! The history text books in school concentrate on the Mughal empire and the Freedom Struggle with only a cursory mention of about the empires of South India and the Deccan. On the other hand this is good as it is without any prior set expectations that we go about visiting the heritage sites in south India; and we are amazed at the stories and mesmerized by the architecture. It’s been delightful journey so far.
To mark this occasion, I would like to list out the fabulous forts in South India we have had the fortune to visit, It is not an exhaustive list, but so far so good !
 The Bekal Fort in Kasargode, Kerala
The impressive fort is built of laterite stones and stands in an area of 40 acres, the Arabian sea on one side and the green cover of coconut trees on the other.
 The Chitradurga Fort in Chitradurga, Karnataka
Chitradurga is a hill fort, located 200 km from Bangalore. It’s a well maintained fort with plenty to see.
 The Gingee Fort in Gingee, Tamil Nadu
Gingee fort – called by the British as the “Troy of the East” is a majestic fort located in the state of Tamil Nadu. We chanced upon it on our road trip from Bangalore to Pondicherry.
 The Reis Magos Fort in Goa
Reis Magos fort is located along the banks of the Mandovi river and opposite lies the capital Panjim. Reis Magos is a Portuguese word for the Biblical Magi – the Magi Kings.
 The Augada Fort in Goa
Fort Aguada is again made of the laterite stones; Aguada meaning watering place.
 The Golconda Fort in Hyderabad
To reach the visitor’s entrance to the Golconda fort, we had to pass through a narrow arched doorway of the still standing outer walls of the Golconda fort. It is amazing that these walls are still in place, you can still see the large and magnificent wooden doors !
History for me has become incredibly interesting when the text is accompanied with travel. With a little imagination, the battles, the palace intrigues all come alive when you visit the old ruins. And in this aspect, the forts are what I like exploring the most. Each fort is different and every fort has a unique story – the ingenious fortifications, the siege, a betrayal and finally the fall. 😀
Our heritage is a gentle reminder of who we are, it’s part of our identity; it celebrates our diversity and history; provides the stories and forms the root for our culture and festivals. The old monuments, manuscripts, paintings and so on are remnants of our heritage and it is imperative that we must preserve and protect them so that they remain as visible evidence to the future generations.
It’s also essential that we must take the effort to visit these monuments with kids and help the younger generation understand what they represent and their significance; only then will these ruins and artefacts have any chances of survival.
A novel idea this World Heritage Day 2021 is the online Heritage Olympiad contest – 👉 https://www.heritageolympiad.com Try it out !
Till next post, take care !!