The Year 1997 saw the birth of a modest Fort Restoration Group Shivaji Trail with a motto of ‘Save Forts Save Heritage’ with just about 50 students of Loyola High School, Pune. With a Vision of bringing people to the forts, make them aware of the glorious history they are the successors of and educate them about the deteriorating condition of the forts that needs immediate attention and sincere preservation, a cultural initiative of Durg Pooja – Fort Worship was started in 1998 on a single fort.
The Puja at the Belagavi fort was done by Shrimant Dadaraje Nippanikar sarkar, Sirlashkar, erstwhile rulers of Nippani, in presence of Shriman Rameshrao Keshavrao Raijade (Harolikar Sarkar), Shriman Diliprao Keshavrao Raijade (Harolikar Sarkar), Shri. Kiran Gavade, President, Shiv pratishthan Hindustan, Belgaum, Shri. Nitin Kapileshwarkar, Director, Lokmanya Co-op. Cr. Society, Shri. Vijay Bongale, Shri. Sunil Jadhav, Shri Vishwanath Patil, Shri Balkrishna Godse, Shri Chavan & Shinde of Nippani, & a whole lot of history fans & members of various organisations.
Puja rituals very performed by the Fauji Pandit ji & all pooja arrangements courtesy The Commanding Officer and all ranks of the TA Battalion in the Belagavi Fort.
Eventually as this initiative gathered momentum, Durg Pooja was conducted on 15 forts simultaneously in the year 2014. This collective effort inspired many other local groups working for fort restoration and year 2015 witnessed Durg Pooja on 74 forts of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab on the same day.
The galore of this event soon became a national sensation and in the following year 2016, Durg Pooja was performed on 121 forts of India and this event proved to be historic with active participation of 21 Royale Family Decedents of the Maratha Empire at various forts. The effort was applauded not only by the people and media but also by the Limca Book of Records with a mention of this event as a milestone in the ‘History and Culture of India’ category.
With such a magnificent legacy a 20 year old modest effort garnered, they are in the 21st Year of this Historic Cultural Initiative that has earned the Majestic status already and this year Shivaji Trail’s Durg Pooja 2018 will be performed on record number of 123 forts of 10 Indian States and would be graced by the presence of about 23 Royalties – Maratha Warrior Descendants.
The grandeur of the event would be beyond imagination… something you cannot afford to miss! It’s a lifetime opportunity to witness this magnificent commemoration. Join us in the preparation and be a part a Historical Milestone to make it – not just Big – but Grand, Memorable and Cherishable for the generations to come…!
The main Intention behind this campaign is to develop interest in forts which are major part of our rich cultural heritage & to bring about an awareness & draw attention of the people & the government for restoration & maintenance & carry out cleanliness drives by volunteers & stop mis use & illegal activities on the heritage structures.