Having embarked upon a project to visit various historical sites especially forts in and around Mumbai, I found to my dismay that many of the forts I visited were highly neglected, and there was no effort for conservation, let alone restoration. Specially painful was the visit to Nagle Bunder Fort, which is on the verge of being destroyed by quarrying of the hills around it. After that expedition, I had resolved to try and contact someone in the Mumbai Circle of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

I looked up their web site and found the contact details as follows:

Office of The Superintending Archaeologist
Archaeological Survey of India,

Mumbai Circle

Sion Fort, Sion (E), Mumbai 400022

Phone: 022– 24078266 Telefax : 24078388

Web : asimumbaicircle.com

mail : circlemum.asi@gmail.com

Shri Madan Singh Chouhan

Superintending Archaeologist

Mobile : 09892131993

I wrote an email to the address provided as follows:

Offer to help with restoration and conservation of forts

Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 1:19 PM

ashutosh bijoor       

To:

    Shri Madan Singh Chouhan
    Superintending Archaeologist
    Archaeological Survey of India,
    Mumbai Circle
    Sion Fort, Sion (E), Mumbai 400022

Subject: Offer to help with restoration and conservation of forts

Dear Sir,

    I am writing on behalf of a small group of enthusiastic persons who have started a project to visit various forts in the Mumbai and Thane district this year by cycling. You can read about our efforts at http://bijoor.me

    We seek your advise and counsel to help us get involved in the excellent work you are already doing. We have seen the restoration done at some of the forts such as Vasai fort, Arnala fort, Sewri fort etc. and thank you for this effort.

    However, we were also dismayed at the lack of attention and conservation at many other sites such as Ghodbunder fort, Nagla Bunder Fort, as well as some of the lesser known forts in Palghar district.

    We do know that you will have a limited capacity to handle all the sites yourself, and we offer to help to extend your reach to other monuments.

    We can help in any way that you may recommend. We can help raise the finance, and get volunteers to participate and carry out the work. We can get corporate sponsorships. Whatever is required, we are willing to do it.

Regards,  
Ashutosh Bijoor  
Representative
Mumbai Historical Sites Cycling Association

I did not really expect a response, for I assumed that being a governmental organization, they would not be very internet savvy. But to my pleasant surprise, I got a response from them today!

Here is the response I got:

Letter from Archeological Survey of India

Even though the response was not very encouraging, I was truly impressed by the fact that I at least got a response!

I aim to pursue this by actually going and meeting with them and trying to investigate what it would take to declare some of the sites as protected sites.

Now formally created Mumbai Historical Sites Cycling Association. Please support if interested!

Hoping for the best.