You may soon be able to relish the elegant sight of thousands of flamingos on mudflats while sipping steaming coffee from a deck set up on Seewri Fort.
The Rs 11 crore project being promoted by the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is now on bureaucrats' table. The project comprises a museum, mini theatre, souvenir shop and an open deck restaurant, officials involved with the project said.
"Tourists will be able to watch the migratory birds with a binocular sitting comfortably in the open deck restaurant that will be constructed outside the fortification wall," said Jagdish Patil, MD of MTDC.
Seewri is just one among the over 350 odd forts located in Maharashtra, which the state corporation is developing as part of its fort circuit. Worli and Bandra forts are the other monuments is Mumbai, which the MTDC is adopting.
According to tourism industry insiders, Maharashtra has over half of the total forts in the country located mainly along the Sahayadri range.
A high level meeting of officials of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), BMC, MTDC, etc was held in this connection on April 7. A joint survey in this regard is underway and it's expected to be completed in a month's time.
The survey will help MTDC prepare the blueprint to develop fort-resorts similar to the ones in places like Rajasthan. Some of the majestic forts in Rajasthan have been converted into high-end resorts and hotels that attract a lot of tourists, especially foreigners, and are state tourism's USP.
The MTDC initiative is a significant development because, of the total 350 forts only about 19 have been notified by the ASI while another 50 have been notified by the state directorate.
"Many of the forts across the state are in poor condition and have been encroached on, and many remain inaccessible or unknown to public. We just want to bring this rich heritage to the public through the fort circuit," said Patil.
"Its good that the government is finally opening up the state's huge historical treasure (forts)," said Sudhir Naik, an avid Andheri-based trekker who loves to explore forts across the country.