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Researchers to use Total Station to study Maratha architecture

Pune, India: Researchers from Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal will undertake detailed mapping of Purnagad, a hill fort in Ratnagiri district in India, using ‘Total Station’, a modern surveying tool. The fort was built in 1724 AD by Kanhoji Angre, chief of the Maratha Navy. The Mandal recently received a grant of INR 1.5 lakh from the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) for the two-year project. 
Researcher S M Bhave explained, “Instead of manual mapping, we have opted to use Total Station, an instrument used for road mapping. It will help us map the different contours of the fort. Places where canons were stationed, residential areas, storerooms and granaries will be mapped.”
Though the ceilings have crumbled, the walls remain. “These structures can be reconstructed later. This is precisely why mapping is undertaken. Many of the 350-odd forts in Maharashtra are dilapidated and not all can be conserved. Hence, detailed mapping and documentation should be carried out so that elements of these forts can be reconstructed later when financial grants are available,” said Researcher Sachin Joshi.
Mapping the fort is important because of its Maratha architecture. “Many other forts of this period have architectural influences of other dynasties such as Adil Shahi or Mughal. Purnagad has pure Maratha architecture. We can also use architectural elements in this fort for a comparative analysis of those in other forts,” he added.
The researchers will also study the ethno-archaeological aspects of the area surrounding the fort to find out the activities undertaken before 1860. “The Sawantwadi and Ratnagiri Gazetteer of 1880 briefly mentions the trade activities undertaken here around 1870s. We want to go further back in our exploration of the fort,” he stressed.
Notably, the Sawantwadi and Ratnagiri Gazetteer said: Purnagad was a small port with limited trading activities during the 1819 A.D. The average yearly trade was valued at INR 13,2455, of which exports were worth INR 72,674 and imports worth INR 59,781.
Source: Times of India