Mahim Fort: History and Restoration

The Mahim Fort is a historic fort located in Mahim, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Built by the descendants of King Bimbdev between 1140 and 1241, the fort has a rich history and has witnessed frequent contests over the years. Let’s take a closer look at this ancient structure, its current state, and the efforts underway to restore it to its former glory.

History of the Mahim Fort

The Mahim Fort was built by the descendants of King Bimbdev, who established his kingdom of Mahikawati in the north Konkan belt of Maharashtra. The fort is strategically located in Mahim Bay, and from its vantage point, one can see Worli to the south, Bandra to the north, and Mahim to the east. The fort was frequently contested due to its strategic location, and its origins remain unclear.

Current State of the Mahim Fort

The Mahim Fort is currently in a state of disrepair, suffering from administrative neglect, encroachment of slums, and exposure to tidal erosion. Squatters had encroached on the fort’s land on the west coast of the city for decades, and it was declared as a state-protected monument under the Maharashtra Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Acts, 1960. However, the excise department did away with security at the site, leaving the fort vulnerable to neglect and vandalism.

Restoration Efforts

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has taken steps to restore the Mahim Fort to its former glory. The civic body appointed famous architect and archaeological consultant Vikas Dilawari as a consultant for the restoration of the fort. The BMC also conducted a survey for the restoration project, and people residing in more than 260 hutments inside the fort were qualified for alternate accommodation. Nearly 3,000 people were living inside the fort, and they have been rehabilitated at alternative accommodations at Malad, Malvani, and other areas.

In January 2022, the BMC began the demolition of over 200 hutments inside the 800-year-old Mahim fort. Some residents had not vacated their huts even after rehabilitation and were forcefully removed with the help of the local police who registered complaints against them before the demolition.



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