Site History and Significance
Gohad Fort, a unique architectural legacy of the Jat Kingdom, is located in central India on the Vaisali River. The fort occupies the center of the historic townscape of Gohad and is one of numerous heritage sites of cultural importance with a storied history in Madhya Pradesh, the second largest state in India.
The two-layered circular-shape walls, bastions, and gateways, especially Hathai Paur (Elephant Gate) in the east and Sankal Darwaja (Chain Gate) in the west, exhibit significant features of the 15th-century fortification. Due to neglect and deterioration, the entire fort complex existed in a highly dilapidated condition.
The Madhya Pradesh Cultural Heritage Project
In 2011, World Monuments Fund (WMF) began working with the Madhya Pradesh government to realize a project to document and conserve a selection of approximately 40 sites across the state, engaging consultants to assess, document, and plan for heritage conservation projects; develop conservation management plans; and monitor the implementation of select projects to completion. Work undertaken under the umbrella of the Madhya Pradesh Cultural Project is intended to serve as a model of sustainable management for conservation projects in India and around the world.
The Gateways of Gohad Fort was selected as one of the featured sites of the Madhya Pradesh Cultural Heritage Project.
WMF’s detailed documentation and assessment of the site’s structural condition began in early 2014. Emergency restoration of the two valuable gateways and other iconic but vulnerable structures, such as the historic hammam (bath), commenced and were completed in August 2016.
The cracked gateways, hammam, damaged adjoining fortification walls on both sides, and missing plaster of the masonry were restored and consolidated. Most importantly, the conservation not only recovered iconic features of the fort, but also strengthened the historic appearance of the surrounding townscape.
UNESCO Awarded Exceptional Example of Public-Private Collaboration
Recovering the integrity of the monument and revival of craftsmen with minimum and reversible intervention, the project at Gohad Fort is a model for sustainable management for other heritage preservation projects in India. In November 2017, UNESCO cited the restoration of Gohad Fort with Honourable Mention in the annual Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Preservation, recognized as an exceptional example of public-private collaboration that enhanced the heritage value and functionality of a historic asset of local significance.
World Monuments Fund safeguards cultural heritage around the globe, ensuring our treasured places are preserved for present and future generations.
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