Pune: Indian Army and Maharashtra Mountaineers Commemorate 77th Independence Day Across 50 Forts

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Pune, 16th August 2023: The Indian Army and mountaineers from across Maharashtra marked India’s 77th Independence Day with a remarkable display, unfurling the tricolor flag atop various forts throughout the state.

Spearheaded by the Pune-based Southern Command, a unique initiative was undertaken on this Independence Day, encompassing the six states under the command’s jurisdiction. An Indian Army contingent, accompanied by mountaineers and adventurers, simultaneously raised India’s tricolor on 75 different forts, with a notable 47 forts located exclusively in Maharashtra.

This poignant act of hoisting the national flag and singing the anthem alongside Indian Army personnel atop forts steeped in the revered legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his valorous comrades, who laid down their lives for Swarajya, provided an unforgettable experience for all those who took part. Over 650 Jawans from the Indian Army, along with nearly 500 fort enthusiasts and adventurers from Maharashtra, wholeheartedly engaged in this noble endeavor.

Pune’s Giripremi mountaineering club played a pivotal role in coordinating and facilitating the seamless execution of the event under the Southern Command’s guidance. Apart from the 47 forts in Maharashtra, one fort each from Telangana, Karnataka, and Goa saw mountaineers trekking and proudly raising the tricolor, making a grand total of 50 forts involved in this unprecedented Independence Day celebration led by mountaineers.

Giripremi mountaineers embarked on treks to various forts within the Pune District. The Giripremi women’s mountaineering team, gearing up for their upcoming Mt. Sudarshan expedition, celebrated at Fort Rohida, while the Mt. Meru expedition team conquered Fort Purandar. Giripremi’s Founder President, Ushaprabha Page, President Jayant Tulpule, Veteran Mountaineer Umesh Zirpe, and other senior mountaineers actively participated in the event.

The Sahyadri forts stand not only as remnants of volcanic activity but also hold historical narratives etched into their soil, rocks, and bastioned fortresses. Early in the morning, mountaineers and fort enthusiasts gathered at the foothills, extending warm greetings to the Indian Army teams. Subsequently, a collective ascent to the forts’ summits ensued, where the mountaineers shared the forts’ history and geography with the Indian Army. Between 09:00 and 11:00, the tricolor was unfurled atop all fifty forts, creating a splendid and energetic display fueled by passion, love, and reverence for India from every corner of Maharashtra.

This successful event owes credit to numerous mountaineers and mountaineering institutions across Maharashtra. Alongside Giripremi, District Mountaineering Associations of Nashik, Ahmednagar, Satara, Kolhapur, Pune, Mumbai, Raigad, Thane, Sahyadrimitra Mahad, Maitri Pratishtan, Trekkshitij, Shri Shivavandaneshwar Sanvardhan Sanstha, Nashik Climbers and Rescue Association, Vainatey Sanstha, and Yoddha Trekkers actively participated in ensuring the event’s smooth execution.

The coordination of the entire program was led by Bhushan Harshe, Suyash Mokashi, and Abhay Khedkar from Giripremi. Additionally, Dr. Amar Adke, Vinod Kamboj, Dilip Gite, Dayanand Koli, Rahul Meshram, Ranveer Gaikwad, Sudarshan Kulthe, Dr. Rahul Warange, Suraj Malusare, Rahul Chavhan, Ajit Jadhav, and Kishor Navkar contributed wholeheartedly to the seamless logistical arrangements during the execution.

The list of forts where the Independence Day Celebrations took place: Pandavgad, Vairatgad, Chandan, Vandan, Pratapgad (Satara District), Hadsar, Jivdhan, Shivneri, Chavand, Bhorgiri, Purandar, Torna, Rajgad, Visapur, Lohgad, Sinhagad, Tikona, Korigad, Tung, Rohida, Daulatabad, Antur (Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar District), Samangad, Mahipalgad, Vishalgad, Panhala, Mahuli, Prabalgad, Raigad, Hatgad, Markandya, Ravala, Javala, Dhodap, Ramsej, Rajdeher, Chandvad, Bhaskargad, Bramhagiri, Dehergad, Ranjangiri, Aamadnagar, Ratangad, Bitangad, Kalalgad, Vishramgad, Harishchandragad, Rajhansgad (Karnataka), Chaporagad (Goa), and Varangal gad (Telangana).


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