This project was completed in April 2006 and submitted to the MMRDA's (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) Heritage Conservation Committee. The project set down guidelines for preservation specific to the identified structures in Panvel, Uran and surrounding villages in Raigad district in the Konkan. It is from this region that this paper derives its case studies in transformation of the sacred heritage of the non-monumental architecture. In addition several examples from other parts of the Konkan shall be cited for comparison.
The Konkan includes Thane, Greater Bombay, Raigad, and Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. Raigad forms the historic region of western India, immediately south of Bombay. In Raigad, Uran and Panvel are the main urban centers, and Alibag is a district center. Raigad, on the Konkan, established foreign trading ports with Greece as early as the 3rd century BC. In the 17th century it became a Maratha stronghold. With the advent of the Portuguese and British, the port cities were further developed, yet now have lost their former importance. In the 70s, New Bombay (Navi Mumbai) was carved out of existing districts Raigad and Thane. Navi Mumbai was developed as a complete self-contained new township across the harbor from the Mumbai Metropolis.
Although popular belief has it that the area was tabula rasa, the reality is that the areas appropriated to form the new city are historically significant to the development of Western Maharashtra. The Towns of Panvel and Uran, within the Navi Mumbai Notified Area in fact predate Mumbai in historical vintage. There are several significant sites in the region dating back from the early eighteenth century at the peak of the Peshwahi period, and building activity flourished through to the time of Indian Independence. These reflect the constructive genius of the original inhabitants.