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Jeetgadhi Fort Reviving Past Glory
BUTWAL: Jeetgadhi fort, where Nepali soldiers beat the East India Company army, is a prominent aspect of the Butwal cityscape. Located on the western bank of the Tinau River, the fort can be reached by a half hour walk from Butwal baazar.
According to historian Nirmal Shrestha, the fort was built by Mukunda Sen and was used during the Anglo-Nepal war 200 years ago. The Nepali troops were led by Captain Ajeer Singh, while the British side was headed by Major General Wood. The Nepali troops triumphed against the British, which led to the fort being named Jeetgadhi in 1861 BS. It is only recently that the fort has garnered some media attention, making it a prominent pit-stop for tourists during their time in Nepal.
Locals complaining about the government ignoring the preservation of the fort have taken it upon themselves to preserve it. The community manages waste and has installed solar panels to light up the fort at night. A footpath and a 70-meter wall have also been constructed to make the fort more attractive.
The fort used to be a hub for drug addicts, but with a new police station in the area, such activities have decreased. Now the locals have started talks about building a museum highlighting the Anglo-Nepal war and developing it as a tourist center. “First, only the locals wanted a museum in the fort, then the community agreed, and now the government also wants a museum to be established,” said Mahendra Lagan, secretary of Batauli Conservation Committee.
Excavation work was done in 2058 BS by the Butwal Municipality and the Department of Archeology for the museum, but no other construction efforts have been made.