The sea fort, Sindhudurg (‘Sindhu’ means sea and ‘durg’ means fort) was an integral part of the Maratha empire and a prominent fortress during Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s reign.
The fort is set on an isle in the Arabian sea near the shores of Malvan in Sindhudurg district, Konkan in Maharashtra. The construction of the fort was done under the supervision of Shivaji’s chief architect and builder Hiroji Indalkar. Shivaji himself selected the rocky island on which the fort now stands as a strategic position to ward of foreign invaders and also to keep check on the Siddis of Murud-Janjira as they were in alliance with the Mughals.
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The construction of the fort started on 25th November 1664 and within three years the fort was complete. The fort spans over 48 acres with walls as high as 30 feet with a thickness of about 12 feet. These massive walls safe guard the fort against both the invading enemies and the violent forces of the sea.
The main attraction of the fort are the three water reservoirs. At the time, even if the water in the near buy villages dried up during summer, these reservoirs would still retain water.
Even today there are residents in and near the fort area that claim to be descendant of Shivaji’s Guerrilla war fighters. The number has since declined, the main reason being the lack of proper employment in the region.
This is the only Fort that has a temple of Shivaji. It is a symbol of love and devotion that people have for the legend even today.
How to get there:
The Sindhudurg district is about 500 kilometres from Mumbai and is situated in the North of Goa. You can reach the place by air or train. From Goa or Mumbai you can take a bus / train to reach Sindhudurg. The Konkan railway service is an experience in itself. There are a few trains that stop at the station in Sindhudurg. The town of Sindhudurg is also accessible from Mangalore via rail or road.
The fort can be accessed by boats run by the locals through a nearby jetty. It is the cheapest way to reach the fort and an enjoyable experience.
Apart from its rich cultural heritage the town is known for its scuba diving industry thanks to the underwater escapades of Dr. Sarang Kulkarni, a well-known Researcher and Marine Biologist.
There are many reasonable accommodations available in the area, some near the coastal lines of the fort itself.
Images Credit : ShevantiRaj