|Location:||At a distance of about 5 km from Centre of Ratnagiri.|
Ratnadurg Fort, also called Ratnagiri Fort or Bhagawati Fort. Ratnadurg Fort The nearest fort to the centre of Ratnagiri is Ratnadurg Fort at a distance of about 5 km. The fort is located on the coastal region and was built during the Bahamani Period. However, it was captured by several other dynasties including the Marathas and the Peshwas later on. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction and is visited by hundreds of locals every month. As the fort is also home to the highly revered Bhagawati Temple, it is frequented by several Hindu devotees as well.
This fort was constructed during the rule of Bahamanee. After that it was captured by Adilshah and from Adilshah Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (founder of Maratha Empire in India) took the charge of the fort in the year 1670.
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had built protecting towers on two commanding points, one at the south and the other near the old court house. Chatrapati Sambhaji Raje (son of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) stayed at this fort in the year 1680. In subsequent time this fort was controlled by Karawir Chatrapati.
The Citadel defense was improved by maratha Koli admiral Kanhoji Angre in 1750–1755.
During the war between the Aangre and Peshva, Peshva won this fort with the help of britishers in the year 1753. But unfortunately in the year 1818, the fort was captured by the Britishers.
Places to Visit on Fort:
Ratnadurg Fort is in the shape of Horse Shoe with a length of approximately 1300 m and width of 1000 m. The fort is surrounded by Arabian Sea on three sides. The fort is divided into three parts – upper fort or Balekilla, the middle Peth Fort and the Parkot. Among these, Peth Fort is in ruins and the Parkot, the largest one, accommodates the Ratnagiri Lighthouse.
There is a tunnel which joins the upper and lower forts. There are several bastions in the fort which are named as Ganesh, Markya, Baskya, Vetal, Khamakya Rede, and Vagha. Few parts of the fort walls are still intact and show the ability to withstand the waves of the Arabian Sea. There is a beautiful temple of Goddess Bhagawati in the middle of the fort. Due to the presence of the Goddess, the fort is also named as Bhagawati Fort. Every year devotees celebrate the festival of Navaratri at the Bhagawati temple premises. The fort also has shrines to Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha.
There is an old abandoned jetty on the left side and a huge cliff on the other side. Another wonderful attraction in the fort is the marvelous lighthouse situated along the bastions of the fort. The lighthouse presents a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea at the time of sunset.
How to reach:
The Ratnadurg fort can be reached after a short drive from Ratnagiri city centre and the crowded fish market/Koliwada area.
After a steep climb, the Road takes you to the top and one can park just next to the fort entrance. The Bhagwati temple can be seen after climbing the fort entrance staircase. Walking along the fort walls, one gets a good view of the sea and the nearby jetty.
Related Video (Ratnadurg Fort):
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit this fort is during the monsoons. Lush greenery along with the blue sea creates a mesmerizing view.
Lighthouse Timings: 4 PM to 5 PM, Fort Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM