|Location:||450 kilometres (280 mi) south of Mumbai|
Sindhudurg Fort (Marathi सिंधुदुर्ग किल्ला) is a historical fort that occupies an islet in the Arabian Sea, just off the coast of Maharashtra in Western India. The fortress lies on the shore of Malvan town of Sindhudurg District in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, 450 kilometres (280 mi) south of Mumbai. It is a protected monument.
This fort was constructed by Shivaji Maharaj, the Chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire. The main object was to counter rising influence of foreign colonizers (The English, Dutch, French and Portuguese merchants) and to curb the rise of Siddis of Janjira. The construction was done under the supervision of Hirojee Indulkar, in the year 1664.. The fort was built on a small island which was known as the Khurte bet (bet means island in Marathi).
Places to Visit on Fort:
Over 4000 pounds of lead were used in the casting and foundation stones were firmly laid down. Construction started on 25 November 1664. Built over a period of three years(1664 ―1667), the sea fort is spread over 48 acres, with a two-mile (3 km) long rampart, and walls that are 30 feet (9.1 m) high and 12 feet (3.7 m) thick. The massive walls were designed to serve as a deterrent to approaching enemies and to the waves and tides of the Arabian Sea. The main entrance is concealed in such a way that no one can pinpoint it from outside.
At a time when traveling by sea was banned by scriptures, this construction on an island represents the revolutionary mindset of its engineer. A remain of an iron mould can be seen.
The entrance to the fort is by the Dilli Darwaja to the north-east. The main gate is so well camouflaged within the folds of the rampart walls that it is visible only at really close quarters. A shrine to Goddess Jarimari guards the entrance to the fort. On the right, perched atop the main gate, is the fort’s most prized relic – the footprint and palm impression of the revered Shivaji Maharaj, set on a slab of dry lime.
Apart from the customary shrines of Bhawani, Mahadeo, Jarimari and Mahapurush, Sindhudurg enjoys the distinction of having the only temple dedicated to Chhatrapati Shivaji, which was built by his son Rajaram. One does also come across some ruins of ancient temples, wells and cisterns throughout the fort. The Shivaji Jayanti, Ram Navami, Janmashtami, Mahashivratri and Ganesh Chaturthi are some of the prominent festivals celebrated here on a grand scale.
The number of permanent residents staying in the fort has been in decline since the fort’s abandonment. Some of the temples are still in use and are maintained by the 20 odd families that live on this island fort. The Sakpal Naik family, the original killedars, still reside in one of the 16 houses within the fort.
How to reach:
Sindhudurg town lies in the Sindudurg district to the north of Goa, about 490 km south of Mumbai (Bombay). Sindhudurg can be reached either by train or by bus from Bombay, Goa and Mangalore. The Konkan railway has a railway station at Sindhudurg, but only few trains stop there. Kudal, Kanakvali and Sawantwadi are major railway stations in Sindhudurg district. There are Maharashtra state government (MSRTC) buses running from Mumbai, Pune, Ratnagiri, Sangli, Kolhapur and Goa state government buses (Kadamba Transport Corporation) running from Panaji, Madgaon, Vasco and Pernem to Sindhudurg. Nearest airport is Dabolim Airport in Goa, which is located at approx. 90 km away from Sawantwadi City (major tourist attraction) of Sindhudurg.
Related Video (Sindhudurg Fort):
Best time to visit:
The ideal time to visit Sindhudurg is during the winter season. The temperature is moderate, and ranges between 13-20 degrees Celsius, and the weather is very pleasant between the months of October and March.