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Manohar-Mansantoshgad FortHeight : 3880
Type : Hill forts Fort Range : Amboli
District : Sindhudurg Grade : Medium
      The goods arriving at ports of Konkan; like Maalvan, Vengurla, Reddi, etc. used to pass through various passageways; to the marketplaces situated at the top of the passways. The forts Manohar-Manasantoshgad were built to keep control on the Hanamanth pass going over the Amboli passway and Kudaal passway. The twin forts - Manohar-Manasantoshgad still stand tall with their historical ruins. The main highlight of the fort is - Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj resided on this fort for entire one month. The Karli river originates in the surrounding areas around these forts and after travelling 48 kms down; meets the ocean at Tarkarli-Devbaag (Malvan).
A cleft between the hills divides the forts Manohar-Manasantoshgad from each other. Among them; fort Manohar has remnants and is easy to climb. On the other hand, Manasantoshgad is a tall peak that requires rock climbing. Since this fort-pair is situated in the region of Amboli ghats, it can be visited all year long except the four months of rainy season.
17 Photos available for this fort
History :
      Origin of the fort is unknown - who built the fort or when, but looking at the way it is built, or looking at its structure; it is most likely that it is repaired or reconstructed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. After the Agra escape, Shivaji Maharaj reached the Rajgad fort. To lift the siege on the fort Raangana; Shivaji Maharaj arrived here on 11 April 1667. After the Raangana siege; he headed to Manohar fort on 13 May 1667. He stayed there for a period of 34 days until 15 June 1667.

Later the custody of the forts went to the Chhatrapati of Kolhapur. In 1834, the Gadkari (Fort Keeper) rebelled. Chhatrapati sent some of his knights to suppress this rebellion. They squashed the revolt; but as it resurfaced again, the Chhatrapati Shahaji Maharaj (Buva Maharaj), himself attacked the fort in the year 1836. He arrested the keeper of the fort and confiscated two cannons from the fort. Following the demise of Chhatrapati Shahaji Maharaj (Buva Maharaj) in 1838, the Fort keepers once again raised a revolt on the fort. To suppress the revolt; Chhatrapati sent his knights and disbanded the rebellion, but spared them their lives.

In the revolt against the British in 1844, the forts Manohar-manasantoshgad proved to be a nuisance to the British. The mastermind of this uprising, Fond Sawant Taambulkar rescued Yuvaraaj Annasaheb of royal state of Sawantwadi from the Sawantwadi palace and kept him safe on Fort Manohar and claiming his supremacy; collected taxes from the surrounding area. In addition to this, rebellions built their own factory in the vicinity of fort Manohar to produce gunpowder. The products from this factory; were in turn sent to forts like Samaangad, Raangana, etc. to fight against the British. All this led the British to send General Della monte and Colonel Autam to supress the revolt on Manohar fort. They were able to perforate the fortification by firing cannonballs. On 26th January 1845; the rebels fled the fort. The Britishers then destroyed the steps of Manohar-Manasantoshgad forts.
Fascinating Spots :

      A little far from where the roads from Shivapur and Gothanewadi meet; used to be the first entry doorway of the fort. Only one bastion of this doorway is still intact. There is a path of well-constructed steps ahead; passing below the fortification with steep cliff on right side, and straight downhill deep valley on the left. Due to this formation, the enemy that has crossed the first doorway comes within the range of the soldier’s attacks. It becomes nearly impossible for the enemy soldiers to navigate through; sparing the deep valley fall and avoiding the attack fired from the atop fortification edge.

After climbing for a while, we enter the fort through the ruined doorway. From the fort’s top; we can see the widespread fortification, the decrepit remains of a mansion and a well. First; head towards wrecked mansion built on a broad base platform; which has two pavilions. Among them, the bigger one has a main doorway and a small hidden doorway. Currently the wooden pillars, door frame, support beams, roof; are non-existent today, but their indentations on the stone wall can be seen.

At the forefront of the mansion, there are some idols of deities kept under the Aaudumbar tree. Walking further in the direction of Manasantoshgad, many remnants can be seen. It can be concluded that there were many settlements on the fort in the historical times. Turning around the elevation, where the flag is hoisted, we reach the edge of Manohargad. From that point; we can see Manasantoshgad and the valley between the two forts. As the height of Manasantoshgad is less than Manohargad, the relics can be easily seen.

Turning back and walking along the side of the fort towards Gothanewadi village, we come across well-constructed well and trench around it. The well contains water that is potable for all months of the year. There are two toilets in the fortifications which are built like the ones at Sindhudurg fort. After entering through the doorway; walking sideways of the fortification; ahead there is yet another toilet. Reaching the west end of the fort, there is a bastion right below the edge. Beneath that we can see the trunk of the fort descending down. The bastion must have been built to strengthen this part of the fort. We cannot reach the bastion by simply climbing down and it is accessible only by the rope. The fort can be seen in a spread-eagled shape from this bastion.

The forts of Narayangad, Raangana and Mahadevgad can be seen .
Ways To Reach :
      There are two routes to reach Manohargad.
1) Via Sirshinge: - About 10 Km from Sawantvadi, on the Sawantvadi- Amboli road, is a village named “Khaalchi Dhabakadi”. From this village; take a road on left that will lead to another village named “Shirshinge” at a distance of 17 Km. Ahead of Shirshinge; at about another 11 Kms; there is a extended settlement of Shirshinge village named “Gothavevadi”. From Sawantvadi to Gothavevadi; bus service is available and road is a tar road. From Gothavevadi, a cobbled rough road leads us to Shivapur. On this road, at about 4 kms, a road splits to the left leading to a hill (Till here one can reach by sturdy vehicles such as jeeps). A steep climb on this foot road that encircles “Garudjhaap” hill leads to the adjacent hill that houses the Manohar- Manasanthoshgad fort. The foot road from Shivapur merges here. The last patch has steps covered with rock debris where one has to be very careful. It takes 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the fort by this road. The benefit this route offers is; you can cover 1/4th height of the fort hill by a vehicle on this route.

2) Via Shivapur: - There is bus service available, from both places i.e., from Kudaal (37 Km) and Sawantvadi (36 Km); to reach Shivapur. A dusty much traversed foot road from Shivapur village leads to the fort. By this route, it takes 2 to 2.5 Hours to reach the fort.

To reach Manasantoshgad: - On the way to Manohargad; before we reach steps to the fort; there is a ruined doorway. Leaving behind this doorway; towards the left; one can find a narrow foot route and at little lower level; some natural caves can be found. The same foot road bypassing the caves encircles the fort to lead us to reach Gothanevadi. This narrow foot road; which passes between Gothanevadi village on one lower side and steep cliff of Manohargad on another side; through the valley between two forts; takes us to the base of Manasantosh fort. Steps carved in the rock takes us to the Manasantoshgad. But at one stage; steps are broken and covered with rock debris leading to a scree; so, use rope is advisable to move forward. Taking a traverse ahead; the fort can be entered through a wrecked doorway.
Accommodation Facility :
      Proper stay facility is not available on the fort; so, it is advisable to carry a tent. School passageway at Shivapur village or Gothanevadi village can provide a shelter for night.
Food Facility :
Drinking Water Facility :
      Potable drinking water is available in the well on the fort in all seasons.
Time To Reach :
      2.5 hrs from Shivapur and Gathavevadi.
Best Season To Visit :
      Except rainy season.
Notes :
1) To climb Manasantoshgad, it is better to have technical knowledge of trekking and equipment’s.
2) It is advisable to take 100 feet rope to cover the rock patch to avoid going late.
3) One can get a guide to take us to Manohargad; but it is difficult to find a guide in the village with a knowledge of advancing rock patch.
4) Trekkers with the knowledge of rock climbing and having experience of conquering pinnacles and cliffs; can cover this rock patch with free climbing techniques.
5) Travelling from Manohargad to Manasantoshgad; there are caves on the way. The cave roofs houses honeybee combs. So, one has to be very careful and silent while passing across these honeycombs. 21 people from the village have faced the wrath of these honeybees in the past. This is the reason why guides from the village are reluctant to come to this area.
Marathi Version   Print

Forts in the District of Sindhudurg
 Banda Fort  Bhagwantgad  Bharatgad  Dutch Warehouse( Vengurla Fort)
 Hanumantgad(Sindhudurg)  Kharepatan fort  Kotkamate  Mahadevgad
 Manohar-Mansantoshgad  Narayangad(Amboli)  Padmagad (Malvan)  Ramgad
 Shivgad  Siddhagad (Malvan)  Vetalgad  Vijaydurg