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Sindhudurg FortHeight : 0 mts from MSL
Type : Sea forts Fort Range : None
District : Sindhudurga Grade : Easy
      Sindhudurg is built on Kurte Island, very near to the coast of Malvan. Malvan being an important port, building a fort near this was an important strategic requirement. Kurte was a perfect island with sufficient rock surface, accessibility and sufficient potable water sources to build a fort, making it the best one amongst the 84 ports along the coast line from Mumbai to Goa. Sindhudurg increased the strength of Marathas and helped them keep a check on the English and Portuguese as well as the pirates. The Bakhar written by Chitragupta aptly mentions this fort as the most invaluable asset to Shivaji Maharaj.
39 Photos available for this fort
Sindhudurg
Map of Fort Sindhudurg
Map of Fort Sindhudurg
History :
      After selecting the island for building a fort, the auspicious day for building the foundation was chosen as 25th November 1664. There is a sacred rock near Malvan called “Moryacha Dhonda”, which represents has carvings of Lord Ganesh, the Sun and the Moon and Shiv Linga. This sacred rock was worshipped before starting construction of Sindhudurg fort. There are detailed letters which describe many aspects about the vision of building forts of Shivaji Maharaj and the details associated with it. One such letter details out the resources required for Sindhudurg. There were about 500 masons, 200 blacksmiths, 100 Portuguese and 3000 workers who worked for 3 years continuous to complete the fort. The characteristic of Sindhudurg is that the foundation stones are laid down in slots and molten lead was poured to fix them strongly. The lime stone was ordered from central part of the Deccan plateau. Shivaji Maharaj had written specific details on resource management in his letters, and was personally present on 29thMarch 1667 when the fort was completed.
After the death of Rajaram Maharaj in 1700, Tarabai ruled the Maratha Empire from Satara. As per the treaty of Warna between Shahu and Tarabai, Malvan came under her control. By that time piracy had increased near Malvan coast. Major Gordon and Captain Watson captured the fort on 28 January 1765 and renamed it as Fort Augustus. In an Anglo-Maratha truce the fort was returned to Marathas on 2nd January 1766. In 1792 the British again regained the fort by helping Karveerkars against Desai of Nipani.
Fascinating Spots :

      Sindhudurg is an amazing fort with much of its structure still intact. It has a protected entrance of “Gomukhi” type similar to Raigad. When we approach the fort in a boat, we cannot see the entrance as it is blocked two bastions. The bastions are built from well carved stone blocks and have numerous shafts for gunning the invading enemy. There is an idol of Lord Hanuman carved on the entrance and it has a small Nagaarkhana or a loft on the top for Nagaare.
The most amazing part of Sindhudurg is its fort walls which are very strong, and still very intact. We can walk from one end of the fort on the wall, which is around 4 m wide. There are 26 bastions on this wall, so that every direction is protected by canons. There are stairs at intervals to get down, around 45 staircases. The complete wall is about 4 km long. If we start a round from left as we enter the fort, we come across an enclosure where there are prints of palms of right hand and left leg inside. This happened when Shivaji Maharaj was inspecting the work and stepped on wet limestone. On 21st November 1763, Sambhaji Maharaj’s wife Jijabai wrote a letter to the officials to build enclosure around these prints and worship them daily.
If we proceed along the cement trail after entering, we find the temple of goddess “JariMari”. There is a unique palm tree with its trunk divided into two like a fork. Recently it was almost destroyed when lightning fell on the same. Ahead there is the temple of Shivaji Maharaj, the only one of its kind. Rajaram Maharaj established the idol of Shivaji Maharaj dressed as a boatman. Since a golden or silver mask is put on the idol with sacred clothes, we cannot see the complete idol and hence a photo of the idol is also kept there. The responsibility of the temple and it rituals is with the Sankpal family.
Behind the Shivrajeshwar temple is the temple of Lord Shiva with a well in the temple. There are 3 more wells nearby, known by names “Doodhbav” (The well of milk), “Dahibav” (The well of curd) and “Sakharbav” (The well of sugar), which supplied potable water and are currently covered. Near the well are the remnants of Shivaji Maharaj’s palace. To the west of the palace is a standalone bastion, which was used to keep a watch within the fort. There is a cistern near this bastion. To the backside of the bastion there is a small door through the fort wall, which takes to a secluded place where the royal ladies used to bathe. Apart from these, there are two more temples called Bhagwati temple and Mahapurush temple.
Ways To Reach :
      Malvan is a famous tourist place, about 500+ km from Mumbai, and 120 km from Panaji. Kudal is the nearest railway station (about 31 km) if one travels by Konkan railway. ST buses ply regularly to Malvan from various places. From Malvan jetty, it takes 15-20 minutes to reach the fort by a small boat.
Accommodation Facility :
      Malvan has lot of resorts and restaurants. No restaurants on the fort.
Time To Reach :
      15-20 minutes by boat from Malvan jetty
Best Season To Visit :
      Preferably October to May, to check with locals
Notes :
      One can plan a combined trip to visit Vijaydurga, Sindhudurg, Nivti fort, Walaval temple within 3 days with private vehicle. Also, one can plan to see Bharatgad, Bhagvantgad and Rajkot with Sindhudurg in one day. The Dutch fort at Vengurla is about 50 km away and can also be planned.
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