Tuesday, March 19, 2019
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Sindhudurg Fort

 
Place
:
Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra
Best Season
:
November to February
Timings
:
08:00 am to 06:00 pm
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Sindhudurg is the most remarkable of Shivaji's coastal citadels. The fort which occupies an islet in the Arabian Sea, just off the coast of Maharashtra. The fortress lies on Kurte Island, half a km away from the Malvan Port in Sindhudurg District. It lies 130 km north of Goa. A protected monument, the name of this fort is given to Sindhudurg district. The fort offers breathtaking views of the sea.

Sindhudurg fort was constructed by Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji when all his attempts to take the island fort of Janjira proved futile. The construction was done under the supervision of Hiroji Indulkar. It is recorded that 3000 workers and 100’s of skilled artists were employed for three years to build Sindhudurg. Shivaji had invited 100 Portuguese experts from Goa for the construction of the fort.

Its fortifications extend for more than 3 km with the fortified walls, 29 ft high and 12 ft thick. The walls are partly damaged by the sea on the west. More than 50 round towers, spaced at regular intervals, have slit holes and rectangular openings for cannon. The walls of the fort are guarded by 52 bastions and some have secret exits that lead out of the fort.

The fort is entered through a single Gate near the north east corner of the island which cannot be located from anywhere because it is concealed by curving outworks. On the top, there is a guardroom with arched windows. The design of the gate is unique and has a single opening bridged by a lintel set in an arched recess. A handprint and a footprint is embedded on a slab believed to be those of Shivaji himself, are seen on the inner face of the tower close to the entrance.

The interior of Sindhudurg is mostly empty, except for rubble walls, small step wells and coconut groves. A path leading west from the Gate arrives at the Shivarajeshwar Temple. It was built in 1695, by Chatrapati Shivaji’s younger son Rajaram in memory of his father. The temples is of particular interest, since it enshrines a much venerated sculpted portrait of Shivaji. The idol is shown in a seated posture, without a beard , probably only one of its’ kind in the country. The shrine is approached through a hall with triple vaulted aisles.

The path continuous to the Mahadeva Temple. Originally was a well, it houses a small linga placed in one of the surrounding niches. It has a secret passage towards Shivpindi side. Nearby is Bhavani Temple.

The fort also lies a unique coconut tree which has two branches. Also, there are three sweet wells named as Dudh Bav (Milk Well), Dahi Bav (Curd Well) & Sakhar Bav (Sugar well), which are the only souce of drinking water in the fort.

The fortifications skirt a small beach at the southwest corner of the island, an ideal picnic spot. The fort can be visited throughout the year except for rainy season (June – August).

Open all days 08:00 am to 06:00 pm

Entry Fee : Free

     






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