Sindhudurg Fort

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Sindhudurg
सिंधुदुर्ग
Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra
Sindhudurg fort.JPG
Sindhudurg fortress from the mainland.
Sindhudurg is located in Maharashtra
Sindhudurg
Sindhudurg
Type Island fort
Site information
Owner Government of India
Controlled by Flag of the Maratha Empire.svg Maratha Empire
India Government of India (1947-)
Open to
the public
Yes
Site history
Built 1664 (1664)

Sindhudurg (Marathi सिंधुदुर्ग) is a fortress which 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, south of Mumbai.[1] It is a protected monument.[2]

History[edit]

This fort was constructed by Shri Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Today also we can See His foot & Palm print in fort. The construction was done under the supervision of Hiroji Indulkar, in the year 1656.

Structural details[edit]

The Watch Tower facing the sea

Over 4000 mounds of iron 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 (1664–67), the sea fort is spread over 48 acres (190,000 m2) 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 Samudra Gaman (travelling 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 on the fort.

Permanent residents[edit]

The number of permanent residents staying in the fort has been in decline since the fort's abandonment. Most of the residents moved out because of inadequate employment opportunities, but over 15 families remain in the fort. The Sakpal Naik family (the original 'killedars') still resides in one of the 16 houses in the fort. However, Dr Sarang Kulkarni's underwater discoveries have led to the establishment of the Indian sub-continent's only well-established scuba-diving industry. This has provided the local residents with some employment. Sindhudurg fort is a popular summer destination for Indian and foreign tourists to explore the island and go scuba-diving and snorkelling to view the coral reef on the outskirts of the island.

How to reach Sindhudurg[edit]

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.

Image gallery[edit]

About the families staying in the fort[edit]

Attractions at the fort[edit]

  1. There are three sweet water reservoirs in the fort ramparts. Even if the water in the nearby villages dries up in summer, these wells always contain water.
  2. There is a coconut tree which has branches and also gives fruit. (No other coconut tree has a branch.) The tree was struck by lightning a couple of years ago.
  3. There is a hidden passage (that starts in a temple that looks like a water reservoir) that goes under the island for 3 km, under the sea for 12 km, and from there 12 km to a nearby village ( Masura ). The tunnel was used as an escape route for the women if the enemy entered the fort. However, the British partially closed this passage after the fort was abandoned.
  4. The entrance gate is almost invisible, and only regular visitors are likely to find it.
  5. A handprint and a footprint of Shivaji Maharaj is also embedded in one section of the fort. There is also Atmeshwar Mandir, a famous Shivling, and is beautiful place for adhyatmik sadhana (spiritual activities).
  6. It also houses a temple of Shivaji Maharaj, the only one in the world; the temple was built by Shivaji's son Rajaram. Festivities such as Shivaji Jayanti (birthday of Shivaji), Ram Navami, Janmashtami, Mahashivrathri, Ganesh Chaturthi, are celebrated.
  7. Daily puja (worship)and maintenance is done by mainly two families that were assigned this job since the fort was built; one of them is Mr.Shriram Sakpal.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sindhudurg Fort Location". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  2. ^ "List of the protected monuments of Mumbai Circle district-wise". 
Sindhudurg (SNDD)
Next 'Small' station towards Mumbai:
Kankavli
Konkan Railway : Railway (India) Next 'Small' station from Mumbai:
Zarap
Distance from Mumbai (CST) = 612 km
Next 'Main' station towards Mumbai:
Ratnagiri
Konkan Railway : Railway (India) Next 'Main' station from Mumbai:
Kudal