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|Part of Maharashtra|
|Sindhudurg district, Maharashtra|
Sindhudurg fortress from the mainland.
|Owner||Government of India|
|Controlled by|| Maratha Empire
Government of India (1947-)
|Built by||Hiroji Indulkar (architect)|
Sindhudurg Fort (Marathi सिंधुदुर्ग किल्ला) is a 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 Shri Chhatrapati 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 Hiroji Indulkar, in the year 1656.
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 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.
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
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.
- "Sindhudurg Fort Location". Retrieved 2012-05-18.
- "List of the protected monuments of Mumbai Circle district-wise" (PDF).
- Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 207. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.