Sindhudurg Fort is the historical fort located near the Malvan Jetty, locally known as Malvancho Dhakko in the Sindhudurg district. It is situated 33 km away from Oros/Sindhudurg Nagari, its district headquarters.
The fort was built by the great Maratha king, Shivaji, as per his guidance and supervision. This fort was once the naval headquarters under the reign of the mighty Marathas. The fort is basically situated on the islet named Kurte Island. The fort is surrounded by the majestic Arabian Sea.
Sindhudurg means Fort of Sea as Sindhudurg is a word framed from two Hindi words “Sindhu” means Sea and ‘’Durg’’ means Fort. Shivaji built this ocean fort in 1664 AD on a low rocky 48-acre island off the Malvan coast. It is a historic place with its serene coastal beauty. It is said that Shivaji personally selected the site for the construction of the fort.
For casting and the foundation stones, over 2,000 khandis or say 4,000 mounds of iron and lead were used to lay it down firmly. There is also a temple dedicated to Shivaji inside the fort. This is the only one kind of shrine in the whole country, which was established by his son Rajaram.
The Sindhudurg Fort took almost three years to get completed and near about 100 Portuguese architects, specially invited from Goa with a strong manpower unit of 3000 were deployed for construction of this fort. The construction was made on the orders of Shivaji. It is said that 70,000 kg of iron was used to construct this fort. A mixture of mortar with molten iron was used to strengthen the fort. The walls of the fort are guarded by 52 bastions. Some of the bastions among this have secret exits that lead out of the fort.
The fort is spread over an area of 48 acres with surrounding walls, which are 12 feet thick and 29 feet high, stretched for 2 miles. The main entrance gate of the fort is Dilli Darwaja and it is such erected that it is visible only from close quarters and seems like as if part of the walls. There are also handprints as well as footprints of Shivaji which have been lodged within the fort on a slab.
Along with the architectural rich fort, there are temples also to visit which are a big attraction for tourists. There are three temples which belong to Goddess Bhavani, God Hanuman and Jarimari respectively. Along with the holy shrines, there is also the most famous temple of the fort which is devoted to Shivaji.
There are also 3 sweet water wells inside the fort premises namely Dudh Bav (Milk Well), Dahi Bav (Curd Well) and Sakhar Bav (Sugar Well). Underwater sports are also available for tourists here. The fort also exhibits a coconut tree for which people around the world make a visit here as it is the world’s only coconut tree that has branches and exhibit fruits. The most adventurous and untold fort attraction is an underground tunnel which is said to be used by the ladies during enemy attacks in ancient times. This tunnel, however, was closed partially by the British East India Company. As per legends, this tunnel is believed to go almost 12 km beneath the Arabian Sea.
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