Built by Shivaji, Sindhudurg Fort was the naval headquarters of the Marathas. Situated on Kurte Island, it lies half a km away from the Malvan Port in the Arabian Sea. The fort lies 130 km north of Goa.
Shivaji built the fort area to safeguard the maritime borders of his kingdom and from neighbouring rulers. The foundations of the fort were strengthened by using molten lead mixed with mortar. More than 70,000 kilos of iron was used for casting its foundation.
The construction of the fort began in 1664 and took three years to complete. About 100 Portuguese architects, who were specially invited from Goa along with a strong workforce unit of 3000, were deployed for its construction. It is believed that the great warrior king himself lent a hand in building the fort.
Sindhudurg is spread over 48 acres with the fortified walls, 29 ft high and 12 ft thick, stretch for two miles. As many as 52 bastions with embrasures for cannons guard its walls. Some bastions have secret exits that lead out of the fort.
One can enter the fort through the Dilli Darwaja - the main gate. Because of its architectural design, the gate is visible only from close quarters and seems as if part of the walls. It is believed that Shivaji was very satisfied with the outcome of the fort. On the request of the fort architect, a handprint and a footprint of the Maratha King is embedded on a slab within the fort.
Along with the customary shrines of Hanuman, Jarimari and Goddess Bhavani, the fort is most famous for the temple dedicated to Shivaji. Apart from the temples, a few tanks and three sweet water wells are also present in the fort area.
Shivaji Jayanti, Ram Navami, Janmashtami, Mahashivratri and Ganesh Chaturthi are some of the prominent festivals that are celebrated in Sindhudurg on a grand scale.
Where to stay
There are no places to stay at the fort.
Where to eat
There are no places to eat within the fort. It is advisable to carry snacks and water bottles.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit the Sindhudurg Fort is between October and March.