If indeed you would like to know how visionary, intelligent and resourceful the Maratha rulers were in Maharashtra, a visit to the Sindhudurg Fort in the Konkan region should be a must. It was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji on an island two kilometers into the sea and had the advantage of rock formations around it to give it natural protection. Apart from the beauty and historical value of this fort, the surrounding landscape in itself is a tourist’s delight with several options for adventure too.
Located in the Malvan taluka, Sindhudurg is one of the excellent sea forts in Maharashtra whose construction was started in 1664 and completed in 1667. The structure of the fort continues to remain as strong as ever, maybe because its foundations were laid down in lead. The fort is situated on an island called Kurate which is two kilometers from the Konkan shore. Surrounded by rocks, it provided natural protection from enemy ships and gave the Maratha naval ships a secured base in the western sea. In fact, Shivaji was the only Indian ruler at that time who possessed a strong navy.
Sindhudurg was mostly under the command of the Kolhapur branch of the Maratha Empire till 1765 and was then conquered by the British who re-named it Port Augustus. It was again handed over to the Marathas and finally in 1792 it came under British rule as per their treaty with the Marathas. The fort is a masterpiece, surrounded by 42 strong bastions which are still standing tall. There is a temple dedicated to Shivaji on Sindhudurg, in which his idol is depicted as a fisherman sitting in a boat. The ruler’s hand and foot marks have also been preserved here. The fort at Sindhudurg is surrounded by some smaller forts such as Padmagad, Rajkot and Sarjekot which together were the guardians of the region.
Distance from Mumbai: 495 kms
How to reach
Nearest airport is at Ratnagiri (134 km).
Nearest railheads are Kudal and Kanakavali which are 32 km from Malvan.
The Mumbai-Goa road leads you right through the heart of Sindhudurg. The pace of the drive is more than made up for by the views you get. From Pune, the drive is a bit quicker via Kolhapur, where you should turn onto the Mumbai-Goa highway via Gaganbavda towards Sindhudurg.