Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Forts of Konkan 13: Kille Suvarnadurga किल्ले सुवर्णदुर्ग

Harnai, Tal. Dapoli, Dist. Ratnagiri

Things to see:
The fort is situated on a small rocky island located about 1.5 km off the main land. The fort is a one of the group of forts in Harnai which has been an important port on Arabian sea since hundreds of years. Other forts are on the mainland and named Kanakdurga, Fattegad and Goa Killa (no relation to the state of Goa). Kanakdurg has a lighthouse. The fort has two entrances, one is Mahadarwaja which is main entrance facing the land i.e. towards east. Other entrance is called Chor darvaja which means escape or secret entry which is towards the west. There are some carvings on the entrances which include those of Hanuman and a turtle.There are many bastions in the fort and many have a small room built. There are some remains of the palace in the form of plinths. There is also small granary and a stone building which was a store house for the ammunition. There are also some wells in the fort.
Kanakdurg has some bastions and eight water tanks in its premise. Gova fort has two gates, one towards the sea and the other towards land.There are some old ruins in the fort. There is one MTDC hotel inside the fort premises.

Some speculations have been done about the existence of these forts from Satavahana period i.e. 7th century. The first records of these forts are from the period of Bijapur sultanate in 1500's who were ruling this part of Konkan. In 1660 Shivaji captured this fort from Adi Adilshah II and from then on this area was under rule of Marathas and Peshavas or Angre were in charge of this area after him. The fort was built by using only stone walls with no cementing materials. The fort was a major protection which Angres held again foreigh naval forces especially British and Siddis of Janjira.
Kanakdurg was built by Shahu Maharaj in 1710 whereas other forts were built by Angrias during that period. Main purpose of building those forts were preventing attacks from land towards the sea.

Suvarnadurg is covered with dense growth of thorny bushes. Fattegad is now covered with colony of fishermen.

Nearby attractions:
Harnai has big fish market on its beach and the fish from this port are also exported to other countries. It is famous for prawns, lobsters and various other sea creatures. The trade takes place on the Harnai beach. The hill near Harnai gives a beautiful view of these sea forts and Harnai town. One can also visit pristine beach of Murud and Ganapati Mandir at Anjarle which falls on the same route.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:

Dapoli Harnai

With Public transport:
Direct ST buses are available for Dapoli from Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur. While coming from Goa one has to reach chiplun and then take ST buses for Dapoli. From Dapoli there are plenty of local ST buses for Harnai.

Nearby Places for stay:
Dapoli, Various resorts and homestays in the area of Harnai.