Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Forts of Konkan 31 : Sindhudurg Fort किल्ले सिंधुदुर्ग

Sindhudurg Killa, Malvan Tal. Malvan, Dist. Sindhudurg
Island Fort

Things to see:
This island fort has 42 bastions and is spread on the area of 19ha. The fort forms a group of forts erected to support each other. Two forts Rajkot and Sarjekot are on the mainland in the Malvan town facing the sea where as another fort named Padmagad is on small rocky island near the main entrance of Sindhudurg fort. The main entrance of Sindhudurg is on the eastern side and can't be viewed openly as the way to the entrance takes bends through the carved waterways. There is one Hanuman temple near Mahadaravaja or main entrance. There are two small temples in which hand and feet impressions of Shivaji Maharaj are preserved. On the way to Shivarajeshwar temple there is one natural miracle i.e. a coconut tree with two branches can be seen. There is one small temple of Shivaji Maharaj at the centre of the fort. It is said to have been built by Rajaram Maharaj. There is one sword in the temple which is said to have been used Shivaji Maharaj. There are three wells on the island and all of them have potable drinking water in them eventhough whole of island is surrounded by saline water of the sea. The walls of the fort have been constructed by the laterite rocks which were cemented using lead. Near some of the walls there are latrines constructed since historical times. It is a special feature because laterine construction is not a common feature of the structures from the time of Shivaji Maharaj. There is one Nagarkhana, a temple of Bhagavati Mandir in the fort. The nearby Padmagad has a small dock and a temple of Vetal. The Sarjekot is on the mouth of Kolamb creek and has big trenches all around it.

The fort was constructed by Shivaji. Before that the island was uninhabited and it was known as Kurte. Shivaji wanted to control the increasing influence of Portuguese and Siddis on the coast of Konkan. Construction of the fort started in 1664. For this fort Shivaji also assigned some Portuguese specialist. The construction of the fort went on for three years. The specialty of the fort is in the fact that after construction of the fort it could never be won by other forces from Marathas until their downfall in 1818. This fact itself is a living proof of strength of the fort and its strategic location.

There is need for restoration of many of the walls. There is a small habitation of 15 families in the village. There is Scuba diving facility on the fort and one can see the nearby corals. The fort is a major attraction of the tourists as Malvan and nearby village of Tarkarli have become a good tourist destination.

Nearby attractions:
Dhamapur lake in the Dhamapur village. Tarkarli beach.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Kankavli Kasal
Kudal Chauke

Malvan port has regular small boat service for Sindhudurg fort, which is run with a frequency of every 30 minutes.

By public transport:
Malvan is connected by direct ST buses to Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Kolhapur. There are also some private buses for Malvan from Mumbai. Nearest railway station is Kudal which can be reached from Mumbai and Goa.

Nearby Places for stay: