fort stands on a rocky island, known as Kurte, barely a km, from the
Malavan is 510kms south of Mumbai and 130kms north of Goa.
Sindhudurg was built in 1664-67 AD by shivaji when all his attempts to
take the island fort of Janjira proved futile. The construction
was done under the supervision of Hiroji Indulkar, an able architect.
Shivaji had invited 100 Portuguese experts from Goa for the construction
of the fort. It is also recorded that 3000 workers were employed
round the clock for three years to build Sindhudurg. It was the
body from the Sack of Surat that went into the building of Sindhudurg.
One of the best preserved forts of the
Marathas, the 48 acre Sindhudurg fort has a four kms long zigzag line of
9 metres high and 3 metres wide rampart with 42 bastions. Apart
from the huge stones, the building material involved 2000 khandis
(72,576kgs)of iron erecting the massive curtain wall and bastions. A
notable feature is that the foundation stones were laid down firmly in
The fort is approachable from the
Malavan pier by a boat through a narrow navigable channel between two
smaller islands of Dhontara and Padmagad. The main gate, flanked
by massive bastions, faces the city. On the parapet, close to the
entrance, under two small domes Shivaji’s palm and footprint in dry lime
are preserved. Also, in thefort there is the Shivaji temple - the
only one of its kind in the country – where the image of Shivaji is
without a beard! Inside the fort there are some temples, tanks and three
wells. It also houses some twenty Hindu-Muslim hereditary
families. On a rocky island between Sindhudurg and the coast stood
the small for of Padmagad, now in ruins. It acted as a screen for
Sindhudurg and was also used for ship-building.
After Shivaji, Sindhudurg passed
through the hands of Rajaram-Tarabai, Angres, Peshwa and the Bhosales of
Kolhapur. It was briefly captured by the British in 1765 Ad And
was renamed by them as ‘Fort Augustus’. Later in 1818 AD, the
British dismantled the fort’s defence structures.
Sindhudurg from the eastern side; the main gate is hidden behind the two
bastions (above). Outside the southern wall there is a small
beach, called Ramichi Vela in Marathi, where Tarabai used to enjoy her