Sindhudurg( Marathi सिंधुदुर्ग) is a fortress which occupies an islet in the Arabian Sea, just off the coast of Maharashtra in western India. The fortress lies on the shore of Malvan town of Sindhudurg District in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, south of Mumbai.

Sindhudurg ( Sindhu = sea, Durg = fort) was built by the great Maratha warrior King Shivaji in 1664. Shivaji selected the strategic rocky island location, then known as 'Kurte' for the fort ,himself - to counter foreign forces, and to keep the nearby Siddis of Murud-Janjira in check. .

Structural details
Over 4000 mounds of iron were used in the casting and foundation stones were firmly laid down . The construction was started on November 25, 1664. Built over a period of thirty years, the sea fort is spread over 48 acres (190,000 m 2) with a two-mile (3 km) long rampart, and walls that are 30 feet (9.1 m) high and 12 feet (3.7 m) thick. The massive walls were designed to serve as a deterrent to approaching enemies and to the waves and tides of the Arabian Sea. The main entrance is concealed in such a way that no one can pinpoint it from outside. At a time when Samudra Gaman (travelling by sea) was banned by scriptures, this construction on an island represents the revolutionary mindset of its builder.

Permanent Residents
Since the fort was abandoned, the number of permanent residents staying in the fort are on a decline. However, Dr. Sarang Kulkarni's discoveries has lead to commence of the Indian Sub-continent's only well established Scuba diving industry in the region. Though most of the residents have moved out due to absence of adequate employment opportunities. Today, more than 15 families stay in the fort, though with very little other employment opportunities but the underwater treasure around the fort discovered by Dr. Sarang kulkarni, today has enabled the local residents to earn more than $15 (Around Rs. 420). Today, Sindhudurg Fort is a popular destination amongst tourists ,both from within India, and abroad. There is also a coral reef located in the outskirts of this island. Tourists throng the island in large numbers especially in the summer season to explore the island as well as to undertake activities like Scuba Diving,Snorkelling,etc.

How to reach Sindhudurg
Sindhudurg town lies in the Sindudurg district to the north of Goa,about 400 k.m south of Mumbai ( Bombay). Sindhudurg can be reached either by train or by bus from Bombay, Goa and Mangalore. The Konkan railway has a railway station at Sindudurg. Only few trains stop here. There are state government ( MSRTC ) buses running from Mumbai, Pune, Ratnagiri, Sangli, Kolhapur and Panaji to Sindhudurg.

Nearest Railway Junctions
  • Miraj - 148 km
  • Pune - 165 km
All Express and Superfast trains stop at Miraj and Pune stations. You can take private cars, MSRTC buses from any of the above two railway junctions to reach Sindhudurg.

Image gallery

About the families staying in the fort
Families staying at the fort are known as Mavlas, who were the soldiers during the king's regime and they are known to be their ancestors. Basic occupations for them are farming, fishing and guiding tourists in the fort. Among the 15 families there are two Muslim families who are given the responsibility of playing the drum ( Nagara) in the evening at the time of prayers and that practice has been followed since the king's regime as no one else was allowed to do that as Shivaji Maharaj never discriminated among religions. The houses the locals staying on the fort are very much the same since they were built ,the locals inhabiting the area can renovate the house interiors, but not the exterior, and also cannot sell their houses. As there are no hospitals, no shops, no facilities, life is difficult on the fort. The only mode of transport is waterways which,again,is risky.

Attractions at the fort
(1)There are three sweet water reservoirs in ramparts of the fort , and even if the water in the nearby villages dries in summer, these wells do not dry; they always contain water in them. (2)There is a coconut tree which has a branch, if you see a coconut tree it will never have a branch but this tree not only has a branch but also gives fruit. This tree was struck by lightning a couple of years ago. (3)There is a passage which is hidden in a temple which looks like a water reservoir, this passage goes under the fort for 3 kilometers, and 12 kilometers beneath the sea, and from there 12 kilometers in a nearby village which was used as a rescue door if the enemy entered the fort; this way was for the women to move out.However,this passage has been partially closed to public view,ever since it was abandoned, by the British rulers. (4)The entrance gate is hardly visible from anywhere, and unless you are not a regular visitor, and if you are not and you are trying to enter through a boat which is the only possible option apart from air, you would bang at the rocks around the fort which can't be seen to naked eyes, hence you have to be very familiar with the fort ,to enter. (5) A handprint and a footprint of Shivaji Maharaj is also embedded in one section of the fort. There is also Atmeshwar Mandir ,a famous Shivling, and is beautiful place for Adhyatmik Sadhana (Spiritual Activities). (6)There is a Temple of Shivaji Maharaj, built by his son Rajaram: The only temple of Shivaji in the this temple,festivities like Shivaji Jayanti(birthday of Shivaji),Ram Navami,Janmashtami,Mahashivrathri,Ganesh Chaturthi,etc also take place. (7) Daily Pooja(worship)and maitainance is done by mainly two families-that were assigned this job since the fort was built, one of them is Shriram Sakpal

Building Activity

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