An interesting story about the fort, which is located on a rocky island Kurt.
On its construction, the battles for power, the rulers, and many other facts you learn in this story.
Grand Fort Shindhudurg that Marathi means "sea fort", was built by Maharaja Shivaji on the rocky island of Kurta in the bay of the port town of Malvan, about a kilometer from the coast, in the period from 1664 to 1667 years to counter the foreign colonizers and control over neighboring Siddhi of Dzhandzhiry.
Chhatrapati Shivaji appointed responsible for the work of the best architects of the time Maratha Hiroji Indulkara invited 100 experts from Portuguese Goa, personally chosen strategically place on the island and led the construction work. The blocks of stone were placed at the base of the fort still liquid foundation of 125 tons of molten iron and froze firmly into a single monolith. 500 masons, 200 smiths, 3,000 laborers and hundreds of professional artists in the sweat of working on site, trying to finish everything in due Shivaji three years. Even in a period of thirty years after the official end of the work at the fort here and there banging hammers and scurried masons, bringing his creation to perfection.
Shindhudurg - it is one of the best preserved forts Maratha Empire. It covers an area of about 190 thousand square meters, and its walls are about 3 kilometers long around the perimeter, with a thickness of 2 to 4 meters and a height of about 9 meters. Every 20-70 meters walls fortified tower-bastion, a total of 42 in the fortress itself is a massive wall, which was to hold back the onslaught as the stormy waves of the Arabian Sea, and the enemy troops Shivaji, designed and built in a zigzag manner, so that any of its outer portion viewed from inside the fortress. This allowed its defenders to notice any movement of the enemy outside and effectively respond to them with rifle and cannon fire. Water surrounds the island, moreover, are full of invisible on the surface of the underwater rocks, and if you do not know the right of the fairway, leading to the gates of the fort, very good chance to run into them, as happened with many of the attacking enemy ships Shindhudurg.
No less thought and the main entrance of the fort, Mukha Pravesh Dwar. It is twisted clockwise spiral, and is arranged so that it is difficult to observe from the outside, because it virtually merges with the wall. The spiral form of the input corridor has another advantage - in the melee attackers were forced to move to bypass the right side wall and the retreating defenders - left side and backwards. Thus, defenders have been much easier to operate in the melee, as the soldiers of all the armies, of course, dominated by the right-hander. At the same time, of course, on top of the walls of the shooting was carried forward from all available weapons. This type of entrance gate is characteristic only for the Maratha forts architectural features.
In 1708 the widow of Rajaram, pursued by troops Shahudzhi, was forced to flee to Shindhudurg. After resting, gathering his thoughts and regroup its forces, already in 1709 Taraban regained control of his capital Panhaloy, and in 1713 established a new independent state Kolhapur. In Varna Final Agreement in 1731 between Kolhapur and Shahudzhi, control passed to Shindhudurgom Bhosale dynasty of Kolhapur. The island Kurt had already been well laid out, the city is full of life, with the market, government institutions and 150 residential houses.
The rulers continued the best traditions of Kolhapur Maratha sailors and passing through their maritime possessions Portuguese and British ships were again exposed to pirate attacks. In 1763, the Portuguese sent an expedition to subdue kolhapurskih pirates, but the siege Shindhudurg colonialists got a worthy rebuff and retreated. In 1765 for the same purpose it has sent its fleet United Kingdom, and the castle was taken by troops under the command of Major Godson and Captain Watson. The British renamed it Fort Augustus and placed a garrison in it.
However, Maharani Kolhapur Dzhidzhabai could not bear the shame, and in January of next 1766 Fortress bought back 700 thousand rupees and some land, and the British were allowed transit through kolhapurskie territorial waters. Dzhidzhabai Shindhudurgu returned to its former name. In 1805, the troops of the ruler Savantvadi attacked the fort, but were repulsed. October 1, 1818 Great Britain again captured Shindhudurg. In the same year fortifications were dismantled as much as possible, and all valuables and documents during the reign of Maharaja taken to Bombay. In October 1910 the island Kurt was declared an archaeological monument, protected by the state, but in spite of this, unfortunately, the area began to gradually come to desolation.
After Shindhudurg was abandoned, most of the families Mawla, descendants of the soldiers of the Empire Maratha, left the island. Currently, there is only 10 homes, which constantly live only 20 households out of which 2 - Muslim, with only them ever since Maharaja allowed to play drums during evening prayers together. The main occupation of the inhabitants of the island - the cultivation of fruits and coconuts, fishing and service of tourists visiting the fort that somehow allows them to make ends meet. Islanders banned by the government to change the look of your home and other buildings in the Shindhudurga and sell them. Since the island has no basic amenities, not to mention the hospital or even store and only form of transport on the island - by boat, the living conditions of the inhabitants of the island is quite spartan.
Today, the fort Shindhudurg - is popular with Indian and foreign tourists a place where even have a pretty advanced diving center which organizes diving in areas of historic archaeological finds around the fort, and at the local coral reef, although, of course, of particular beauty, he can not boast . On the territory of the fort is the world's only temple dedicated to Chhatrapati Shivaji - Sri Shivaradzheshvar, built in 1695 the son of the great military leader Rajaram, and expanded in 1906. The fourth Kolhapurskim Shah. Inside it is an altar to the idol of Shivaji clothing sailor. This is the only image of the Maratha emperor without a beard. In the days of major Hindu festivals, as well as the birthday of Shri Shivaji in the temple puja held religious services. Also Shindhudurge there are several other temples dedicated to Bhavani, Shambhu Mahadeva, Dzharimari, Mahapurush, Hanuman and Atmeshvaru.
In the left bastion Mukha Pravesh Dwar, the main gate kept handprints and feet Chhatrapati Shivaji. In the south wall of the fort is the highest point Shindhudurga - Bastion Tehalni Burudzh, who was once the lookout from which in any direction is a beautiful view of the surroundings. Here nearby, 100 meters to the west, is located behind the wall ourselves to Vela, "Queen of the Beach", a tiny secret small beach where Maharani Taraban loved to relax and enjoy the sound of waves and the sea breeze. In Shindhudurge also has three wells with drinking water that will never dry up, even when it is a serious drought, and the villages on the banks of all the water disappears.
From fort to the nearby village once led a secret underground passage dug deep beneath the sea floor, and used to evacuate the besieged fortress. Entrance to the underground passage was hidden under the guise of a water tank in one of the churches. In the days of the British Raj, it was embedded, despite the fact that the very course by that time had partially collapsed. On a small rocky island between Shindhudurgom Malvana and the coast are the ruins of a miniature fort Padmagad, who served as an additional cover and used for construction and repair of ships.
Shindhudurg fortress located off the coast of Malvan port town, located about 30 kilometers from the town of Casale on the highway NH17 Mumbai-Goa. From Malvana about 540 kilometers from Mumbai to Goa and - less than 150 kilometers. From Mumbai, Goa, Pune, Mangalore, Ratnagiri, Sangli, Kolhapur and some other cities in Malvan attend private and public buses. The nearest train station - in the town where, about 45 kilometers north of Shindhudurga. From the pier in Mulvaney to the gate of the fort from 8 am to 6 pm run small paromchiki. The ticket price of about 30 rupees. On the walk is given one hour after which paromchik moves back to Malvan. You can get on the fishing boat.
Sindhudurg fort is located in the neighboring state of Maharashtra, Goa, near the banks of small towns Malvan (Malwan). From the ferry across Terekol, and accordingly, the state of Goa, Sindhudurg to travel about 65 kilometers on the "track» NH17. Ride the ferry after the first as well as to Paradise beach, but Shirode not turn left to the bank and continue to go on the NH17. Further, Vengurle (Vengurla), NH17 highway goes right, and you will need to continue the path straight on MSH4, until Malvana, and most of the fort. Look at a map before you go, everything is quite simple. Immediately prior to the fort can only be reached by boat. Fare there and back - 27 rupees. It makes sense to bring along water. On inspection of the fort is best to lay at least 2-3 hours. Near the base of the fort there is a diving and snorkeling. These events are usually held from 11 am to 15 days. Promise coral reefs, colorful vegetation and fish. In the city you can find Malvan Guest, to spend the night (both in the city and around Tarkarli beach). It is there and restaurants. So, since considerable distance from Goa, it makes sense to break up the trip for a couple of days. Also, Mulvaney begins excellent beaches Tarkarli (Tarkarli beach), a length of about 10km.