(Last Updated on : 01-10-2014)
History of Sindhudurg district is synonymous with the greater tract of the Konkan of which it is a part. The Konkan is famous for its long coast line and safe harbours. The word 'Konkan' is of Indian origin and of considerable antiquity, though the origin of the name has never been sufficiently explained. The name of the district has been adopted from the famous sea fort of Sindhudurg. This was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj near Malvan
and it literally means 'Sea Fort'. Its construction started on November 25, 1664 and after 3 years it was completed in such a fashion that it could not be seen easily by the enemy coming in from the Arabian Sea
The seven kingdoms of the Konkan of Hindu mythology are mentioned in the 'Hindu History of Kashmir' and are said to have included nearly the whole west coast of India. The Pandavas of Mahabharat
, are said to have passed through this region in the 13th year of their exile and had settled in this area for some time. The Raja of this region, Veerat Ray, had accompanied them in the famous war at Kurukshetra
with the Kauravas of Mahabharat
. In the second century A.D., the great empire of the Mauryas annexed the entire Konkan coast. In the middle of the sixth century, the kings of the Maurya and Nala dynasties appear to have been ruling in the Konkan. The district of Ratnagiri was under the Silahara dynasty of Konkan
and the capital of their kingdom was probably Goa
and later it may have been transferred to a more central place in the vicinity of Ratnagiri or Kharepatan.
Chandrapur was one of the most ancient towns in the Konkan, probably founded by Chandraditya a son of the Chalukya king Pulakeshin II. The 16th century saw the advent and rise of Portuguese power on the west coast of India and Sindhudurg was no exception. The sultan lost hold on the district in 1675 with the rise of Chatrapati Shivaji, and it finally fell into the hands of the Marathas. Marathas continued to rule the district till 1817 i.e. when the struggle between the British and the Peshwa Raj in Maharashtra
came to an end and the whole of Konkan was transferred to the British. In 1819 South Konkan was formed as a separate district with its headquarters first at Bankot and later at Ratnagiri. Three northern subdivisions were transferred to Thane
district in 1830 and the district was reduced to a sub-collectorate level under Thane district.
In 1832, it was again made a full-fledged district and named as Ratnagiri district. In the year 1945, a new mahal ( tahsil) called Kankavli Mahal (tahcil) was formed . The former Indian state of Sawantwadi was merged with the district and the taluka boundaries were reorganized in the year 1949. In the same year the new taluka of the Sawantwadi was created and two new mahals namely Kudal and Lanja were formed. With the reorganization of the states in 1956, the district was included in the Bombay state and since 1960; it forms a part of Maharashtra
. Sindhudurg district was earlier a part of the Ratnagiri district. For administrative convenience and industrial and agricultural development Ratnagiri district was divided into Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg with effect from 1st May, 1981. Sindhudurg district now comprises of eight tahsils of Sawantwadi, Kudal, Vengurla, Malvan, Devgarh
, Kankavli, Vaibhavwadi and Dodamarg.