(Last Updated on : 31/03/2015)
Mandangad Fort is a popular fortress located about 2km from Mandangad town of in the district of Ratnagiri
. It is also known as Chitradurga Fort. After a conflict with Adil Shah, the fort was occupied by Maratha Emperor Chatrapati Shivaji
. The history of this fort is very much speculative and obscure.
The major attraction of the fort is a 400-year-old cannon, a Ganapati Temple and a lake called Thorla Taalab (Big Lake). The fort is less explored by tourists and normally visited by trekkers from Pune
. The visit to the fort takes not more than 3 hours from Mandangad village. The hillock is quite densely forested and a mud trail winds up the fort. From the southern end bastion, one can sight the hill fort of Palgad standing opposite to Mandangad.
History of Mandangad Fort
It is one of the very old forts in the region with data suggesting that Mandangad was built in 12th century by King Bhoja II during the reins of the Shilahar dynasty
. The fort was conquered by Shivaji Maharaj from Adil Shah and subsequently taken by British in 1818.
This is one of the forts that Shivaji Maharaj did not have to fight to capture it. When he was heading towards Dabhol
after defeating Kartalabh Khan, Mandangad village fell on the way. When the news about Shivaji Maharaj marching towards Dabhol reached to Jaswantarao Dalvi, he immediately fled to Shingarpur fearing for his life and leaving the fort.
Structure of Mandangad Fort
Mandangad Fort originally included 3 different defensive structures, namely Jamba towards the north, Parkot in the centre and Mandangad proper in the south. At present, the water reservoir at Jamba has become dry. Even though they are believed be much older, local legend attributes Mandangad to Shivaji, Parkot to Habshi of the Siddhis and Jamba to Kanhoji Angre (also called Angria). All the 3 forts were captured in 1818 by the forces of the British East India Company
under the leadership of Colonel Kennedy.
A 400 years old cannon is the major feature of the fort. Mandangad Fort also comprises of a pool named Thorla Taalab as well as a temple of Lord Ganesha
. Currently, the fort has been developed as a tourist destination.
How to Reach Mandangad Fort
The nearest airport is in Pune which is 90 km and the nearest Railway Station is Chiplun Station 25 km from Mandangad Fort. Numerous State Transport buses and private vehicles are available from Satara
, Pune and Mumbai. The road connectivity to Mandangad is quite commendable and transports are easily accessible.