History of Sewri Fort
Sewri Fort was constructed in 1680 in Bombay (now Mumbai) after the British East India Company faced several attacks from the Siddis in the year 1672. The Mughal Dynasty constantly waged war with the British East India Company. The Siddis were allies of the Mughals and thus considered the British as their enemies. The fortress comprised of a garrison of 50 sepoys who were controlled by a subedar. Moreover the structure also included almost ten cannons that were used to protect the fort from enemy attacks. However, the fortress was occupied by Yadi Sakat, a Siddi general, in 1689 after he attacked Mumbai with an army of 20,000 soldiers. Sewri Fort also played a major role in a battle against the Portuguese forces in 1772.
Architecture of Sewri Fort
Sewri Fort was established mainly as a military station and for defence. The entire structure is bounded by high stone walls. It also included an inner ring which provided further protection. It is landlocked on three sides and is located on the top of a 60 m high cliff. The gateway is made with stone and it leads to a courtyard. The inner entrances are placed perpendicular to the main entrances in order to prevent a frontal attack from the main gateway. There is also a pentagonal room with a long domed corridor inside the premise.
Present Condition of Sewri Fort
Sewri Fort is presently in a ruined and dilapidated condition. However, it has been declared as a Grade I heritage structure. The Department of Archaeology and Museums of the State Government of Maharashtra has undertaken several efforts to renovate and restore the fortress. The site is being developed as popular tourist destination.