(Last Updated on : 18-11-2019)
Vijaydurg Fort is the oldest fort in the Sindhudurg district
. It is one of the several coastal forts on the Western Coast of India. It is surrounded by water on all the four sides and is connected to land through a narrow road. The fort
was constructed for safeguarding the kingdom from the neighbouring rulers; later Shivaji Maharaj developed Vijaydurg as an important base for Maratha
warships. It is a protected monument
Etymology of Vijaydurg Fort
Vijaydurg Fort was earlier known as "Gheria", as it was surrounded on three out of the four sides by sea. Shivaji Maharaj captured this fort from Adil Shah of Bijapur in 1653 and renamed it as "Vijay Durg" as the then Hindu
solar years name was "Vijay" meaning Victory. In the Pre-Independence
era it was also known as "Eastern Gibraltar". This is because the fort was almost unconquerable.
History of Vijaydurg Fort
Vijaydurg Fort was constructed in 1200 during the regime of Raja Bhoja II of the Shilahara dynasty and restructured by Shivaji Maharaj
. In 1653 Shivaji Maharaj had captured this fort from Adil Shah of Bijapur
and renamed it as Vijay Durg. According to legend, this is one of only two Maratha forts where Shivaji Maharaj personally hoisted the saffron flag. The other fort is Torna
. Under the leadership of Kanhoji Angre, it withstood many naval attacks by the British
and the Dutch
. In 1818, Vijaydurg Fort was completely in the hand of the British Empire.
Structure of Vijaydurg Fort
Earlier, Vijaydurg Fort encompassed an area of 5 acres and was surrounded by sea on all four sides. Over the years the eastern trench was reclaimed and a road was constructed thereon. Presently the area of fort is about 17 acres and is surrounded by the Arabian Sea
on three sides. Shivaji Maharaj extended the area of the fort by constructing three walls on the eastern side, each 36 metres high. The fort has three layers of walls built around it, and several towers and buildings within the vicinity, making the fort formidable. He also constructed 20 bastions.
Visiting Information of Vijaydurg Fort
Vijaydurg Fort is around 440 kms from Mumbai
, 370 kms from Pune
and around 206 kms from Goa. Kankavli is the nearest railway station
. Vijaydurg is well attached by road to all the major cities
like Pune, Mumbai and many more by means of buses that are state owned or private.