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 year’s 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.
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