- 347 Kms
- 3 / 5
Location: Near Devgad
Situated in the Devgad taluka, Vijaydurg Fort is the oldest and strongest fort built on the coast of Sindhudurg.
Vijaydurg Fort lies at the tip of the peninsular region of Vijaydurg, situated in the Devgad taluka of Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district. It is the oldest and strongest fort built on the coast of Sindhudurg. A protected monument, the fort is a testament to the martial supremacy of the Maratha Empire.
Surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides, the Vijaydurg Fort was originally known as ‘Gheria’. It was constructed during the rule of Raja Bhoja II between the period of 1193-1205. In 1653, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj conquered the fort from Adil Shah of Bijapur and renamed it as ‘Vijay Durg’, which literally translates to ‘Victory Fort’.
Initially the fort encompassed an area of only 5 acres and was surrounded by the sea on all 4 sides. After conquering it, Shivaji Maharaj extended the fort area by adding three walls on the eastern side, each 36 meters high. In addition, he also constructed 20 bastions on the fort. Owing to his efforts, the present area of the massive fort is about 17 acres and it is surrounded by the sea on 3 sides and a creek on one side. It now consists of 27 bastions, 3 of which are three-storied. According to legend, Vijaydurg is one of the only two forts (the other being Torna Fort) where Shivaji Maharaj personally hoisted the saffron flag.
Vijaydurg Fort remained significant throughout the rule of the glorious Maratha empire. It became a strong military base under the leadership of Maratha Naval Chief Kanhoji Angre, withstanding assaults of the British and Dutch armies. Being virtually impregnable, it came to be known as ‘Eastern Gibraltar’ in this pre-independence era. The 40-km shallow creek surrounding the fort acted as a natural protection making it impossible for huge enemy ships to enter the shallow water. And the Maratha warships anchored in this creek would remain invisible from the sea. After the death of Kanoji Angre, the Peshwa-British alliance overtook the control of the fort. However, in 1818 AD, the fort was completely surrendered to the British.
In recent years, oceanographic experts have discovered a submerged undersea wall towards the east of the fort. This fencing compound is 3 meters high, 7 meters wide and 122 meters long, and has a depth of 8-10 meter under the sea. According to historians, when enemy ships tried to attack the fort, they collided with this underwater wall and shattered into pieces. Another interesting discovery related to the Vijaydurg Fort is a 200-meter-long undersea tunnel, which may have been used for emergency evacuation. The fort is also famous for being the place where a French scientist discovered the presence of ‘Helium’.
The grand Vijaydurg Fort is a must-visit if you are in Sindhudurg. Appoint a guide who will take you through the fort and share details about the fort’s finer aspects. While exploring the architecture marvel you will come across several fascinating spots such as the main entryway, canon fireballs, huge laterite walls and bastions, a queen’s palace, a big meeting room, storage rooms for grains and ammunitions, stables, several temples, grinding stones, caves, prisons and numerous other ancient relics. Make sure to photograph the spectacular views of the sea and the creek from the top of the fort. And during sunset go down to the beach to capture a stunning photograph of the magnificent fort in all its glory.
Other attractions near Vijaydurg Fort include the Palatial House of Dhulap, the Rameshwar Temple at Girye, Devgad Fort, Kunkaneshwar Temple, Devbag Beach and Sindhudurg Fort.
- There are a few good hotels and homestays in Vijaydurg, where you can find comfortable accommodation.
- Most of the restaurants and homestays serve delicious Malvani seafood as well as delectable vegetarian fare.
- Mode of Transport : You may travel to Vijaydurg via road in a car or by Maharashtra State Transport buses.
Things to do
- Enjoy a memorable day exploring the oldest and strongest marine fort built on the coast of Sindhudurg.
- Get a glimpse into the glorious history of the Maratha Empire, as you walk amidst the massive and sturdy laterite walls of this fort and come across several ancient relics and remnants.
- Photograph the spectacular views of the sea and the creek from the top of the fort.
- At the sunset go down to the beach and photograph the magnificent fort from below.