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Suvarnadurg Fort : Indeed a “Golden Feather In The Cap Of Marathas”

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

Suvarnadurg was built in the 16th century during the reign of Adilshah. In 1860, the fort was added to the Maratha Empire.

Though the Fort Suvarnadurg wasn’t built by Marathas, the foresightedness of the founders of Maratha Empire led the fort towards its glory. The fort came into prominence during the Maratha Regime.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who is rightly said as the father of the Indian Navy, built a strong naval presence across the coast of Konkan to secure the mainland and to protect the trade route. For the protection and security purpose he built, repaired & strengthened a number of sea forts.

One of the key forts for this purpose was the magnificent Suvarnadurg - named after the Golden Sunsets observed off the coast of Arabian Sea - located at 250 metres from Harne Port in Dapoli Taluka of Ratnagiri district.

The Fort is built on an island in the Arabian sea covering 8 acres of land. One has to travel by boat from the Harne Port to reach the Fort. It takes nearly 30 minutes to reach there from the port.

How can one forget about the “SHIVAJI OF THE SEA” while speaking about the Suvarnadurg. Kanhoji Angre who was born on the fort & one of the noble admirals of Maratha Navy, literally ruled over the sea from Suvarnadurg. He Later got the “Sarkhel” title from the Marathas.

At the height of his power he commanded hundreds of warships and thousands of sailors & played a strategic role to keep the enemy engaged far from the shores of homeland. He became the obstacle for expansion of colonialism in the Konkan Region.

Suvarnadurg has witnessed struggles of powers between the Mughals & the Marathas, the Britishers & the Angrias & the Peshwas in its lifetime.

They say when you visit some historical place, we find our roots. We feel like we are part of something bigger. We feel like going into the past and reliving it.

From the site SEASCAPES, the panoramic vistas, one get to see Suvarnadurg from each & every corner of the plot, standing to its glory in the From the site SEASCAPES, the panoramic vistas, one get to see Suvarnadurg from each & every corner of the plot, standing to its glory in the vast sea, resisting the waves thrashing on its shores standing testimony to the saying - Come what may, I would not bow down to the adversities of time!

Other Forts

There are 3 other land forts which were used to keep eye on the Suvarnadurg, named Goa fort, Kanakdurg Fort, Fattegad Fort

Goa Fort

Amongst these, Goa fort is comparatively large and is still in good shape.

The fort is a main tourist attraction in the Harne village.

One can roam on the ramparts by climbing up the stairs. We can also find the remnants of the Collector’s rest house on the fort. Records say that there were 19 soldiers and 69 canons on the fort in 1862.

Kanakdurg Fort

Kanakdurg fort is the closest to Harnai port. Kanakdurg fort is surrounded by the sea on all 3 sides and has a surface area of about a quarter hectare. This fort has an oval shape and one can access this fort through a set of stairs. At the end of the stairs, you will find a water tank on the right-hand side at a lower level. At the southern side of the fort you will find a lighthouse built on a higher level.

On the western and southern sides of the fort there are many rocks at sea level. It is breathtaking to watch the sea waves clash on the rocks. Many tourists and locals visit this fort in the evening to witness the beauty of the sea and the main fort of Suvarnadurga. It is satisfying to sit at the fort and watch the boats of the fishermen, people of Harnai and their fish market at the port. Hence, the tourists that visit Harnai port make sure to visit Kanakdurg fort, to experience this scenic beauty.

Fattegad Fort

Built during the reign of the Maratha Empire under Shivaji, the Fattegad Fort was constructed by Khairiyat Khan and was under the control of Tulaji Angre. The feud between the Peshwa and Angre were at its peak and so to regain control of the fort, the Peshwas colluded with the British against Tulaji. The fort was captured by Captain James and handed over to Peshwas but in 1817, the British forces captured the Fattegad Fort from the Peshwas.

Currently in ruins, the only parts of the fort left standing are the walls and the bridge joining with Kanakdurg.

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