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Suvarnadurg Fort that is located on a small island in the Arabian Sea, near Harnai in Konkan, along the West Coast of India, in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The fort also includes another land fort (small) called the Kanakadurga at the base of headland of Harnai port on the coast. Building of the fort is credited to Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire, in 1660. Subsequently, Shivaji, other Peshwas and the Angres further fortified the forts for defence purposes.
The literal meaning of Suvanadurga is "Golden Fort" as it was considered as the pride or the "feather in the golden cap of Marathas". Built for the Maratha Navy for defence purposes, the fort also had a ship building facility. The basic objective of establishing the fort was to counter enemy attacks, mainly by the colonialists of Europe and also by the local chieftains.
In the past, the land fort and the sea fort were connected by a tunnel, but this is now defunct. The present approach to the sea fort is only by boats from the Harnai port on the headland. It is a protected monument.
The fort is on an island in the Arabian sea on the west coast within the jurisdiction of Ratnagiri district, off the Kanakadurga fort and below the headland Harnai port. The nearest town is Dapoli, a hill station (near Chiplun), 17 kilometres (11 mi) from Harnai. Kanakadurga, the harbour fort, built originally as a strategic link to the sea fort has a lighthouse. Harnai, near the dilapidated Kanakadurg fort, is an important harbour, which is right on the edge of the land that protrudes into the Arabian Sea. This is a natural harbour known for large fishing and marketing. It is conjectured that the Kanakadurga fort and other land side forts such as Bankot fort, Fategad fort and Gova fort were built primarily as look out forts for the security of the Suvarnadurg fort. There is no landing jetty at the Suvarnadurga fort. However, the landing is on the shores of the sandy beach of the rocky island. Another feature of the area is that a narrow channel separates the Gova, Kanakadurg and Fattehgarh forts on the mainland
The hidden main gate opens towards the east. It has on its threshold a carved figure of a tortoise and on the side wall, that of Maruti (Hanuman). Inside the fort there were several buildings, water tanks and a place for ordnance.
The fort was probably built by the Bijapur kings in the 17th century. Captured and strengthened by Shivaji, it became a stronghold of Maratha navy and remained with the Peshwas till 1818 AD. It was one of the main naval bases of the Angres.
You can stay in various hotels or local cottages at Dapoli, Harne or Anjarle. Suvarnadurg fort is a worth exploring place near Dapoli. There is a lot of history about the remnants of this fort. This spot offers the good opportunity to archaeology & history students.
Best Time To Visit Suvarnadurg Fort:
You can visit the fort all year round. But avoid visiting this fort during high tides & heavy rainy season. Weather generally remains clear during the months of November to May.
How to reach Suvarnadurg Fort :
One can easily reach Ratnagiri or Dapoli by means of train & road. Tourist vehicles, ST buses & private trip buses regularly ply to Ratnagiri from all major cities in the Maharashtra.
By Air :
Mumbai Airport is the nearest airport to reach this fort.
By Boat :
To reach the fort, one has to take a boat ride from Harne village. You can reach the Suvarnadurg fort only by boats from Harne. Currently, there is no regular boat service to the fort but boats are available through the local fishermen. Every day, many tourists visit this fort by boats.
By Rail :
Khed is the nearest railway station to reach this fort. The khed station is there on the Konkan Railway line. The distance between station & fort is 43 kms. You can hire vehicle outside the station to reach up to the fort. Auto rickshaws, jeeps & private cars are available outside the station
By Road :
Harne is 230 kms away from Mumbai. Harne has good connectivity all year round to Dapoli (17 kms), Anjarle (7 kms) & Khed. Fort is 147 kms away from Ratnagiri, 187 kms from Pune and 227 kms from Kolhapur.
Places to visit in Suvarnadurg Fort :
Map : Suvarnadurg Fort Map