Vijaydurg Fort

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The invisible and invulnerable sea-fort Vijaydurg stands majestically facing heat of the sun, showers of rain, speedy winds and surging sea-waves for the last 800 years. It was a significant Naval centre of the Maratha kingdom during the period from regime of CHHATRAPATI SHIVAJI MAHARAJ to that of Kanhoji Angre, the undefeated Master of Arabian Sea. King Bhoj of Shilahar Dynasty, who had established power over Konkan, built this fort during sometimes between 1193 to 1206. By that time it was called ‘Gheria’. Then it was in charge of Adilshah of Bijapur from 1524 upto 1653, when Shivaji captured it and restored its dignity by expanding its area (Previously just 5 acres ) to 17 acres, got it renovated, strengthened the bastions and extended rampart walls.
Formerly these was a ditch full of water at the eastern side, with a wooden bridge that could be lifted at bight. Afterwards the ditch refilled with earth, was replaced by an approach road. The year when shivaji completed the renovations was called “ Vijay Samwatsar” (as per Marathi Chronology the year of victory) So Shivaji Changed its old name ‘Gheria’ into “Vijaydurg” (Victory-Fort.) The construction of the main entrance is as peculiar as other forts of Shivaji’s times. The defence walls are curved so as the main entrance not to be visible for enemy. At the outer gate there is Hanuman Temple as a symbol of strength. Facing to entrance there are Police head quarters and offices of the Dept. of archeology. There are other buildings too. But some of them have collapsed. One of them is called, ‘Khalbat Khana’ where secret meetings were held formerly. There are historical things such as a underground tunnel way, cannon –shells, huge bastions, granary, godown, flag-hill, lime-kneading yard, dias of sacred basil plant (Tulsi-Vrindavan) Kanhoba temple, a well and so on. The rampart walls with 20 bastions are yet intact. Flag-hoisting ceremony is performed at the flag-pole in the fort on 15th August and 25th January, the distinctive feature of this fort is the underground tunnel type subway from the fort to Dhulap’s house at the distance of 2km but you cannot enter it, as it is closed at both the ends.

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