Suvarnadurg: The Golden Fort of the Maratha Empire (2023)
Suvarnadurg is one of the several naval forts that Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje conquered in his lifetime. This fort was of high importance to the Maratha kingdom. The name itself means Gold. The Suvarnadurga fort is on an island in the Arabian sea and accessible only through the sea. If you plan to visit this fort, here is all the information you will need.
Historical Importance of Suvarnadurg
Suvarnadurg was of strategic importance, as it is on an island in the Arabian Sea. It came under the Maratha rule in 1660, when Shivaji Maharaj captured it from Ali Adil Shah. The Bijapur Kings had built this fort. Suvarnadurg fort was the birthplace of Kanhoji Angre, the Koli General of Shivaji Maharaj.
Kanhoji Angre is a highly revered personality in Indian and Maharashtrian history, as being the man who fended off several foreign regimes. Suvarnadurg is one of the several forts that Kanhoji defended time and again.
Structures Inside Suvarnadurg
Suvarnadurg is a heavily fortified structure that has all the bells and whistles of a fort where royalty lived back in the day. It is home to several structures, but most of them are ruins today. You will find water tanks, temples, and even what could be offices of royalty. The entire Suvarnadurg fort has 24 bastions. It also has three sweet-water tanks, something that we have seen in the other forts as well. These tanks ensured that the residents of the fort had a consistent water supply in case they could not venture out. You can also see two cannons that the Marathas used during the times of war and strife. Along with the water wells, you will also see three lakes within the Suvarnadurg fort.
The outer door of the fort has some of its grandeur still intact. As you proceed, you will see the ruins of a Chor Darwaza, a secret, smaller door.
You will see several statues, inscriptions, and wall carvings all through the fort, which tells you about the history of the fort and the fort’s place in Maratha regime history.
One of them is the carving of a tortoise on one of the walls. On another wall, you will see the carving of Lord Hanuman.
Suvarnadurg fort is one of the few forts that are memorable outside India as well. Sir William James, the Commander of the East India Company’s Naval power, who conquered it once, was so enamored by it that he built a commemoration to it, a castle named Severndoorg in London.
The fort was so important that there are three other smaller forts to defend the Suvarnadurg fort. These forts, the Kanakdurg Fort, the Goa Fort, and the Fateh Gadh Fort are also a tourist attraction.
Tourist Experience of Suvarnadurg
The tour to Suvarnadurg already has an added excitement component because it is accessible only through the sea. Once you reach the top of the fort, you get a magnificent view of the Arabian sea. If you are there at the right time, you will see the waves lashing at the silent foothills of the fort.
Suvarnadurg is one of the few forts in the Konkan region that does not involve a trek, so everyone in the family can enjoy visiting this place. The entire fort comprises of eight acres, so you might need to take some breaks while exploring the fort.
You also need to plan when to go to the fort. The Suvarnadurg fort is on an island, and the only way you can reach it is via a boat ride. So, there is every chance that during the monsoon, the boat rides are closed, and you are not able to reach the fort. Like all other island forts, you get a great view of the Arabian Sea from the top of Suvarnadurg fort.
Places To Visit Near Suvarnadurg
Suvarnadurg has some tourist spots in its vicinity. If you have a weekend on your own, you can visit these places and have a better outing. Here is the list of the places near Suvarnadurg:
Anjarle Beach is a short distance from Suvarnadurg. It is secluded and does not have a lot of commercial activity. It is the perfect spot to have a stroll by the beach by yourself.
This beach is also home to the turtle conservation project, and there is an Anjarle turtle festival every year as well. The festival consists of protecting the eggs of the Olive Ridley turtle and then released to hatch.
Another beach that is a short distance from the Suvarnadurga fort is the Harnai Beach. The beach is near Harnai village, which is a small fishing village. So, tourists can enjoy a bit of village life as well as the fishing life at the beach.
Harnai Fish Market:
Not a place to go to if you are not into fishes as food, but for those who are into this is a great way to spend a few hours. The Harnai Fishmarket is famous for the auctioning of fishes as well.
Kadyavarcha Ganpati is more than eight hundred years old and went under some reconstruction in the 1700s. The temple is famous among religious tourists because it is one of the few Ganesha temples that have Ganesha’s idol facing towards the right, and its trunk points towards the right as well.
How to Reach Suvarnadurg?
Suvarnadurg is an island fort, and the only way to reach the fort is via a boat ride. The journey to the island, the opportunity to experience village life, and the nearby beaches make the Suvarnadurg an integral part of fort tourism in Maharashtra.
If you wish to travel to Suvarnadurg via train, you will need to journey from Sewri to Khed via train. You can take private transport to Suvarnadurg. It will take six hours to travel from Mumbai to Suvarnadurg on a train.
The bus ride from Mumbai to Suvarnadurg is more than eight hours, though the route is the same. You need to board a bus from Mumbai to Khed and then proceed towards Suvarnadurg.