- Name of the Fort:
- How to Reach:
- One has to reach Katta village which is 20 kms from Malvan and proceed to Churiwadi hamlet further 3 kms from where route to the fort can be accessed.
- Vijaydurg fort is located in Devgad district. This fort was built by King Bhoj in 1205 and was known as “Gheria”. Later Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj took over this fort and named it “Vijaydurga”. Vijaydurg fort was also known as “Eastern Gibraltar” as this fort was impregnable for a long time like the fort “Gibraltar” in Europe. A dilapidated board at the entrance of the fort relates its history. One of the best views of the fort is from the jetty. The fort stretches out into the sea and a walk inside its precincts is worthwhile. The earlier fort covered area of 5 acres and was surrounded by sea on all the 4 sides. Over the years the eastern trench was reclaimed and the road was constructed thereon.
- In 1653 Shivaji Maharaj had captured this fort from Adil Shah of Bijapur and renamed it as “VijayDurg”. The original name of the fort was “Gheria” and the first fortification appears to have been constructed in 1200 during the regime of Raja Bhoj II. Shivaji developed Vijaydurg as an important base for Maratha warships.
Maratha Empire looked to be in a decline after death of Shivaji In 1680, when his son and successor Chhatrapati Sambhaji was captured by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb and brutally tortured to death on 21 March 1689. Later in that year the fort of Raigad fell in the hand of Mughals. Wife of Shambhaji and his infant son Shahu along with many others were captured and were treated as state prisoners. Shivaji’s second wife’s son Raja Ram then took in charge of the Maratha Empire. Inspired by the valiant death of Shambhaji, they fought back against the Mughals. It was during his reign Kanhoji Angre alias Conajee Angria became admiral of naval army of the Marathas. In 1698, Kanhoji made Vijaydurg the capital of his territory along the coast.
In 1700 Raja Ram died. Tara Bai,the brave widow of Raja Ram took over the control of Maratha Empire. Putting her infant son on Maratha throne styled as “Shivaji II”, Tara Bai led successful operations against the Mughal from 1700 to 1707. Taking advantage of discomfiture of Shivaji’s ruling house Kanhoji Angre became the most “Powerful and independent Naval Chief of West coast of India”. Tarabai gave Kanhoji title of Sarkhel (Admiral). At one time Kanhoji Angre was master of the whole coast from Bombay (Now Mumbai) to Vengurla.