the oldest fort on Sindhudurg coast was constructed in the regime of Raja Bhoj of shilahar dynasty in 1205 (construction period 1193-1205). The fort was earlier known as "Gheria" as it is situated in the village "Girye". Shivaji Maharaj won this fort from Adilshaha of Bijapur in 1653 and renamed it as "Vijay Durg" as the then Hindu solar year's name was "Vijay". Vijay means Victory.
The earlier fort encompassed an 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. Presently the area of fort is about 17 acres and is surrounded by Arabian sea on its three sides. (1 acre 4840 sq yards). Chatrapati Shivaji extended the area of fort by constructing three fort walls on the eastern side. These three fortifications are of 36 m height and he also constructed 20 bastions of the fortwall.
This is only one of the two forts of the Maratha kingdom, where King Shivaji personally hoisted the saffron flag. The other fort is "Torana". This fort was also known as "Eastern Gibraltar" as this fort was impregnable for a long time like the fort "Gibraltar" in Europe. This impregnable fort has some locational advantages. One such advantage is 40 km long waghotan/kharepatan Creek. The big ships cannot enter the shallow water of this creek and hence Maratha warships were anchored in this creek. These ships were invisible from deep sea.
Located in Devgad taluka, Vijaydurg is famous all over the world for its delicious Alphonso mangoes
Alphonso is a mango cultivar that is considered by many to be one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. It has considerable shelf life of a week after it is ripe making it exportable. It is also one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in Kokan region of...
, and this becomes quite evident on the approach to Devgad. Mango plantations are everywhere as it is alongside fishing and farming, the main occupation of the people in Devgad.
The Architectural marvel
1) The 200m long, undersea/underland tunnel from the fort to the Dhulap’s palatial house in the village is man-made. The roof of the tunnel has been pinched to protect it from land-slides and it is also well ventilated. Now the tunnel is partially blocked. Using latest technology if this tunnel is cleared it will be a major tourist attraction and will be of great help for architectural students/history lovers.
2) The fencing compound wall constructed at 8-10 m depth undersea, 300ft from the fort is another architectural wonder. The wall constructed with laterite stones is 122 mtr long, 3 mtr high & 7 mtr in breadth. Majority of attacking ships met their watery grave after colliding on this wall as this wall is not visible above the sea level.
The naval dock:
1.5 km from the fort in the Wagjotan Creek, a naval dock was constructed by carving the rocks. This is where the maratha warships were built and repaired. The ships built here were of the 400-500 tonnage capacity. This 109*70 mt dock faces the north side and is one of the major landmarks of maratha naval artchitecture.