Maharashtra is the third largest state by area in India. Considered to be the wealthiest state in India, it is bordered by the Arabian sea to the west, Gujarat and the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli to the northwest, Madhya Pradesh to the north and northeast, Chhattisgarh to the east, Karnataka to the south, Andhra Pradesh to the southeast and Goa to the southwest. The state covers an area of 307,731 km2 (118,816 sq mi). It is a land of forts with some 350 odd forts to its credit or so. So here’s a look at the famous forts of Maharashtra.
Also known as Asadgad fort, this fort along with the Narnala and Akot forts form the major fortifications of the Akola district in Maharashtra, India. There are several inscriptions on the fort which tells the different dates of its construction.
Built in 1640, by the Portuguese, it is located at Land’s End in Mumbai. It was originally built as a watchtower overlooking Mahim Bay, and the Arabian Sea. It is currently under renovation and is owned by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Known also as Devgad fort, the fort is located in the coastal town of Deogad in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. The fort also has a beach attached to it along with a lighthouse that was built in 1915.
The fort is located in the Ghodbunder village at Thane on a hill. Built by the Portuguese in the year 1730, they named it – Cacabe de Tanna. Currently the fort is in ruins but there has been some renovation work started by the Government to preserve it.
It is a hill fort in Raigad district near Panvel. It lies in the famous Karnala Bird Sanctuary and hence is well protected. The fort is divided into 2 parts at different levels.
Lohagad Fort means Iron fort and is one of the many hill forts of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Situated near Pune, the fort is at an elevation of 3,450 feet (1,052 m). It divides the basins of the Indrayani and Pavna and is situated on a side range of the Sahyadris.
Built in 1680, by the British, for the main purpose of being a watchtower over the Mumbai Harbour. For a few years, it also served the purpose of being a prison. It was later converted as a Bombay Port Trust godown. The fort is currently owned by Maharashtra state s Department of Archaeology and Museums and is under renovation.
It is situated on an island off the coastal village of Murud in the Raigad District. It is famous for being the only fort along India s Western coast that remained undefeated despite Dutch, Maratha and English East India Company attacks.
Located in Satara District, this is a large fort. One of the most famous battles took place at this fort. It stands 1080 metres above sea level. It is however divided in to 2 parts – lower fort and upper fort. This one is a popular tourist destination.
Situated near Mahad, this hill fortress was built in 1674. The fort once served as the capital of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The main structures inside the Raigad Fort, which today stands mostly in ruins, comprise of Queen s Quarters, Public Durbar, Watch Towers, Darwazas (gateways) etc. There are approximately 1737 steps leading to the fort, though today an aerial tram exists to reach the top of the fort.
A palace fort situated in Pune, it was built in 1746. The fort itself was largely destroyed in 1828 by an unexplained fire, but the surviving structures are now maintained as a tourist site. It is also famous for its Gates, namely – Dilli Darwaza, Mastani Darwaza, Khidki Darwaza, Ganesh Darwaza, Jambhul Darwaza. There is an impressive lotus shaped fountain called Hazari Karanje in it too.
It is the birthplace of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Situated near Junnar, it is an historic military fortification. Inside the fort is a small temple dedicated to the goddess Shivai Devi. At the centre of the fort is a water pond which is called Badami Talav . To the South of Badami Talav are the statues of Jijabai and a young Shivaji. In the fort there are two water springs, called Ganges and Yamuna, which have water throughout the whole year.
The fort lies on the shore of Malwan in the Sindhudurg district. Sindhudurg fort has zigzag rampart with 42 bastions. The main entrance is concealed in such a way that no one can pinpoint it from outside. There are three sweet water reservoirs in the fort ramparts. There is a coconut tree which has a branch and also gives fruit. (No other coconut tree has a branch.) The tree was struck by lightning a couple of years ago.
There are many other famous forts in Maharashtra too that I didn’t mention here, but their importance is the same. Each and every fort is a tunnel to our past and we must cherish them.