PEB FORT History

Peb Fort (T. Panvel) otherwise known as Vikatgad, in the village Maldunga, stands about nine miles north-east of Panvel on a hill about 1,000 feet high. When surveyed by Captain Dickinson in 1818, it had two pathways meeting a little from the gateway which was nearly twenty feet below the top of the hill. The gateway was built across and nearly at the top of an exceedingly steep ravine, the water turned from its natural course by a channel on each side of a retaining wall of solid masonry thirty feet high and about as many feet wide at the top. The perpendicular height of the threshold of the gateway was about eighteen feet. Beyond this gateway the ascent continued exceedingly steep to a platform on a projecting part of the hill at the head of the ravine, about eighty feet above the gateway. From this platform was a further very steep climb of 100 feet to the top of the hill where there had formerly been a fort. Like Malang Gad, Peb is for the most part surrounded by a precipice, the principal works, in addition to those already mentioned, being at the north and south extremities, commanding such parts of the hill as were deemed accessible. The ground on the top of the hill was very irregular, and no vestige of the former fort remained except a wretched wall of loose stones. Besides two buildings and a few huts, there was an excellent reservoir and a Ganapati temple outside the gateway. Under the precipice, about 100 yards from the temple, was a large room enclosed with solid masonry and a strong door which was said to have been used as an ammunition and store-room. In 1862 the fort was in ruins: the water was unfit for drinking, and food supplies were not procurable.

The fort can be climbed from Neral station, a distance of six miles. At the foot of the hill is a goddess called Pebi, who appears from her name to be the deity of the fort. Half way up the hill is a god called Mhasoba and about a quarter of a mile beyond are two caves, and a rock-cut cistern. There are the foundations of large buildings and a cistern, twenty cubits square and four deep, containing water all the year round. Besides the large buildings, there are the remains of from forty to fifty small houses.

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