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Forts of Ratnagiri

Saturday, August 29th, 2009 | mumbaihikers | Uncategorized

Ratnagiri forts are either inland or on the coast. Coastal-forts are of ‘two classes, island and headland forts. Of island forts the chief are the Harnai fort of Suvarnadurg and the Sindhudurg fort of Malvan. Of headland forts,
most of them on the bank of saine river, the chief are, beginning from the, north, Bankot, Anjanvel or Gopalgad,Govalkot, Jaygad, Ratnagiri, Parnagasd, Satavli, Rajapur, Jaitapur, Vijaydurg, Kharepatan, Devgad, Bhagavantagad,
Ramgad, Sidhgad, Nivti, Vengurle and Redi. The sites of a few of these, such as Anjanvel, Gopalgad, Jaygad, and Rajapur, are very little raised above sea level. Inland forts, all much the same in character, are builfon some natural site
of advantage, if in the low country on some steep hill commanding a river or pass in the main ranges on some projecting spur or rock, or above a great natural scarp. All are built on the same principle. The hill top or the end of the spur or point is girt by a wall, strengthened by many bastions. On any slope or place likely to invite approach, an outwork is built and joined with the main fort by a passage between a double wall. The entrance, for there are seldom more than one, is generally the strongest and most noticeable part. The outer gateway, if the ground permits, is thrown far forward and protected by a bastion on each side, and often by a tower above. Entering this, a narrow passage winding between two high walls leads to the inner gate, in the face of the main wall, along an approach commanded by bastions.
This arrangement, in a time when guns could not compete with stone walls rendered the gates “almost unapproachable.
Inside the main wall there was generally an inner fortress or citadel, and surrounding this the buildings required for the troops, magazines, reservoirs, and wells. In many of the larger forts, houses for the commandant, or massive round
towers were built upon the wall of the main works on the least accessible side. The larger forts had generally a town,Peth clustered about or near the base of the hill.
The age of most forts is difficult to fix. Some of them, as Mandangad, may be as old as the Christian era. But of this the evidence is very slight.1 Some are said to have been built by Bhoj Raja of Parnala in the end of the twelfth century.2
But most are supposed to be the work of the Bijapur kings (1500-1660), raised in the sixteenth century, and repaired and strengthened in the seventeenth by Shivaji.3 Like those of the north Konkan the Ratnagiri forts were neglected by the
Peshvas. In 1818, except for the labour of bringing guns to bear on them, they were easily taken by the British. Nothing was done to destroy the fortifications. But except Bankot, Harnai, Vijaydurg, and a few others which have from time to
time been repaired, all are now, by bad weather and growth of creepers and wall trees, more or less ruined. There were said to be 365 forts in Ratnagiri. Remains of only about forty of these are seen at present.Shivaji more than any other ruler attached importance to hill forts. Every pass was commanded by forts, and in the closer defiles, every steep and overhanging rock was held as a station from which to roll great .masses of stones, a most effectual annoyance to the labouring march of cavalry, elephants, and carriages. It is said that he left 350 of these posts in the Konkan along. Orme’s; Hist. Frag. 93. One distinguishing mark of forts built or rebuilt by Shivaji is, inside the main gate, a small shrine with an image of Hanuman or Maruti.-Mr. G. Vidal, C. S.

4 These are: Ambolgad, Bahiravgad, Bharatgadl, Bhavangad, Bhagavantgad, Devgad, Fatehgad, Fort Victoria, Gopalgad, Gova, Govalkot, Jaygad,Jaitapur, Kamtekot, Kanakdurg, Kharepatan, Mahipatgad, Maimatgad, Mandangad, Nandos, Nivti, Palgad, Pandavgad,Purnagad, Rajapur, Rajakot, Ramgad, Rasalgad, Ratnagiri, Redi, Satavali, Sidhgad, Sindhudurg, Sumargad, Sarjekot, Suvarndurg, Uchitgad, Vengurle, Vetalgad, Vijaydurg, Vijaygad, and Yeshvantagad

There were many forts like
Ahmadnagar, Alang ,Angres ,Anjanvel ,Ankai , Aurangzeb was on of the rules at the time 1600, Bahamani ,Bankot fort, base village is the village from where you start your treks, Bhandara has a lovely lake ,Bijapur, Bombay, shivaji built and captured many forts
Chandrapur , Deccan ,Dhule DISTRICT, east fortifications ,forts of Maharashtra, hill forts ,Historical data ,important ,Jalgaum ,Karad ,Killa ,King ,Kolhapur ,Konkan ,Kulaba Cl Kulaba Cluster Laling land forts large number listed Lohagad Lohagad Cluster Lohgad Cl Long Maharashtra Mahim Mahimangad Mahuli Malwan Mandangad Marathas military mtrs Mughals Mulher Cluster Nagpur Nandurbar Nasik Nizamshahi North outpost Panhala Peshwa Photograph Physical description Plan Portuguese Prachitgad Pratapgad Pratapgad Cl protected Pune Purandar Raigad Raja Rangana Cluster Rangna Cl Ratnagiri river rock cut route Sahyadri Salher Sangli Satara Sawantwadi scarp Shivaji Shivaneri side Sindhudurg Singhgad Solapur South steep tactical temple Thane total ruins Trimbak Cluster Vasai Vasai Cluster Vijaydurg Vishalgad wall and bastions

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