Uncover The 5 Hidden Jewels of Sindhudurg

Fallen off the map, Sindhudurg is place full of history, beaches and art.  Sarah asks you to follow The Deccan Odyssey as we discover the hidden jewels of Sindhudurg, one pit-stop at a time.

Carved out of the erstwhile Ratnagiri district, over the years Sindhudurg has established an identity for itself

Carved out of the erstwhile Ratnagiri district, Sindhudurg has established an identity for itself over the years.

A beautiful district in Maharashtra, Sindhudurg boasts of rich history and alluring charm. Embraced by the enchanting beauty of the Konkan coast, this district is a hub for cultural festivities, pristine beaches, quaint villages and formidable forts. Here are the top 5 places that you just cannot miss!

1. Vijaydurg Fort

Before Shivaji’s conquest, the Vijaydurg fort was earlier known as ‘Gheria’ as it is surrounded by the sea on all sides. 

Before Shivaji’s conquest, the Vijaydurg fort was earlier known as ‘Gheria’ as it is surrounded by the sea on all sides.

A testimony to the great Maratha strength, the Vijaydurg fort houses several of secrets, literally and figuratively. Built in 1205, the fort saw many rulers but it was under the reign of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj that it truly flourished. This is one of the only two forts of the Maratha kingdom, where Shivaji personally hoisted the saffron flag. Flanked by sea on all sides and full of trap doors and secret tunnels, this ‘fort of victory’ is believed to be the strongest marine fort in India.

2. Sawantwadi Palace

When in Sindhudurg, you just cannot miss a visit to the Sawantwadi Palace. Bathed in old-world charm and tales from the past, a visit here is like a quick trip back in time.

When in Sindhudurg, you just cannot miss a visit to the Sawantwadi Palace. Bathed in old-world charm and tales from the past, a visit here is like a quick trip back in time.

As you walk through the palace’s wonderfully carved rooms, you’ll get acquainted with the ways of the royal family through the beautiful portraits drawn by the skilled Chitrakathi artisans. The palace also houses an excellent collection of traditional lacquer ware goods that includes beautiful handcrafted furniture, board games, little dolls etc. If you are lucky, you might just get an interesting history lesson from the Queen of the royal Sawant Bhonsle family herself!

3. Sindhudurg Fort

sindhudurg_fort Formidable in every sense of the word! Did you know, over 4000 mounds of iron and lead were used to lay down the foundation of this fort.

Formidable in every sense of the word! Did you know, over 4000 mounds of iron and lead were used to lay down the foundation of the Sindhudurg fort?

Preserved by the sands of time, the Sindhudurg fort in true meaning showcases the enduring strength of the Marathas. Located off the coast of Maharashtra, this ancient fortress occupies an islet in the Arabian Sea and stands tall against the crashing waves of the sea. This imposing construction is spread over an area of 48 acres and is an important landmark in the history of Maharashtra. It is believed that Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj himself lent a hand in building this fort.

4. Thakar Adivasi Kala Angan Art Gallery

A fascinating museum in the Pinguli village, the museum outlines the nomadic and rich life of the Thakar artisans. The museum is run by Chetan, a proud member of Thakar tribal community who takes great joy in narrating the tales of his ancestors. An attempt to preserve the rich legacy of the Thakars, the museum highlights the 11 distinct performing arts and crafts that the community excelled in. Some of the artefacts here are almost 400-years old! The most well-known and better preserved of the many crafts here would be Chitrakathi, the art of telling stories through pictures. The other one would be Kalsutri or puppetry.

5. Tarkali Beach

Tarkarli is not just pretty over water but it’s also beautiful underwater; it is the only place in Maharashtra where you can scuba dive.

Tarkarli is not just pretty over water but it’s also beautiful underwater; it is the only place in Maharashtra where you can scuba dive.

No visit to Sindhudurg is complete without a visit to Tarkali. Believed to be among the stunning beaches of Maharashtra, this is where the Konkan coastline likes to boast. White sands, azure sea, picture-perfect sunsets, abundant underwater life, the Tarkarli beach serves as an ideal spot for lazy getaways. For the more adventurous, the beach also houses some exciting water sports like snorkelling, banana boat ride, scuba diving etc. The beach is situated in Tarkali village and is 15 mins away from the main city of Malvan.

Words: Sarah Merchant

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