Maharashtra state’s warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj built many forts during his time, which are in ruins today. The Sindhudurg Fort in Malvan as one well preserved piece of history, makes for a delightful exception. Choosing a strategic location – an island called ‘Kurte’, the king directed his architect to create an invincible fort, which is a tourist hot spot in the region today.
So, like other visitors, we also reach the jetty to take a boat to the fort. While my husband buys tickets I just look around – a fisherman is trying to slide his boat down to the sea. Birds perched on boats bobbing up and down with the waves, water splashing on the steps encrusted with barnacles, the fort visible in the distance and people posing for mobile phone memories – interesting, I think to myself.
Inhaling the salty air, I wonder why the names on these boats are suffixed with ‘Prasad’ (meaning food offered to god) – Durga Prasad, Godavari Prasad etc. Asking a few people around does not get me a satisfactory response. By this time, our boat has arrived. Getting in is trickier than I thought. As a few more last-minute passengers squeeze into the shared boat, I notice a contraption of bamboo sticks jutting out of either side of the boat and realize it serves as a float – additional insurance against sea waves. Ingenious, isn’t it?
Getting off at the fort, we take a walk around the narrow strip of sand serving as a beach and spot rainbow pools as light dances off the clear water. The fort itself offers spectacular views of the sea and a glimpse into lives in the past.
Read more about the Sindhudurg fort here