Maharashtra is a populous state of India that ranks second in terms of population and third in terms of geographical area. The vast Arabian Sea guards it from the west while several Indian states encompass it from other directions. It earns international recognition as the wealthiest and most developed state of the country. This state is particularly recognised for its resplendent history, which is awash with sagas of religious enlightenments, notable battles and bravery. The most influential rulers to have ruled this expansive region were from the great Maratha dynasty, which rose to prominence in the 16th century and reached its peak by the 18th century. Shivaji Bhonsle – the iconic warrior king – is the name synonymous with the Marathas. During their reign, the Marathas established several fortifications on the hilly terrains and shores. A holiday in Maharashtra is incomplete without a visit to these imposing citadels, which are reminiscent of a golden era.
These forts were built in order to serve the purpose as royal dwellings and military strongholds. Most of the forts in the state are associated with Shivaji and speak of its heydays under his glorious reign. Apart from him, the Portuguese also built several bastions, which are reminiscent of the colonial times. While being on their Maharashtra holidays, tourists can explore the heritage of the state by visiting its impressive citadels on hills and by the sea.
This fort stands atop a hillock in Raigarh, which was the capital of Shivaji. It is the place where he was crowned as the king of the Maratha clan as well as took his last breath. This strategical fort has an excellent defensive design, which speaks of the excellent military planning of the Marathas. Vestiges of constructions used as royal chambers, assembly hall and pillars can be seen scattered within the precincts of this prominent fortification from the past.
Perched on a rocky island, Sindhudurg is a 17th century fortress and one of the finest of its kind across the state. More than 100 Portuguese experts and 3000 skilled workers were involved in its construction, which took about three years in completion. The construction material used in it included above 70000 kg of iron and huge stones, which were arranged in a zigzag formation. It has the well-preserved palm and footprints of Shivaji in dry lime. A unique temple of this great warrior is also an integral part of this historic fort complex.
The name of this massive complex translates to the fort of victory and is reminiscent of conquests by various regional dynasties and foreign powers. It is counted amongst the strongest marine forts, which lie along the western coastline of the country. This citadel stands on a hill, which is situated on the estuary of the Vaghotan River. Three sides of it are guarded by the expansive sea while the fourth by a ditch, which has been filled in present times.