Ratnagiri is on the bank of the Arabian Sea coast and is a tourist place. It is a district situated in the southwestern region of Maharashtra. The city is most famous for Alphonso mangoes, rice, coconuts and cashew nuts. As it is surrounded by the Sahyadri mountains, it receives the highest rainfall compare to other districts in Maharashtra. The main industry in Ratnigiri is fishing as it is a coastal area and has a port. Besides being known for greenery and picturesque locations, this city is also a point of attraction due to its historical background. To find historical traces one has to visit Mandangad fort.
The Mandangad fort is in Mandangand village. This village is in a hilly coastal area lying to the extreme north of Ratnagiri District. From Ratnigiri, it is about 175 km, and 35 km from the Arabian Sea. The fort is also known as the Chitradurga fort and is about 2 km from the village built on two hills. Though nothing much is written about this fort, the Historian has traced its construction to the Shilahara dynasty. According to their findings, the fort was built by King Bhoja II in 12th century. Jaswantrao Dalvi, who was then serving Adilshah took the fort under his control in 1661.
This is one of the forts that Shivaji Maharaj did not have to fight to capture it. When he was heading towards Dabhol after defeating Kartalabh Khan, Mandangad fall on the way. When the news about Shivaji Maharaj marching towards Dabhol reached to Jaswantarao Dalvi, he immediately fled to Shingarpur fearing for his life and leaving the fort at the mercy of Shivaji Maharaj.
The major attraction of the fort is a 400-year-old cannon, a Ganpati Temple, and a lake called Thorla Talav (Big Lake). The fort was built in three separate structures for protection - Mandangad, Parkot and Jamba each of them standing on the south, in the middle and towards the north.
Places to Visit in and around Mandangad Fort
There are few places one should not miss after coming to Mandangad Fort.
One can visit the Velas village after travelling just 36 km from Mandangad. The highlight of this village is the Turtle Festival. This coastal place is a home to some unique marine turtles. The Festival is organized and celebrated with lots of intensity in order to preserve the existence of turtles. This place is worth visiting because of the Mahalaxmi Temple and residence of Nana Phadanvis, a prominent personality during the Maratha rule.
This fort was captured by Shivaji Maharaj. When Shivaji Maharaj dreamed of Swarajya and started adding provinces under his regime, this small fort was the fifty-second when captured. And as this number in Marathi is referred to as Bavanna, the fort was named as Bankot.
Kelshi beach is in Dapoli, a tuluka in Ratnagiri district. This beach is long, clean, calm, and very scenic. The beach stretches up to 2.5 km. One can enjoy the beauty of the Arabian Sea. After visiting the beach, one should never miss the spectacular sunset. Besides the beach, Kelshi is also visited because of the Mahalaxmi Temple built during the Peshwa rule. There are also other Hindu temples in this village.
Panderi village falls under Mandangad taluka. This village is 5.8 km from Mandangad. It is a sort of a picnic spot. It has come to spotlight because of the irrigation project carried on the Savitri River that flows from this village.
This village has given the chief architecture of Indian constitution - Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. This village is where the great leader was born. To honor the contribution of this great leader, a huge statue is built in the heart of village of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
Palgad is in Dapoli taluka and the birthplace of the Pandurang Sadashiv Sane. He was a multi-talented person who was a great freedom fighter, social activist and an author who took Marathi literature to a new level. He was affectionately called as Sane Guruji.
How to Reach Mandangad
Getting to the Mandangad fort is possible through road, train and air routes. The nearest airport in Lohegaon in Pune which is at a distance of 175 km from Mandangad. After the start of Konkan Railway, it is possible to reach this place by train. One has to alight at the Karanjadi railway station which is 27 km from the Mandangad village. State transport buses and private tourist vehicles are plying from all the major cities of Maharashtra state.
When you are planning a trip to the Mandangad Fort, see that you cover most of the areas the Konkan regions is famous for. You can halt in the Ratnagiri city because you will find some good hotels to stay by. When you visit Dabhol or Dapoli, you can book your rooms with the Maharashtra Tourism Department.
Below are given the pictures of Mandangad Fort:
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