Base village: Ekdara (Murud)
Type : Hill fort
Base village: Murud
Type: Sea fort
Had gone on the weekend of 25-26 April 2009 to visit Padmadurg (Kasa killa) with Vinay from Chakram. This was a private sort of trek and Vinay had called me if I would like to join for which I couldn't say No because I wanted to do Padmadurg from a long time and it wouldnt be easy to do it on own.
When I had visited Janjira last time , the guide had shown us Padmadurg from one of the windows of Janjira and had mentioned that this was built by Shivaji Maharaj to wage a campaign against Janjira. The fort of Padmadurg is around 4km inside the sea making it difficult to visit it and boats do not ply to Padmadurg because its too far and only on special request do boats ply there.
I started from Pune on 25th night for Murud on bike. The others would start from Mumbai for Murud. The going was easy with almost no traffic and I covered the distance upto Murud in about 2.5 hours (184km) and reached Murud at 2.30am in the morning of 26th April. The others would still take time as they would reach around 3:45am so I found refuge in a temple "Koteshwari Devi Temple" near Murud.
The others came in around 4am and we directly went to Rajpuri from where we were to get the boat. As it was 4am we slept for about an hour and a half near the temple and then everyone woke up. We had tea at the boatmans place (Kunbi koli) and it was followed by a round of breakfast , sumptous bread / butter / chutney and biscuits. After having our fill we started for Padmadurg fort visit with the boat man and his sons.
One more good thing was we had Sadanand Apte kaka with us , Kaka is learning history of forts and knows a lot about forts and its always good to know the history of forts when we visit. We finally went upto the Rajpuri jetty and the boat came in. It was a dual cylinder fishing boat and we all got inside not before everyone got their share of fright of falling into the water.
We started towards Padmadurg , in between we saw Janjira fort , the stronghold of the Siddhi's for a long time. The history states that the Siddhi's controlled the land from the Kundalika river to the Savitri river near Harihareshwar during their rule and were never defeated. Siddhi's were basically Abyssinians (current Eithopia) and had come here by sea. They built Janjira on the island and made it very strong and controlled the sea and land from here.
One history heard from Apte kaka was that Siddhi's came by sea-route to India on the west coast. However the island on which Janjira stands was occupied by Koli's at that time and it was a stronghold of Koli's. Siddhi's captured that island with treason by asking shelter to the Koli's there and then feeding them wine and then killing them.
Shivaji Maharaj waged a losing battle against the Siddhi's but he could not capture Janjira anytime. Shivaji Maharaj built Padmadurg to keep a check on Siddhi as he could not let Siddhi rule with oppression. Padmadurg was built around 1675 by Daulatkhan (an architect) and was in the control of Marathas until 1698 when Siddhi captured it and ruled it until the end.
The main fort of Padmadurg
The boat was rocking and we were approaching Padmadurg. The fort is divided into 3 parts. The main fort , the padkot (or the supporting fort) and the retaining wall of the fort. We reached Padmadurg and got off , the boat was rocking strongly as high tide was setting in and we got down with difficulty.
The sea door (darya darwaza) of Padmadurg
We came to the door of Padmadurg known as Darya Darwaza (or the door facing the sea). We could see what the sea had made of Padmadurg by lashing its waves on the structure but the cementing material keeps the wall still intact after so many centuries. We went around the fort to the main door and to the padkot where Apte kaka read out a letter from Shivaji Maharaj to Jivaji Vinayak who was responsible for providing logistics for building Padmadurg. The fort of Padmadurg is still in somewhat intact condition.
The padkot of Padmadurg
The main fort of Padmadurg (inside)
We then saw the retaining wall (the 3rd part of the fort) which has withstood the ravages of the sea and protects against lashing waves. There are some barracks in here constructed by the indian customs dept who had their base here until some years ago. We then went inside the main fort area. The fort area consists of many structures and 3 water tanks and some store rooms.We made a round of the inside of the fort first and then went to the top bastions. There were a lot of cannons lying around the fort, a total of 47 in rusted state. This showed how the protection of the fort was carried out.
After visiting almost all parts of the fort and post some photosessions we started back our return journey. The return journey was uneventful and we came back safely to Rajpuri. We then started off towards Samrajgad , a relatively unknown fort built by Samraj Pant the lieutanent of Shivaji Maharaj. This fort was built to carry out planning of the campaign of the capture of Janjira which was never done. This fort fell to the Siddhi's in 1675 and that was the end of the Janjira campaign.
Part of retaining wall of Samrajgad
There is a small double wall showing that Samrajgad existed sometime at this place. From the top we can clearly see Janjira to the left and Padmadurg to the right. No notable structures exist on the top. After doing Samrajgad we came down to the base village of Ekdara and started to Murud for lunch at Patil's inn. After a sumptous lunch of konkani delicacies we started back. The others planned to do Revdanda fort but I planned to return home fast as I was on bike so started back at 2.30pm and reached back home by 5.30pm.
Nice trip and trek. Great history.