Maratha-Era Khanderi Fort Receives State Protected Monument Tag

Built by Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1679 CE, Khanderi Fort joins the likes of Gateway of India, Sinhagad and more as it receives the ‘State Protected Monument’ tag from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Maharashtra.

Srushti Pathak
New Update
Khanderi Fort

Khanderi Fort

Did you know that famous tourist attractions in Maharashtra like Sinhagad, Gateway of India and more are state protected monuments? The State Protected Monuments are designated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Maharashtra government recently announced that Khanderi Fort in Alibaug has received the coveted ‘State Protected Monument’ tag. So, let’s know a little more about the historical importance of this monument.

A Base for the Maratha Empire

Khanderi Fort

The island of Khanderi was inhabited until 1679, when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s forces captured it. Fortified between 1679-1680 CE, this 17th century fort was built on Kanhoji Angre island. Its rich history dates back to the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and served as a crucial naval base for the Maratha empire.

The nearby sister fort Underi was captured by the Siddhis in 1680 and became their capital. The area saw a lot of naval battles between Shivaji and Siddhis. The island was renamed after the Maratha General, Kanhoji Angre. 

The island’s landscape is dominated by an imposing lighthouse, which was built by the British in 1867 and stands tall at 22 feet. The lighthouse has a visibility of 13 kilometres and has provided navigational guidance to sailors and seafarers for centuries. In addition to the lighthouse, Khanderi is home to a series of metal cannons as well as a famed 'musical stone', that produces metallic musical notes upon striking.

From Tourist Hotspot to Protected Site

The decision marked a shift from earlier plans to develop the island where the fort is located into a tourist hotspot. Previously, the shipping and tourism ministries had jointly proposed the idea of turning this place into a tourist destination. The proposed project included a hotel, boat services and a recreational space.

Khanderi Fort
Image Courtesy: Maharashtra Tourism

State Protected Monument

Since Khanderi Fort is now a state-protected monument, it will be protected according to world heritage norms. Also, anyone owning land where the monument is located will need special permits from the archaeology department for construction or development projects. With this declaration, Khanderi Fort joins 386 monuments and ancient sites under state protection currently. 

Plan a Visit

Khanderi Fort’s proximity to Mumbai and Alibaug and its history make it a place worth visiting. Embark on your journey by catching an early morning ferry from the Gateway of India to Mandwa, which typically takes approximately 1.5 hours. From Mandwa, a short 30-minute bus ride will lead you to Alibaug. After arriving in Alibaug, hop on a rickshaw to Thal Village, and from there, board a boat to reach the captivating Khanderi Fort. You can also visit the nearby 17th-century Vetal temple which was built with huge white stones in the shape of a heart.

17th century fort Kanhoji Angre Khanderi Fort in Alibaug State Protected Monument Khanderi Fort