Shivneri Fort, a landmark of Maratha history is the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Shahajiraje Bhosle, Shivaji’s father served Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur. He was a general in his army. That was the period of anarchy in Maharashtra with the wars between the Adil Shahi and the Nizam Shahi having become the order of the day. When the Queen Jijabai, Shahaji’s wife, was pregnant, Shahajiraje was a bit concerned regarding the safety of his family and so he moved his family to Shivneri Fort. Shivaji Maharaj was born on 19th February 1630 at this very historic fort.
Inside the fort is a small temple of goddess Shivai Devi, after whom Shivaji was named so. This Maratha king spent his whole childhood on this fort and learned the great lessons of his life here from his mother, Jijabai, and teacher, Dadoji Kondadev.
The Architecture of Shivneri Fort
The architecture of the fort is worth a mention. The highest point of the fort is at a height of 3500 feet above the sea level. Shivneri is a highly defensible location, with steep rocks on four sides and a strongly-built citadel. One has to cross seven huge gates to gain access to the fort. The fort has several rock-hewn cisterns and ponds, of which two large ones are known as Ganges and Yamuna. In the middle of the Shivneri fort is a small water pond, known as Badami Talav.
Best Viewing point:
Shivai Devi Temple:
There is an old and beautiful small temple of goddess Shivai inside the fort. Shivaji was in fact named after this goddess.
Shivaji Maharaj birthplace:
his place is an actual birthplace of Shivaji Maharaj. It is considered by local people as a religious place and also called locally as Shiv mandir.
- Statues of Mother and the Son: The statues of Jijabai and young Shivaji on the fort are a great work. People bow down before this great mother and son.
The seven doors on the “Rajmarg” also called “SakhaliVaat” are a sight to see. Each door is intricately carved and contributes more character to this historic place. the fifth gate is armored with anti-elephant spikes.
Kadelot Point or Ambarkhana:
This point is found in almost every fort in Maharashtra. This is one of the cliffs of the fort from where the criminals are thrown off when they are found guilty. And Ambarkhana is a granary, which is found in the most of the forts and is always full.
- Badami Talav: It is a small lake located at the center of the fort.
- Water Springs: We can see two famous water springs inside the Shivneri fort. These are called as Ganga-Jamuna. The water is available here throughout the year.