District Profile

Sindhudurg district is spread over an area of around 5,207 sq.kms. The population of the District is 8,68,825 as per census of 2001. The modern township of Sindhudurg Nagari is the headquarters of Sindhudurg district . The district is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on the east, the Belgaum District (Karnataka state) and Goa on the South and the Ratnagiri district on the North. Sindhudurg being a coastal district, the climate is generally moist and humid and the temperature variations during the day and throughout the seasons are not large. Sindhudurg is accessible by road on the NH-17 which passes through major towns of Kankavli, Kudal and Sawantwadi or by the picturesque journey on the Konkan Railway which stops at Kankavli,Sindhudurg, Kudal and Sawantwadi. The nearest airports are at Ratnagiri, Belgaum (Karnataka) and Dabolim (Goa).

Brief History Of Sindhudurg District

Sindhudurg district is the southern part of the greater tract known as the ‘Konkan’ which is historically famous for its long coast line and safe harbors. Sindhudurg district was earlier a part of the Ratnagiri district . For administrative convenience and industrial and agricultural development Ratnagiri district was divided into Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg with effect from 1st May,1981. Sindhudurg district now comprises of eight tahsils of Sawantwadi, Kudal, Vengurla,Malvan,Devgad, Kankavli, Vaibhavwadi and Dodamarg.The word ‘Konkan’ is of Indian origin and of considerable antiquity, though the origin of the name has never been sufficiently explained. The seven kingdoms of the Konkan of mythology are mentioned in the ‘ History of Kashmir’ and are said to have included nearly the whole west coast of India. The Pandavas, are said to have passed through this region in the 13 th year of their exile and had settled in this area for some time . The Raja of this region Veerat Ray had accompanied them in the famous war at Kurukshetra with the Kauravas. In the second century A.D. The great empire of Mauryas annexed all the Konkan coast. In the middle of the sixth century, kings of the Maurya and Nala dynasties appear to have been ruling in the Konkan. The district of Ratnagiri was under the Silahars and the capital of their kingdom was probably Goa and later it may have been transferred to a more central place in the vicinity of Ratnagiri or Kharepatan. Chandrapur was one of the most ancient towns in Kokan , probably founded by Chandraditya a son of the Chalukya king Pulakeshin II.The 16th century saw the advent and rise of Portuguese power on the west coast of India and Sindhudurg was no exception. The sultan lost hold on the district in 1675 with the rise of Shivaji leading finally into the hands of Marathas. Marathas continued to the district till 1817 i.e. when the struggle between the British and the Peshvas came to an end and the whole of Konkan was transferred to the British.In 1819 South Konkan was formed as separate district with its headquarters first at Bankot and later at Ratnagiri . Three northern subdivisions were transferred to Thane District in 1830 and the district was reduced to a sub-collectorate level under Thane district. In 1832 , it was again made a full-fledged district and named as Ratnagiri district. In the year 1945, a new mahal ( tahsil) called Kankavli Mahal (tahcil) was formed . The former Indian state of Sawantwadi was merged with the district and the taluka boundaries were reorganized in the year 1949. In the same year the new taluka of the Sawantwadi was created and two new mahals namely Kudal and Lanja were formed . With the reorganization of the states in 1956, the district was included in the Bombay state and since 1960, it forms a part of Maharashtra.The name of the district has been adopted form the famous sea fort of Sindhudurg. This was built by Shivaji Maharaj near Malwan and it literally means ‘Sea Fort’. Its construction started on November 25, 1664 and after 3 years it was completed in such a fashion that it could not be seen easily by the enemy coming from the Arabian Sea.