Fort History : Page 1
On the neck of rocky land that forms the south side of the bay, Vijaydurg, one of the best of Konkan fortresses, though not very striking from the sea side, rises grandly about 100 feet above the river. The walls, of very great strength and protected by twenty-seven bastions, rise, at their highest point, into a great round tower. On the west breached in several places by the sea, they are over their whole length loosened and ruined by trees and creepers. Their triple line of fortifications encloses about twenty acres, overrun with bushes, but with some good wells and several large habitable buildings.
Chatrapati Shri. Shivaji Maharaj won this fort from Adilshaha of Bijapur in 1653 and renamed it as "Vijay Durg" . Word "Vijay" in devnagari means Victory. The fort is probably old, enlarged under the Bijapur kings, and about the middle of the seventeenth century, much strengthened by Chatrapati Shri. Shivaji Maharaj to whom it owes its finest features, the triple line of walls, the numerous towers, and the massive interior buildings. The earlier fort encompassed area of 5 acres (1 acre 4840 sq yards) and was surrounded by sea on all the 4 sides. Over the years the eastern trench was reclaimed and the road was constructed thereon. Presently the area of fort is about 17 acres and is surrounded by Arabian sea on its three sides. Chatrapati Shri. Shivaji Maharaj extended the area of fort by constructing three fort walls on the eastern side. These three fortifications are of 36 m height and he also constructed 20 bastions of the fort wall.
About forty years later (1698), Angre made it the capital of a territory stretching for about 150 miles along the coast and from thirty to sixty miles inland. For more than fifty years, (Angre) Angles were a terror to all traders, and the English were forced to keep a special fleet to act against them.
In April 1717, their ships of war, carrying a considerable body of troops, sailed against Vijaydurg (Gheria). An attempt to breach the wall failed, the storming party was driven back with great loss, and the fleet forced to withdraw. Three years later 1720 a joint Portuguese and English fleet under Mr. Walter Brown destroyed sixteen Angre's vessels, but made no impression on the fort.
In the same year (April 1720), the. English ship, Charlctte, was attacked, and after a gallant defence, her power having run down, she was caught and taken into Vijaydurg (Gheria).