Situated in the heart of Alibag the Hirakot Fort was built in the 1720s. The significance of the fort can be seen in its imposing high walls. It is believed that the fort was house to tonnes of accumulated treasure obtained from various sources. Today parts of the fort are used as District Jail. A visit to the fort is sure to be an experience worth remembering.
During 1720, Kanhoji Angre built Hirakot with the intention of safe keeping of the accumulated treasure of his kingdom. For this reason, the fort has very high and sturdy walls on all sides. During 1740, parts of Alibag saw great battle between Peshawa Balaji Bajirao and his half brother Sambhaji, the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Kanhoji Angre played as an ally to the young Balaji, who defeated his half brother after killing more than thirty men of his troop and took Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj as a prisoner. Hirakot provided safe refuge to Balaji Bajirao and his troops.
During the eighteenth century, Hirakot fort was under the rule of Anandibai, the sister of Kanhoji Angre. In 1793, Jayasing the great Maratha, attacked Hirakot but could not break through the fortified walls and suffered a huge loss on war front. After Anandibai’s death, Maharaja Jayasing took over Hirakot and its surrounding area. Baburao, the chief-in-commander of the Shinde dynasty, tricked Jayasing, killed him along with his men and took over the Hirakot command some time later. But his tenure was short lived as Jayasing’s eldest son re-conquered the fort and the present Raigad district area (earlier Kolaba state) in 1807, bringing the rule back to the Angres.
Till 1840, Hirakot along with the entire Kolaba state remained under Angre rule, finally giving away the throne to the British government.