North latitude 16°4' and east longitude 73°31', a busy port, the chief town of the Malwan Sub-Division, had, in 1872, a population of about 14,000 souls. In a bay almost entirely blocked by rocky reefs, there were formerly three small islands, two of them almost a quarter of a mile from the shore, and the third separated from the mainland by a narrow channel.
On the larger of the two islands stands the famous fort of Sindhudurg, and on the smaller the ruined fort of Padmagad, now, at low tide, connected with the mainland by a neck of sand. On what once was the inner island and is now part of the mainland, lies, almost hid in palms, the old town of Malwan.
The coast is very rocky and foul. Abreast the fort a large ship should not anchor in less than eight fathoms. With a south wind the landing is best in the little bay to the north of Malwan point, and with a north-west wind in the Malwan harbour.
On a sunken rock now marked with a buoy, a quarter of a mile from the north end of Sindhudurg island, the small steamer Johnston Castle was totally wrecked in 1865. The course is marked by buoys, and by night is shown by a red light fixed to a boat in the harbour and a green light on shore, which must be kept in one line by ships entering or leaving the port.
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