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It is the headquarters of Ratnagiri District. The city is located about 400 km south of Mumbai and about 100 km north of Goa. It has an average elevation of 15 metres (49 feet). The name "Ratnagiri" means "Gem Island". It was formerly known as Ratta or Rattawadi, which in turn may have originated from a Marathi word for a creeper called राठौड (rāṭhauḍ), which grew abundantly on this island. The island had been used as a place to grow rice since ancient times. In 1660, it was attacked by the Portuguese led by Captain Garcia de Sá, who destroyed its fortifications and built Fort Santo Antonio da Barra further inland. However, ten years later they were forced to abandon it due to persistent attacks from Shivaji's forces under Tanaji Malusare.