The Janjira Fort A Historic Fort on the Arabian Sea, on the West Coast of India
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The Janjira Fort A Historic Fort on the Arabian Sea, on the West Coast of India

Western India is dotted with forts, many of them facing the Arabian Sea. One fort that has gained great prominence is the fort at Janjira near Murad in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is 165 km from Bombay.The Janjira fort is made of stone and mortar and follows the popular Moghul architecture in vogue during the 17th century. The fort has now come under the aegis of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and maintenance work is in hand.

Western India is dotted with forts, many of them facing the Arabian Sea. One fort that has gained great prominence is the fort at Janjira near Murad in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is 165 km from Bombay.

The beauty of the fort is that it built on an island and can be accessed only at low time when one can wade across to the fort. During high tide the only way to reach the fort is by boat. The fort was built in the 16th century and had 12 meters high walls. It could house 60 long range canons and was impregnable. Some of the canons can still be seen embedded in the concrete of the fort walls. Built by the Siddi dynasty, who was Deccan Muslims the fort, has a small palace, a beautiful mosque and quarters for troops. There are also tanks for storage of fresh water and and amunition store that could help troops hold this fort for many months.

The fort was impregnable and many attempts by the Hindu warrior Shivaji and his son Sambhuji in the 16th   and 17th century ended in failure. Shivaji attempted to construct a tunnel from under the sea to breach the fort and but still failed. The Siddi dynasty ruled this area till they accepted suzerainty of the East India Company and later the crown. In 1947 the Siddi dynasty acceded to India, after the lapse of British power.The Janjira fort is made of stone and mortar and follows the popular Moghul architecture in vogue during the 17th century. The fort has now come under the aegis of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and maintenance work is in hand.

 The fort is 1.5 km from the shore and one can wade to the fort during low tide. The boat trips take about 20 minutes and can be an exhilarating experience as the boats will circumnavigate the fort.

Legend tells us that a Portuguese lady of some standing was captured and kept imprisoned by the Nawab during the 17th century when this area was under Portuguese influence. An attempt by Portuguese to rescue her failed and later she consented to be the wife of the Nawab. This is the only fort in the entire region that was never conquered by the Hindus, Portuguese or the British.

The fort has many towers and turrets some of which have embedded cast iron canons. At the main entrance of the fort is a beautiful carving of a tiger trapped by 6 elephants. The biggest attraction of the fort is a sweet water lake that supplied water to the garrison and harem of the Nawab.

The fort is easily reached from Mumbai by taxi and luxury bus and the journey takes about 3 hours as the road is not that good.

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Comments (1)

Wow! this link is perfect. what beauty leaves us with the history and nature. beautiful view. You can plunge into the atmosphere. to touch the great stories. plus sea and sun.

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