Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Visiting Janjira Fort Murud and nearby tourist attractions

One of the most famous forts in Maharashtra, the Janjira Fort (janjira comes from an Arabic work meaning island) at Murud is, incredibly, bang in the middle of a sea! Just imagine huge waves lashing repeatedly at the walls of the fort, day after day after day and, yet, standing indestructible over eons.

Another incredible fact about this fort is that, despite repeated raids by various kings & foreign invaders, it was never conquered. The 40 feet high walls had been put up as a defence against sea pirates and, over time, strong masonry was added to the original wooden structure. Even Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his son Sambhaji were unsuccessful in their attempts to capture the fort, both by tunnelling and by trying to scale the granite walls. The fort was primarily in the hands of the Siddis’ dynasty of nawabs who were allies of the Mughal Emperors.

What to see in Janjira Fort
Keep in mind that the ferry boat owner will allow you only 1 hour to explore the Janjira Fort. The fort area covers over 20 acres, so there is a lot of walking and climbing to do! In all, there are about 19 towers and an infinite number of turrets. You should definitely have a look at the cannons on some of the turrets – they are still in a complete condition even after so many centuries.
Don’t go through the main gate of the fort without having a closer look at the intriguing animal figures in the gate’s rock formation. As you proceed over the threshold, the first thing you will see is a holy shrine. Climb up the steps to see the 3 canons at the very top. The fort also has a second entrance gate towards the north, known as chor darwaza.
The best view of the entire fort area can be had from the hill at the center. From here you can get a good view of the two water tanks and various turrets, as well as a view of the eastern coastal belt of Maharashtra.

Check out this video I found on YouTube:
 

How to reach Janjira Fort Murud
  • The Janjira Fort is best approached from Mumbai. You can board a train from Mumbai to Roha on the Konkan railway route.
  • If going by road, you have to take the Mumbai-Goa NH17 highway which goes via Revdanda.
  • If going by bus, you can board a State Transport bus directly to Murud.
  • If going by sea, you can board a ferry from Gateway of India to Mandva. From Mandva you can then take a hydrofoil & then a shuttle bus from Alibag.
To reach the fort itself you have to go to Rajpuri village (about 1 ½ to 2kms from Murud). From here, you have to boad a ferry which goes to Janjira fort. The ferry boats have regular timings so whatever time you reach you are sure to get a ferry to go to the fort. However, the boats do not venture out to sea during the monsoon season. Another alternative is to go to Dighi port, but at this port the ferry boat timings are irregular.
Important Distances
  • Mumbai to Murud: 150kms
  • Alibag to Murud: 50kms
Before heading back home, don’t forget to buy the local sweetmeats & coconut chikis.
Janjira Fort Murud nearby places of interest
  • Garambi Waterfalls: 100ft high cascading waterfalls are an awesome sight! It is located in Murud, 5kms from Janjira.
  • You can visit Nandgaon beach, which as yet has not been spoiled by hordes of tourists. There is a local Ganapati temple here.
  • Visit the palace of the Siddhis at Phulshaker, which is located towards the north of Murud, to have a glimpse of weaponry and other artefacts of a bygone era.
  • Phansad coastal sanctuary: It is a haven for birds and is also home to the giant squirrel, though you will be real lucky if you sight one!
  • Kashid beach: This beach is located on the Alibag-Murud road (18km from Murud) and it is a good idea to visit it on weekdays as practically nobody is around. You have the entire 3km clean white sands to yourselves! Beware, though, of venturing into the water if the waves are too high (which is especially the case during June to September). Buses are easily available to go there, as Kashid is a stop on the route from Mumbai, Thane and Alibag. If you are interested in staying 2-3 days, there are a couple of resorts at Kashid.
  • Korlai fort: This fort is located between Alibag and Murud on a tiny island. If you are not very keen on climbing up the broken steps of the ruins of the fort, you can get an excellent view from the top of the Lighthouse. Viewing is allowed between 4p.m. to 6p.m. Here, too, the beach is gloriously clean and deserted.
  • Kude-Mandad rock-cut caves: These Buddhist rock-cut caves are located to the southeast of Murud. There are over two dozen caves, with some of them having Buddhist Stupas deep inside. You should not miss the 11-footed elephant carving in Cave No.6.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks Srini for reading my blog.

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  2. Thank you for providing such informative post. By reading this post, I am very much excited to visit this place. I will definite plan a tour to Janjira Fort with my friend.
    Visit to Maharashtra

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  3. Thanks Veronica for visiting my blog.

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