I was enjoying three days holiday in Alibaug. There are many awesome beaches in Alibaug and we chose Revdanda beach camping for overnight stay. Next day early morning, we planned Murud Janjira fort visit to avoid the summer heat.
Road to Janjira Fort
Next day morning, we left for Janjira. It was 35 km from Revdanda beach but Google map was showing 1.5 hours time to reach. That time, I realized roads are not in good conditions and we will be late for the visit. Still, I tried my level best to reach the Murud Janjira fort.
Ferry to Janjira Killa
We paid INR 20/- toll fee in Murud and INR 10/- toll fee in Rajapuri. Rajapuri is a small village where the jetty is built for ferry transfers. One has to get onto ferry boat to reach sea fort i.e. Murud Janjira Fort. This time, there was new jetty built by Maritime board and ticket to Janjira fort was INR 60/- per person including pick up and drop but you get only one hour with the group to explore Janjira Killa.
It was low tide and the boat took more than half an hour to reach the fort entrance. Boat service timings – First ferry at 8:30 AM and last ferry at 5 PM. Murud Janjira fort timings – 7 AM to 7 PM.
It is said that the entrance of the fort is not visible until unless you reach very close to it. For enemies, it was very difficult to find the entry gate of Janjira Killa from long distance. This might be one of the reasons to keep Murud Janjira Fort unconquered or unbeatable.
At the entrance gate of the Fort, the carving of six elephants captured by a tiger depicts the valor of Siddis.
Janjira Fort Information:
The name Janjira Fort is derived from “jazirah” – an Arabic word for an Island. Janjira was built on an island during the 17th Century. From 1617 to 1947, 330 years Fort remained unconquered. After that, it became part of India. The overall fort is now a ruin but the 19 rounded towers and turrets around the fort and are pretty much undamaged even after so many attacks from British, Dutch and Marathas. Siddis are the ones who ruled the region and prospered with the help of locals.
There are two Main entrance gates, one is where the boat drops you facing Rajapuri and other faces the sea called “Darya Darwaja”. Apart from that, there is one postern gate to escape in case of emergency.
This was the sign of Lion which used to be on flag of Siddis. Indeed, it was the marvelous architecture that Malik Ambar built for Siddis. Restoration done by the Indian government can be seen easily.
Three types of forge-welded cannons were kept in line- Kalal Bangadi, Chavari and Landa Kasam. Kalal Bangadi got its name as it is made up of rings and also said that it used to have small rings for decoration which were making a sound of bangles. Bangadi in Marathi means bangles or a round ornament. Kalal Bangdi is India’s third-largest canon weighing 22 ton with the range of 12 km. Thus, kept the fort impregnable.
Gaimukh – another canon with the face of a cow. In Marathi, Cow means “Gai” and face means “mukh”.
In the past, Janjira Killa had 500 canons out of which 94 remained and marked by the archaeological department.
The eye catchy single wall is easily seen from anywhere in the fort. This was used to be a 5 storied royal palace of Siddis.
During the heyday, Janjira fort was fully functional with places like Royal Palace, Mosque, 2 large ponds and two wells inside the fort. A deep well still provides fresh water to drink.
During exploration hours, I found this surviving design and I called it – “The last frame of Murud Janjira Fort”.
The highest point of the fort is Bale Killa, where Indian flag is hoisted recently. There are total of 125 steps to reach Bale Killa.
These local servants serve sweet water of a well to all visitors of the Murud Janjira fort at free of cost.
As many people used to stay on the fort, even Masjid was built inside fort. It was Jama Masjid.
After exploring so much, I was drained out of energy. It was our time to return as our sailboat was in line to return visitors of Janjira Fort.
Overall, it was a great experience to explore Murud Janjira fort. It is advisable to visit early morning by staying nearby hotels in Murud beach. It will be crowded on weekends. If you searched for Murud Janjira hotels or Murud Janjira beach hotels, you will get good options for stay. During my coastal Goa Bike ride, I skipped this one as it was time-consuming but now I realized it was worth to explore.