Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sea Fort Explorations

Murud - Janjira
Murud is 167 km away from Mumbai, on the Konkan Coast. One can either travel by road, via Panvel and Alibaug or take a ferry from Gateway to Mandwa, near Alibaug and travel about 50 kms by road. We opted for the latter.
The trip was planned for two days. Day 1 was for exploring the Janjira fort, Murud beach and if time permits, other historical places in and around Murud. Plan for day 2 was to cover Pansad wild life sanctuary and Koralai fort.
Janjira fort is accessble from Rajpuri (the old port), 4km from Murud, by sail boats.
History
Janjira fort was originally constructed in the 12th century by Siddis, businessmen turned rulers from Abyssinia, near Africa. While that puts the age of the fort as 950 years old, most records say that the fort in its current form was built over 350 years back by Siddi Johar. This is the only fort in 700+ km coastline of Maharashtra which remained unconquored. With a height of over 90ft above sea and 20 ft strong foundation, it took 22 years to build the fort. Attacked by the Portuguese, the British, Shivaji, Knhoji Angre and Sambhaji, the fort remained unconquored. Sambhaji went ahead and constructed a fort in a nearby island (Padamdurg Fort, now known as Kasa) . Kasa fort is not accessible for public and requires special permission from Port Trust / Navy.

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