Thursday, 30 June 2011

Janjira Fort: Unconquered Emerald of Arabian sea

Last year in Dusshera holidays, we planned to go to Goa for a week. While going to Goa, we have planned to meet our relatives in Mumbai. Since it was my first visit to Maharashtra, I was discussing with my colleagues which places to visit. One of my friend suggested Janjirra Fort. When I heard the name, I thought she is saying Jal Jeera which sounded quite strange to me. I browsed through the Google, and found the suggestions real true and the place looked quite interesting to me. So I added it in my list of sights.

We started at about 9 am from Navi Mumbai in a hired cab and reached Kashid beach at about 11:30 am.  The white sand beach was so enchanting that we couldn’t control and run towards it! We captured few snapshots quickly then we proceeded towards Murud-Janjira, which is at about 40mins distance from Kashid. We reached the 'Rajpuri Jetty' from where we travelled to Janjira fort by boat. I saw the glimpse of Janjira fort from shore . The fort is impressive to say the least and is quite unlike something I had ever seen before. It’s huge and right in the middle of the bay surrounded by water at all sides. The 2nd heaviest cannon in India is here. Definitely worth a look.

The local says the fort is immortal due to due to its complex design and astrological calculations about the auspicious moment when the fort could be constructed. I was quite interested about fort history so we took a guide. He told us that Janjira fort, built in the mid-15th century, was originally a wooden fortress built by the Murud fishermen to protect  their village from pirates. Janjira fort  name was originated from Arabic word Jazeera which means island Some of the people also split the name as “Jal Jeera” meaning fort in the water also known as ‘Fort Mehroob’. Shivaji, Sambhaji and the Peshwas tried, in turn, to take over the fort, but the Marathas, British or Portuguese could never capture Janjira. This fort is also termed as the unconquerable fortress of India. The fort remained virtually invincible in its lifespan.

As I entered the fort, I notice a room like structure on the right side of the main entrance called ‘Peer Panchayatan’ which houses a few graves in the front yard. Walk down further along the coastline and came across a stable from where you can see the three storied palace, the tallest structure inside the fort. The western side of the fort features a small door which was used as an emergency exit in the early years.

The whole trip at a leisurely pace would set us backed by about 3 hours or so but the experience to visit the unbeatable legacy of fort was quite thrilling.

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