Murud-janjira Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra

August 4, 2015 - Forts, Maharashtra
Murud-janjira Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Located in the coastal region of Murud village of Raigad district, the Murud-janjira fort is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India. The remarkably strong fort is built on an oval-shaped rock off the Arabian Sea and remained impenetrable despite the castle repeatedly being attacked by outsiders including East India Company, Dutch and other intruders. The impenetrable stone fort was constructed during the 15th century and spreading over an area of 22 acres. Once invincible, today the fort is on the verge of ruining and survived with a few palaces, sculptures, mosque and monuments. Despite its wreckage, the fort has become one of the favourites tourist and holiday spot in South Mumbai.

The historical fort was renamed after Arabiac word Jazeera which means an isolated island and Marathi morod which stands for peculiar. Built on an isolated tip off Arabian Sea, the castle remained undefeatable by any foreign intruder till its last day of ruling. Encompassing an area of 22 acres it’s originally built in the 15th century by a Maratha fisherman named Rajaram Patil. Initially the fort was used as safekeeping for local people from pirates. Soon later, Nizam khan, the ruler of Ahmadnagar sent his commander Piram khan and a huge troop to subjugate the castle. After grabbing it, his successor Burhan Khan destroyed the original fort. In its place he erected another substantial stone fort and given the name Jazeere Mahroob Jazeera. Despite the repeated attacks, the Portuguese, the British and the Marathas were failed to conquer it. Chatrapati Shivaji, founder of Maratha Empire made several ambushes but every time he fail to vanquish it. His son Sambhaji also tried to conquer it but remained unsuccessful. The fort has been a witness of various battles most notably was battle fought between commander Siddis and Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao in the year 1736. Maratha forces attacked the encampments of the Siddis. The battle ended up with huge massacre including their leader got killed. Soon the both sides negotiated peace and put an end the long lasting blood feud.

The fort was constructed delicately and its three huge cannons namely Kalalbangi, Chavri and Landa Kasam are among the prominent features. The main gate of the fort faces Rajpuri and can be seen only at a distance of 40 feet away from the fort and another gate Darya Darwaza facing to the west direction. It was built with twenty-one strong bastions. Surrounded by a 12 meters impenetrable Granite walls, the interior of the fort was well-equipped and had all the necessary amenities like palaces, mosques and fresh water tanks etc. It also included a sculpture of beast clutching an elephant and a playing lion. Each gate is ornamented with prominent Ashok-Chakras and several images of playing animals. Due its immense importance and momentous significance the fort is inducted into the heritage list by Govt. of India and enormous tourists often visited the historical location.