Arnala Fort, Mumbai Overview

Arnala Fort is an island fort that is situated just 8 miles north of Vasai near Mumbai in Maharashtra. Also known as Jaldurg or Janjire-Arnala, the Arnala Fort was built by the Portuguese who formerly called it Ilha das vacas. As it is located away from the mainland on the quiet and secluded Arnala Island, the place reverberates with serenity and tranquility and is therefore, a major tourist attraction in the city. Flanked by the Arabian Sea, the forlorn and desolate fort presents beauteous views of the surroundings- the ocean and the land.

Boasting of both historical and cultural significance, the fort has previously been occupied by the Portuguese, the Marathas and the British. You can take a stroll inside the dilapidated fort and look at the long boundary wall. There are also store houses, rooms and well to catch your attention. The fort can be reached through a short one trek that covers a distance of around 12 km. In addition to that, the trekking trail is an easy one and it also offers sweeping picturesque views of the surroundings.

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Features of Arnala Fort

The Arnala Fort has been divided into sections on the basis of the structures that it houses. Have a look!

1. Octagonal Water Reservoir

Octagonal Water Reservoir

There is a huge octagonal fresh water reservoir inside the fort that is the highlight of Arnala Fort. It is still filled with water even today. 

2. Temples

Arnala Fort houses several temples that are dedicated to Lord Ambakeshwar, Goddess Bhavani, Lord Shiva, and also the tombs of Shahali and Hajjali. Aside from the shrines, there is also a spot where the sandals of  Shrinityanand Maharaj are kept.

3. Main Entrance

Main Entrance

The main entrance of Arnala Fort faces towards north and the sturdy stone gateway is adorned with pictures of elephants and tigers.

4. Ramparts and Walls

The ramparts, unlike the fort, are in pretty good condition and a three metre wide path exists on the outer walls.

5. Southern Watch Tower

Southern Watch Tower

At a distance of around 550 metres from the main fort is the Martello Tower which is also known as the Southern Watch Tower. However, this tower has no entry gate.

How to Reach

The nearest railway station to Arnala Fort is Virar which is at a distance of around 10 km from the fort. Besides, there are also state run buses that can take you to the fort. Alternatively, you can also hire cabs and private taxis.

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