Murud Janjira Fort

4.2 / 5 64 votes


Weather:

Ideal Time: 2-3 hrs

Timings:

7:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Entry Fee:

No entry fee
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Murud Janjira Fort, Murud Janjira Overview

Murud Janjira Fort is a mighty fortification located on an island off of the coastal village of Murud, 55 km from Alibag in Maharashtra. Towering up from a massive rock amidst the stretching azure of the Arabian Sea, this fort has stood the test of time as well as the test of resilience in the past. This fort is a must visit if you are travelling along the Konkan coast in Maharashtra.

Nineteen of the fort's bastions still stand to this date, reflecting their glorious past with pride. Just a short boat ride away from the sandy coast, the roof of the magnificent fort not only offers a glimpse into the past but also has a spectacular view of the Arabian Sea all around - brilliant blue and shining in the sunlight.

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The history of Murud Janjira fort goes way back to the 15th century when some local fishermen of Rajapuri built a small wooden fort called Medhekot on a massive rock out in the sea to save themselves and their families from the attack of pirates. However, the Nizam Shahi Sultan of Ahmednagar wanted it to make one of his strongholds, firstly because of the vast area and secondly because of its strategic positions.

As per the Sultan's wish, a general called Piram Khan captured the fort and Malik Ambar - the Abyssinian regent of Siddi origin and administrative spokesman of him ordered the construction of a solid rock fortress in place of the wooden garrison. After massive scale renovations to create an impregnable structure by Piram Khan's successor Burhan Khan, the fort was named Jazeere Mahroob Jazeera. Today's name Janjira is a broken down derivation of this Arabic word Jazeera which means island - it is obviously a reference to its offshore location. Murud is a Konkani word, probably referring to the Shahi of Ahmednagar.

The Murud-Janjira fort stands an unconquered one as over the years the Maratha, the Portuguese and even the mighty British tried and failed to breach the walls of this sea fort. The Siddi overlords became so powerful here that they withstood every attack and defied the sovereign itself to establish a Sultanate of Janjira.

The fort, last revamped at the end of 17th century, still has most of its major fortifications standing intact except a few ruins inside. The main attractions of the magnificent fort are the three colossal canons called Kalal Bangadi, Chavri and Landa Kasam. Once it stood strong and powerful in defense with 572 roaring canons, but now only these three can be witnessed. Made of a mixture of five metals, the canons could shoot as much as 12 kilometers into the sea, as word of mouth goes. Clearly, they played an essential role in defeating the attackers.

The Murud Janjira Fort has two significant doorways. The main entrance faces the jetty from where boats ferry people to and fro. This large arched gate is flanked with motifs of mighty animals. On one side there were six elephants trapped by one tiger in its claws, and on the other side, two giant elephants were locking tusks as two lions stood at the side. The entrance way takes you to court or Durbar Hall which used to be a three-story structure, now a ruin. The other doorway to the west called the 'Darya Darwaza', which opens into the sea and was probably used as an emergency escape back in the days.

The fort is open from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The boats stop ferrying to the fort some time before it closes so it is preferable to visit with at least an hour to spare.

Entry to the fort is free of cost. However, you will need to buy tickets for the boat ride and pay for the parking, if there is a vehicle. Ticket prices vary from INR 20-50 to INR 100-300 for bigger boats and parking is INR 30.

Maharashtra is known for its heat in summers; and since there is the part of sea-crossing, visiting in monsoon is not really profitable because, in case of a storm or heavy rain, the boat service is stalled for obvious safety reasons. It is better to visit the fort during the more pleasant months, from October to March.

1. Usually, the boatman will accompany you on a guided tour if you pay him for it. However, if you are not, you can simply ask him questions on the ride. You might get to know some good stories about the place.
2. If you are travelling in a big group, a little bargaining will get you better prices and also the entire boat for your family.
3. Carry water and light snacks because there is no shop once you leave the mainland.
4. Carry a camera as well, even if you are not a photography enthusiast. The architecture, the view and the memories are worth saving.

Murud Janjira Fort, being an offshore sea fort, obviously needs to be approached by boat. The boats leave off Rajapuri jetty on the Murud beach and ferry the passengers to and fro. The boatmen will give you a time of around 1-2 hours to take the tour.

To reach the fort, you can take a bus from the nearest cities like Mumbai, Pune, Alibag or Raigad. Roha is the closest train station, but Mumbai is the nearest major junction. Mumbai is also the nearest airport to the town of Murud. From all the airports and cities, tourists can easily take a cab or hire a private car as well, which is preferable if it is a large group.

From the Rajapuri jetty, the boats take around INR 20-50 per person, depending on the crowd or season or some other things. However, if an entire boat is booked by one group, it might be economically fruitful. The boat will reach you to the giant main entrance of the Murud-Janjira fort.

Top Hotels near Murud Janjira Fort

  • Hotel Murud Marina

    Starting from INR 3,000

  • Golden Swan Beach Resort

    Starting from INR 6,500

  • 1 BR Cottage in Nandgaon, Murud (B797), by GuestHouser

    Starting from INR 6,882

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