Weather :

Timings : 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Time Required : 2-3 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Jaigad Fort, Ratnagiri Overview

Jaigad Fort, also known as the Fort of Victory, is a 16th-century fort that extends over an area of 13 acres in the coastal region of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. Located near Jaigad Village and approximately 20 kms to the north-west of Ganpatipule, the remains of the fort stand steady on a cliff overlooking the Jaigad creek where River Shastri enters the vast and mesmerising Arabian Sea. Jaigad Fort is an engineering marvel for the purpose it was built. A glance at the magnificent structure before you enter will surely amaze you. A visit to the Jaigad lighthouse which was built in close vicinity to the Jaigad fort is a must.

Jaigad Fort is considered as one of the chief ports on the Western Coast of India. It is also said that the mighty fort was built along with another fort named the Vijaygad Fort in order to protect the creek; with the Vijaygad Fort to the North and the Jaigad Fort to the South of the creek. The intelligence and brilliant planning put together in the era the Jaigad Fort was built in is commendable considering the limited availability of resources they had. Now, the fort comes under the Archaeological Survey of India and most of the ruins are studied by them.

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History of Jaigad Fort

The Jaigad fort was built by the Bijapur Sultanate who was incapable of retaining their power in the region and lost the fort to the Naiks belonging to Sangameshwar. The Naiks, at that time, controlled over 600 troops and owned about 8 villages. While the glorious fort was under their command, they were attacked by the Portuguese and also the Bijapur Sultanate, but the Naiks fought fiercely and were successful in protecting it. Subsequently, the region became a part of the Shivaji dominion and was managed by Balaji Vishwanath Peshwa who surrendered it to Kanhoji Angre in 1713. In 1818 however, the Jaigad fort was captured by the British during the third Anglo Maratha War.

Some believe that many attempts were made to build the majestic fort but in vain. It was only after a human sacrifice that it was entirely constructed. The young boy, Jaiba Malhar, who sacrificed his life willingly, is believed to be resting in one of the ramparts of the fort. The name "Jaigad" was thus derived from the young boy's name.  

Architecture of Jaigad Fort

The Jaigad Fort stands about 250 feet above sea level and has been erected very close to the shore. It is surrounded by a moat stretching on the northern and the eastern sides. The moat is also known as Khandak in local language which was filled with water for protection against attacks.

Although the fort is in ruins, some of the architecture has outlived the tests of time and weather. The spectacular fort consists of a high upper fortress connected by bastions on the edge of the cliff, the lower line of defence on the shore and two sweet water wells. The steep stairways lead to the upper fortress from where the beautiful creek can be seen. The palace of Kanhoji Angre lies in the middle of the fort along with temples of Lord Ganesh and Hanuman in the premises.

Best Time To Visit Jaigad Fort

October to March is the best time to visit Jaigad Fort because of the pleasant temperature that ranges from 11 to 20 degrees Celsius.

Tips For Visiting Jaigad Fort

1. The fort is open for the entire day; however, it is advisable to visit during the daytime.
2. There are no security guards at the site. Travellers are responsible for their own safety. Group explorations are recommended.
3. Watch your step while exploring the site.
4. Carry water to keep yourself hydrated.  

How To Reach Jaigad Fort

The Jaigad Fort is only 20 km from Ganpatipule and can be reached using an auto or a taxi if one is staying at Ganpatipule. You can reach here using private vehicles or MSRTC buses from Ratnagiri, but the roads are not very good due to frequent potholes. Private or tourist vehicles can be driven till the fort by road via NH-17. The fort is about 35 kms north-west of the Nivali Phata.  

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