Murud-Janjira (Strongest Marine Fort of India)
Today I would like to share yet another location I visited 3 4 times in over 10 years. This Place is known as Murud-Janjira. The name Murud is a Konkani word “MOROD” which means Island and Janjira came from Arabic word Jazeera (Strong Fort), Hence the name Murud Janjira.
The first time I visited this place in rainy season and was only reached up to the fairy point Rajapuri jetty. Rajapuri Jetti is the port town of Murud and located in Arabian Sea coast area. From Pune, this location is roughly 165 KM and from Mumbai as well. It takes roughly 5 to 6 hours to reach this place.
On my second and third visit was able to reach this place. To reach Murud Jangira we took the ferry ride required reaching the gates of the fort. Now the fort is in very bad shape. But, once upon a time it was in its charm. Not only this is the strongest coastal fort in India Had many palaces, officers quarters, servant quarters and even a court. For praying, even this little fort had a mosque.
When I reached the gates of the fort I was amazed one cannot find the gates until you are very close to it. Gate has a small opening. and you can land only in the low tide.It has a small postern gate towards the open sea for escape. Gate is so huge and you can see the seals installed.On the outer wall flanking the main gate, there is a sculpture depicting a tiger-like beast clasping elephants in its claws. These 4 elephants symbolize Shivaji’s major enemy dynasties on which he possessed control – Adil shahi, Qutb Shahi,Mughal shahi and Nizam shahi, whereas the tiger-like beast symbolizes control of Shivaji on these. There are prominent Ashoka Chakras on all major gates of the fort Janjira. There are images of playing elephants, lions, and much more.
In the fort which is surrounded by salt water strangely have two freshwater lakes (natural spring). Which is now not in good shape.
There are huge cannons installed there are especially 3 cannons which attract everyone attention. These cannons are known as Kalalbangdi, Chavri and Landa Kasam. These cannons weigh over 20 tons.
Now a little bit of the history associated with this fort. The fort was built in the end of 17th century by the Malik Ambar, an Abssynian minister in the service of the Sultan of Ahmednagar, who belonged to the famous Nizamshahi dynasty. This fort is still intact despite facing violent sea tide and strong wind over 300 years. According to all accounts, the sea fort of Janjira could not be conquered by any of the kings ruling the neighboring territories. Surprisingly, not even Shivaji could acquire it despite 13 expeditions to conquer the fort. His son, Sambhaji, tried a unique approach to capturing the fort: digging an underwater tunnel to enter. But he too failed in his attempt. Not to be deterred, Sambhaji constructed another fort just across the bay, called Kansa. Most of the earth that was dug up to build the tunnel was used in the making of this second fort, which was to be the base for future attacks on the sea fort of Janjira. This fort took 22 years to build and is constructed on 22 acres of land.
This is not the end of this post as I am not capable of writing the strength and history involved in the making of this fort. So guys please visit this place so see this strongest marine fort of India.
Keep smiling and cheers !!!