Janjira (Jal-Jira)- The unconquered Fort

IMG_20191010_183303

Our Home away from Home – Beach Small Wonder Villa at Akshi

Last week I got the opportunity to make a trip to Alibaug with my family members. We did last-minute bookings at this beautifully maintained resort “Beach Small Wonder Villa” located at Aksi in close proximity to Alibaug.

IMG_20191010_183101

There are Seven Cottages to stay at Beach Small Wonder Villa

We stayed there between 10th and 12th October 2019. We took the road trip from Thane to our destination. It was a short drive of about three and a half-hour. The road between Pen and Wadkal was pathetic, other than that the roads were good.

We reached our destination around 11:50 am. After some rest, we decided to give a visit to Birla Temple. All my family members went to see the temple except me. I did not take any photos not could my family members since the cameras are not allowed on the premises.

We had lunch at Kangultkars on the way near Nagaon. The food was yummy both vegetarian thali as well as non-vegetarian thali (chicken and kingfish) and at one point we also considered coming back to the same place for the next day’s lunch.

We had dinner back at our resort, and here too the non-vegetarian food was awesome. Vegetarian food was not to the taste of my mom.

The next day we went to see Janjira Fort. It was about 55 km from where we stayed about one and half-hour drive. We reached Rajapuri, the village from where the boat takes the tourists to the Fort around 1:30 pm, and decided to have lunch first.

IMG_20191011_161440

Jetty from where we took the Boat

It was an open boat and not the one you are seeing above. This one goes on a long trip which is between Rajapuri and Dighi.

The boat ride was a short one which lasted for about ten minutes or so.

BoatRide

Our Water Transport- An Open Boat

As we were approaching the fort I tried to see where the entrance gate was but it was not to be seen anywhere. It was only when we reached very close and when our boat turned could I see the gates of the fort.

IMG_20191011_155924

The Entry Gate to the Janjira Fort

Each boat carries with it one guide and you can avail his services for as little as Rs. 300/- per family. Of all the people (which were more than 20) only two families availed guides service. One was ours and the one more family from Mumbai. Rest just tagged along wherever we went.

Guide-MubarakBhai

Our Guide- Mubarak Bhai

Mubarak Bhai was our guide for the Fort Tour. Behind him is the tomb (Dargah) As per him, his ancestors stayed in the fort until 1972, after which they all shited to stay on the shores of Rajpuri village. His grandmother’s generation was from the last of the tribes who stayed at the fort.

The Fort is spread over a vast expanse of about 22acres, and it was said that about 300 people used to stay there until 1972.

As per our Guide, the Sidi from Africa when he used to come to India for trade discovered a tomb (Dargah can be seen in the pic above behind Mubarak Bhai) on this island. During one of his visits, he saw that the water level from the sea was touching the tomb and he decided to construct a fort to protect the tomb from submerging underwater. No stone was brought from outside, the entire fort was constructed by the stones on the island.

IMG_20191011_154011

The Courtroom of Nawab Sidi

Apart from the courtroom and the settlements for the Nawabs kingdom, the fort also had four mosques and a Ganesh temple.

IMG_20191011_154017

Enormous Lake in the midst of the Fort is still in use

There are two lakes inside the fort. One of them is still in use and the lady guard on duty serves water from the lake to the tourists if they feel thirsty.

IMG_20191011_154821

The only Inhabitants are these Fishes from the small pond in the Fort

Every fort has canons and so does this one. There were about 165 canons at one point of time, when the fort was in its prime.

IMG_20191011_153123

These were made from Panchdhaatu so that they don’t get heated up, which otherwise would have made firing practically impossible. Imagine the kind of vision and technology they used even back in those years.

Kalalbangi is said to be the third biggest canon in India. Its range was good 6 km. The canon it seems were never used. This is the only fort in the history of India which was never conquered, 27 attempts were made but because of its strategic location enemies found it impossible to invade this fort.

As with most forts this fort too, has an underground tunnel way which leads to the nearby village which is Rajapuri. This was discovered when the site was taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India for its upkeep and maintenance.

IMG_20191011_153114

The ruins of the settlements

The site is far from maintained, the only grace is you will not find any litter or plastics in the vicinity. It is so painful to see that despite having so many cultural and historical monuments throughout India, not enough care is taken to maintain them.

IMG_20191011_153852

The Banyan Tree from the Fort

The trip to this fort gave me the opportunity to learn about the history of this place which was created somewhere in the 11th century almost 900 years ago. It took about 22 years to construct the entire fort. The Nawab’s of this fort now live in Indore but come to Murud which is about 5 km from Rajapuri and where Nawab’s palace still stands in good condition once every three or four-month in a year.

I hope you liked reading this blog and got to know part of history as told to me by Mubarak Bhai our guide on this tour to Janjira- The unconquered Fort

 

5 thoughts on “Janjira (Jal-Jira)- The unconquered Fort

  1. Pingback: Blissful Year 2019 | Nilesh Sharma

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s