Murud-Janjira Fort is perhaps one of the greatest examples of strong fortification in India. It is situated on an oval-shaped rock off the Arabian Sea coast near the port town of Murud, 165km south of Mumbai. Also Read - Maharashtra Extends Lockdown Till Nov 30, Shutdown to Continue in Containment Zones
Locally called Janjira, the fort is lovingly also called ‘Ajinkya’ meaning invincible. They say every great Maratha, Portuguese, and even Dutch warrior tried to conquer it but failed. That explains why it is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India. Also Read - Pune Authorities Fear Second Wave of COVID-19 Infection in December, Say Prepared to Deal With it
Since it is situated on an island, you have to take a boat ride from Rajapuri village to the fort. Janjira is well known for its strong defence architecture. The main gate of the fort can only be seen when one is about 40 feet (12 m) away from it. Therefore, it was very difficult to break into the fort back in the day. The fort also has 26 rounded bastions, from where it was easy to allow defensive fire in all direction. Another special feature of this fort are the 3 gigantic cannons named Kalalbangdi, Chavri and Landa Kasam. These cannons were feared for their shooting range in the heyday.
Now in ruins, the fort used to be a full-fledged living fort at one point with all necessary facilities like palaces, quarters for officers, mosque, and two small 60-foot-deep natural fresh water lakes. Infact, the palace of the Nawabs of Janjira at Murud is still in good shape. There is also another fortress, named Ghosalgad, which is located on top of the hill around 32 km east of Murud-Janjira, that one can visit.
There are two ways to reach this strong marine fort: by water and by road. You could drive down or take a ferry boat from Alibaug. From Alibaug you have to take a bus and then an auto to finally reach your destination.