Murud Janjira: A Fort Island
January 1, 1970
Murud is a small town with large things to offer. My visit was a short and sweet one. A bunch of my friends suddenly decided to pack up and leave for the long weekend. We were all in Mumbai then. Nearest clean beach destination – Murud.
Retreat at Murud, India
We took our time to take on the long drive feeling. The road was fun. Sometimes slow depending on traffic. Many food joints on the way to keep you motivated though. After a fairly long drive. The weather told us that we were close. The air felt pure, the scenery changed to green and the smell of sand. Yummy. We found a hotel right next to the beach. The view was beautiful, the company interesting and the beer cold. Songs of adventure, self-realisation and nature hit us. Beach time is always special. The water at my feet, the moist sand in my hands. That’s the moment I fell in love with Murud. The evening went by faster than we thought.
Take a walk on the wild side
Next morning, we decided to be explorers. Went on a walk through the forests of tall coconut trees and got lost. All sides looked the same, beautiful. Sounds we had never heard before were whistling in our ears. A little scared, hungry and enchanted we kept following our instincts. Not a word from any of us. After a lot of wrong turns, we found a right restaurant. It served authentic Maharashtrian food with coastal taste. Something you won’t easily find in regular restaurants. We charged our battery, asked for directions to our camp and continued the journey. With food in our belly, we started humming songs of homecoming as we reached our station. Exhausted, we were kindly greeted at the hotel with coconut water and news. We had new neighbours! A lovely couple from Chennai had joined us in the celebration. The evening was filled with booze, games and interesting discussions about life.
The Undefeatable Fort: Janjira
Last day, we left the hotel early in the morning to visit the famous Janjira Fort. Reached Rajapuri to get on our special boat. Windy. I almost fell in the water, twice. Well, that’s what it felt like. The gate is not seen for more than half of the boat journey. It’s very well thought and architected. Once you reach the gate, you literally have to jump to the entry steps. It is not a very easy task. Achievement. The boat journey and the entry to the gate were both very adventurous for us.
The fort has magnificent architecture and very powerful looking cannons. 18 of them, I think. How I wish I could see them in action. Let me rephrase, magnificent architectural ruins. The gate not seen till the boat is close to the fort, tall walls on all sides, cannons for defence. Owing to the complexity of the fort, this is known as the ‘Undefeatable Fort’. Many have tried to conquer it and failed. Imagination ran wide. We could imagine the baths, the rooms where queens would stay and put on their makeup or make their long hair. The places from where the night watchers and the security of the fort would keep an eye out for attackers. I wonder if they did have good security, given the architecture of the fort very less would have been needed. After about an hour of acting like we live in a Game of Thrones world, we clubbed together to leave. On our way back, we found a local guy showing off his talent of jumping in the waters from the top of the wall, 40 feet high wall. He first made sure everyone knows that he is going to jump. With our camera’s out we wondered if it was right for him to do so. After waving to his fans, he took a dive. Perfect dive as the waters splashed in slow motion. Within the next 3 minutes, Security was there warning him about it. An event that might have happened on the fort several times in history. That was the perfect end to our journey.
On our way back we went into a heated discussion about the cleanliness of the beaches around us and how it is important. Found out ways in which we could help keep them clean. Took an oath so that everyone could enjoy it as much as we did. With a heavy heart and hate for Monday’s, we went back to our routine lives. Until next time.
Location: Arabian Sea
No. of days: 1 Weekend
About the Fort:
Murud Janjira Fort is situated in the Arabian Sea waters near the town Murud.
The original Murud Janjira fort was a wooden fort built in the 15th century by the fishing community. Mainly to keep themselves safe from the attacks of enemies and pirates. The fort wall is about 40 feet high and has 19 rounded porches or arches, some of which still have cannons mounted on them.
Owing to the complexity of the fort, this is known as the ‘Undefeatable Fort’. It is the invincible Siddi marine fort that stood tall to the attacks of Shivaji and his son Sambhaji among many others. The Siddis were a community brought to India by the Arab and Portuguese traders.
Visitors can gain access to the Janjira fort from Rajapuri, a small village on the coast. After a short ride in a small boat, one can enter the fort through the main entrance. For most of the ride, we cannot see the gate of the fort since it can only be seen when one is about 40 feet away from it. This makes it an extremely interesting place to be.
Mumbai – 4 hours
Pune – 4 hours
Alibaug – 1 hour 50 Mins
Visit Janjira Fort
Enjoy Beach Time
Eat Authentic Coastal Food
To remove sand from your feet before getting into the car, carry a box of baby powder. Use the powder directly on the sandy feet to clean it off. It will keep your car clean and feet happy.