Location: Raigad District, Maharashtra
Built In: 15th Century
Built By: Koli Chief
Murud Janjira Fort, one of the strongest marine forts of India, was built on oval shaped rock in a coastal village of Murud in Raigad district, Maharashtra. It is located 165 km away from Mumbai. The word Janjira had its origins in Arabic word Jazeera, which means ‘island’. In Marathi, Murud means Habsan or Abyssinian. Murud-Janjira Fort was built by Koli chief in 15th century as a safeguard against pirates and vandals. This small wooden structure built by Koli chief was later rebuilt by Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian Siddi regent of Ahmednagar kings. Since then it became the stronghold of the Siddis. The fort was subjected to repeated attacks from many ruling powers of that era such as Marathas, Portuguese, Dutch and British over the course of time but all attempts were foiled. When powerful Maratha ruler Sambhaji failed to capture the fort, he built Padmadurg Fort, north of Murud Janjira Fort at a distance of 9 km.
Murud Janjira Fort Raigad Maharashtra India
History of the Fort
Murud Janjira Fort was originally small wooden structure built by Koli chief in 15th century as defensive structure to ward off pirates and vandals. According to the sources, the fort was captured by Pir Khan, a general of Nizamshah of Ahmednagar. The fort was later rebuilt by the Abyssinian Siddi, Malik Ambar, regent of Ahmednagar kings. Since then Murud Janjira Fort became the stronghold of Siddis. Many attempts were made the British, Portuguese, Dutch and the Marathas to conquer the fort but all of them failed to capture this fort. The powerful Maratha ruler Shivaji made a total of six attempts to capture the fort and even tried scaling 12 metres granite walls of Murud Janjira Fort but never succeeded. His son Sambhaji built Padmadurg Fort, near the Murud Janjira.
Architecture/ Layout of the Fort
Murud Janjira Fort is stretched across 22 acres and is made by a mixture of lead, sand and gul. The main gate can only be seen from a very short distance. There is also small entrance which was used as an escape route for kings and his ministers in the event of attack from enemy. The fort contains 19 bastions stocked with canons mounted on them. The three popular canon still found in the fort are Kalal Bangadi, Landa Kasam and Chavari. Janjira Fort was built by an Abssinian Malik Ambar under the patronage of Sultan of Ahmednagar. The fort has numerous towers and turrets to hoard arms and ammunitions. The fort also has a well and two water tanks. In its heydays, the fort had all wonderful amenities such as fresh water-tanks, quarters, markets, mosque and palace. Images of elephants, lions and tigers are carved on the outer walls of the main gate. The depictions of Ashok Chakras are found on all the major gates of Murud Janjira Fort.
Major Battles or Events Associated With the Fort
Although numerous attempts were made by Shivaji Maharaj, Sambhaji, Peshwas, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, but the fort remained unconquered.
- Murud Janjira Fort has held the reputation of being an impregnable fort for centuries unconquered by any of the invading troops.
- Today Murud Janjira fort lays putrefied due to constant exposure to coastal water.
Best Time to Visit
Murud Janjira enjoys pleasant climate throughout the years which makes it suitable for tourists to visit the place any time of the year except during the monsoon season. The best time to visit Murud Janjira is between September and May.
How To Reach
- Murud Janjira is well connected to roadways, railways and airports.
- There are plenty of buses playing from Mumbai to Murud Janjira
- The nearest railway station for Murud Janjira is Roha on Konkan railway which is connected many important cities in the region.
- The nearest airport is Mumbai, just 165 km away from Murud Janjira
Around The Fort
The other interesting tourist spots around the fort include Murud beach, Padmadurg fort located at north-west of Janjira, Nandgaon Temple, Ahmedganj Palace, Dattatreya Temple, Nawab’s Palace, Janjira Caves and Garambi Falls.
Murud Janjira Fort is a major tourist attraction in Murud. The majestic fort which had once held the glory of being unconquerable today lays alongside the sandy coastlines and beaches of Murud and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region.