5 Historical forts in India that will take you back in time.

Tripoto
29th Apr 2015

Yours truly at Janjira

Photo of Yours truly at Janjira by Muktadhara Ray

Fort Raichak

Photo of Fort Raichak by Muktadhara Ray

Fort Raichak

Photo of Fort Raichak by Muktadhara Ray

Fort Aguada

Photo of Fort Aguada by Muktadhara Ray

Chapora Fort : View from top

Photo of Chapora Fort : View from top by Muktadhara Ray

Fort Aguada

Photo of Fort Aguada by Muktadhara Ray

With friends at Chapora Fort top.

Photo of With friends at Chapora Fort top. by Muktadhara Ray

Chapora Fort

Photo of Chapora Fort by Muktadhara Ray

Janjira

Photo of Janjira by Muktadhara Ray

Janjira

Photo of Janjira by Muktadhara Ray

Braving the sun at Bekal Fort

Photo of Braving the sun at Bekal Fort by Muktadhara Ray

Janjira

Photo of Janjira by Muktadhara Ray

janjira

Photo of janjira by Muktadhara Ray

janjira

Photo of janjira by Muktadhara Ray

janjira

Photo of janjira by Muktadhara Ray

janjira

Photo of janjira by Muktadhara Ray

Bekal

Photo of Bekal by Muktadhara Ray

Bekal

Photo of Bekal by Muktadhara Ray

Bekal

Photo of Bekal by Muktadhara Ray

Raichak

 If you're at Kolkata, you can drive to Raichak through the diamond harbour road. The fort has been transformed into a very luxurious hotel by the Radisson group and is one of the most beautiful and expensive stays of Kolkata.

If you are not staying at the fort,it's advisable to limit your visit to  one day. The inside of the fort is beautiful and overlooks the river Ganges

You can have lunch at the fort's restaurant. We had lunch at the Ibiza resort which was on the way.

Murud Janjira

You can visit Murud by car if you're staying at Kashid or Alibaug. There are also some buses that ply from Mumbai. This fort is situated in the middle of the sea and in the worst possible state. The ASI or the government has taken no efforts to maintain this fort which now lies in ruins. There is very little area inside the fort that you can actually explore because there is so much weed growing inside. 

You have to board a boat that uses the most primitive form of sailing ( direction of wind) to take you to janjira fort. You have to pay 50 bucks for the boat ride. The sailor will tell you about the history of the fort and its connection with Shivaji in a very dramatic manner on the way.

Inside the fort there are some local guides that charge 300 per person to show around the fort. Do not take it, its better to move around the fort on your own.

Do wear clothes that cover your body as murud is a muslim dominated rural area and the fort is covered with creepers and weeds.

Bekal Fort

Located in Bekal, Kerala this is where Maniratnam shot the famous song 'Tu Hi Re' from Bombay.It is very well maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Although monsoons are an 'off sason', the fort looks best during that time.

For more travel details , read my experience here : Bekal Fort

Aguada Fort

If you are in North Goa, it is but obvious that you will ride to this place near Candolim beach. Do rememeber to carry a bottle of water as exploring the fort can take some time. 

On the way back you may stop at Fisherman's Cove for a sumptuous lunch which is nearby. This area is one of the poshest in Goa as it is famous for the Kingfisher Vila and the Taj Aguada.

Chapora Fort

This is the famous 'Dil Chahta HAi' fort which compelled lot of young people of our generation to visit Goa and explore this.It overlooks the beautiful Vagator beach and seeing the white migratory birds fly along with the rhythm of the waves is a bliss.

Word of caution : wear good shoes as after a point you have to leave your vehicles behind and the walk uphill is extrememly steep. Also be armed with lots of water and sunscreen, hats, umbrellas or whatever to shield you from the scorching sun.

Image Credit for Bekal, Raichak and Janjira Fort : Anirban Lahiri (Travel mate)

Image credit for Aguada and Chapora Fort : Suchitra Deb Mehta (Travel mate)

History : The Dutch had built a fort at Raichak, which is on a river bend, in the 18th century. Following the withdrawal of the Dutch from India, the fort was left to ruin. The place became important with the development of Haldia. Raichak acts as a link between Haldia and Calcutta (Source : Wikipedia) State : West Bengal
History : The fort was originally built in the 15th century on a smaller scale by a local Maratha-Fisherman Chieftain- Rajaram Patil to protect his people from pirates/ thieves and was known as " Medhekot". He was a fearless man with independent bent of mind who was quite popular with the local fishermen. Nizam, the ruler from Ahmadnagar sent one of his Siddi commanders Piram Khan, who came with three ships armed with necessary weapons and soldiers and captured the fort. Piram Khan was succeeded by Burhan Khan, who demolished the original fort and built an impregnable much bigger, 22 acres(about 858 m²), stone fort. The fort was called 'Jazeere Mahroob Jazeera ' which in Arabic means an Island. Siddhi Ambersatak was nominated as Commander of the fort. Despite their repeated attempts, the Portuguese, the British and the Marathas failed to subdue the power of the Siddi's, who were themselves allied with the Mughal Empire. Major historical figures from Murud-Janjira include men such as Yahya Saleh and Sidi Yaqub. The fort has a tunnel which opens in Rajpuri. The fort was made of stones bonded together by a mixture of lead, sand and gul. The Marathas led by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj attempted to scale the 12 meters high Granite walls he failed in all his attempts. His son Chatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj even attempted to tunnel his way into the fort but was unsuccessful in all his attempts.[5] Janjira ruins The small pond inside Janjira fort In the year 1736, Siddis of Murud-Janjira set out in a battle with the forces of Maratha Peshwa Baji Rao. On 19 April 1736, Maratha warrior Chimnaji Appa attacked the gathering forces in the encampments of the Siddis during the Battle of Riwas near Riwas, when the confrontation ended 1500 Siddi's including their leader Siddi Sat were killed. Peace was concluded in September 1736, but the Siddis were confined to only Janjira, Gowalkot, and Anjanwel, thus their power greatly reduced. Special attraction of this fort is 3 Gigantic Cannons named Kalalbangdi, Chavri and Landa Kasam. Another gate to the west is sea- facing, called 'Darya Darwaza'. (Source : Wikipedia) State : Maharashtra (Source : Wikipedia)
History : Shivappa Nayaka of Bednore constructed the Bekal Fort in 1650AD. During the Perumal Age Bekal was a part of Mahodayapuram. The Kodavalam inscription (Pullur, 7 km from Kanhangad) of Bhasakara Ravi II (the King of Mahodayapuram) illustrate the undisputed political sway of Mahodayapuram over this region. Following the political decline of Mahodayapuram Perumals by the 12th century AD, North Kerala including Bekal, came under the sovereignty of Mushika or Kolathiri or Chirakkal Royal Family (who were a secondary royal family at that point to the Cheras, Pandyas and Cholas).[1] The maritime importance of Bekal increased much under the Kolathiris and it became an important port town of Tulunadu and Malabar. State : Kerala (Source : Wikipedia)
History : The fort was constructed in 1613 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas. It was a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. This old Portuguese fort stands on the beach south of Candolim, at the shore of the Mandovi River. It was initially tasked with defense of shipping and the nearby Bardez sub district. A freshwater spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that used to stop by. This is how the fort got its name: Aguada, meaning Water. Crews of passing ships would often visit to replenish their fresh water stores. On the fort stands a four-storey Portuguese lighthouse, erected in 1864 and the oldest of its kind in Asia. Built in 1612, it was once the grandstand of 79 cannons. It has the capacity of storing 2,376,000 gallons of water, one of the biggest freshwater storages of the time in whole of Asia. This fort is divided in two segments: the upper part acted as fort and watering station, while the lower part served as a safe berth for Portuguese ships. Whereas the upper part has a moat, underground water storage chamber, gunpowder room, light house and bastions, it also has a secret escape passage to use during time of war and emergency. The lighthouse at initial stage is used to emit light once in 7 minutes. In 1834 it was changed to emit light creating eclipse every 30 seconds, however it was abandoned in 1976. Fort Aguada was the most prized and crucial fort of Portuguese. The fort is so large that it envelops the entire peninsula at the south western tip of Bardez. Built on the mouth of river Mandovi, it was strategically located and was the chief defence of Portuguese against the Dutch and Marathas. During the Salazar Administration, Fort Aguada was repurposed for use as a prison primarily, some claim, for Salazar's political opponents.[citation needed] Many of its inmates are Western tourists serving time for drug-related crimes. State : Goa (Source : Wikipedia)
History : Chapora Fort, located in Bardez, Goa, rises high above the Chapora River. Before the Portuguese arrived in Goa in 1510, this location was the site of another fort. The fort changed hand several times after Portuguese acquired Bardez. Trying to end the Portuguese rule in Goa, Prince Akbar joined his father’s enemies, the Marathas in 1683 and made this place his base camp. It became the northern outpost of the Old Conquests. After the Portuguese recovered from an encounter with the Marathas, they strengthened their northern defences and provided shelter to the people there. The present fort was built in 1717, replacing the older fortifications. Across the Chapora river, the Hindu ruler of Pernem, the Maharaja of Sawantwadi who was an old enemy of the Portuguese held the fort for two years after it fell to the Marathas in 1739 in its first test. When Goa's border moved northwards with the acquisition of Pernem as part of the New Conquests, the fort lost its military significance towards the end of the century. It is a pleasant place to wander that offers fantastic views north across the Chapora river to Pernem, south over Vagator and also far out to the Arabian Sea in the West. The fort sits on a prominent position which commands views in all directions. It also has steep slopes on all sides. The fort follows the outline of the higher slopes. This forms an irregular outer wall that uses the natural form to add defensive height to the fortifications. This offers an advantage over dry ditches being dug. At the top of the steep approach track, the main gate is small and unpretentious, but narrow and deep. Depending on defence requirements, the positions of bastions are irregularly spaced with enormous embrasures for cannon. Each bastion has a cylindrical turret offering a special character to the fort. Vagator Beach with Fort Chapora in the background Inside the fort, the church, once dedicated to St. Anthony, has disappeared and inside only a few signs exist of the barracks and housing that once filled this vast area. The wide expanse of open space is only a tumble of stones, where a few herds of goats graze and cashew bushes grow. A natural valley to the beach protected by rocky promontories provides an excellent natural access to the sea. State : Goa (Source : Wikipedia)
3 Comment(s)
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u missed golconda fort ... hyderabad
Thu 05 05 16, 03:01 · Reply · Report
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Sheshadri TR
You have to visit chitradurga once
Thu 04 30 15, 00:38 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
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Sheshadri TR
You have to visit chitradurga once
Thu 04 30 15, 00:38 · Reply · Edit · Delete ·
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