Murud Janjira is a unique island fort, about 500+ years old, located near Murud village. It is about 15-20kms drive from Kashid with amazing beach landscapes on the way which will force you to take a stop and absorb the moment.
After an amazing day at Kashid, the next morning, we started off for Murud Janjira fort on a slightly bumpy and narrow road, though much better than the ones seen between Diveagar and Harihareshwar. As we saw, it was only in the villages that road quality used to deteriorate significantly while, between the villages, it was pretty much smooth. We reached Murud in almost no time.
We crossed the Murud beach, pretty much the same as any other beach, to approach Rajapuri. As we went further, the road began to have more sharp turns. After driving for about 2-3kms from Murud beach, we had the first glimpse of the fort, coupled with amazing landscape of fort, sea, beach and mountains – all in one shot.
We had to stop for a while to enjoy the landscape. The – not so hot – morning weather made it more necessary to do so. After spending about 10 minutes absorbing the moment and clicking some pictures, we were back on the road for the last mile (literally).
From Janjira beach, you get a boat that takes you to the Janjira fort and brings you back. The charge for the boat is very nominal and the distance is also very less. However, with boats coming in from Murud, Janjira as well as Dighe, the waiting time outside the fort was far more than traveling time. I cannot miss to say that all the time I spent on the boat, the Swades song – yeh jo des hai tera – kept playing in my mind given the number of people they stuffed in a single boat, without any life jackets.
When we reached the fort, it was a high tide, although receding, but that created a lot of trouble in people getting off and getting in to the boat. A bunch of youngsters were doing amazing job of ensuring that people land on the wet and slippery fort stairs safely. Getting on the boat was not so much of a problem. After waiting for about 40 minutes, our boat’s turn came finally.
Janjira is an amazing fort only when you hear the history of the fort and connect it with what you see. It is necessary to have a guide with you to tell you the history of the fort instead of roaming around the fort on your own. When you take the boat from Janjira beach, one of the folks sailing the boat will also become the guide throughout the 45 minutes that you spend in the fort. The setup is that the boat, in which you reach the fort, stays around the fort for those 45 minutes and takes the same group back to the beach.
Fortunately we had a good guide (as I cross checked the facts he told, in google) who kept telling us some amazing facts about the fort construction, secret routes to the sea as well as Rajapuri village, the third largest cannon in India (on which he is seen sitting) and also how the Siddis created these 22 bastions fort after demolishing the original smaller fort. Since then, Janjira is the only unconquered fort in India in spite of several attempts by Shivaji Maharaj, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the East India Company.
Fort tour got over pretty much on time as the sailors had to go back to the jetty for another ride. We reached back in no time. It was quite hot in the afternoon as we reached and coconut water was buzzing with customers. After having one each, supplementing it with ice candies, from a shop few minutes’ walk away, we called it a day and began our journey back to Mumbai.
However, Shri Krupa Guest House was the unanimous choice for lunch as the food there was really amazing and Kashid will be on our way back to Mumbai. So, after confirming our arrival, we left Janjira with some really interesting facts about the only unconquered fort of India.