Forts - Alibaug and Murud

Kulaba Fort :

     It is located 1 km across from Alibag beach. The Great Maratha-warrior Shivaji started the construction of this sea fort in 1680 A.D. The fort is 900 ft. long, 350 ft. wide and has 25 ft. high walls which have 17 bastions (burj) on all sides. The fort has been standing for over 300 years. The fort can only be accessed during ebb tide through a narrow strip of land which goes underwater during high tide. The huge front entrance arch has tigers, peacocks, elephants sculpted on it. Beyond that comes another small gate. Next to that gate are the shrines of Mahishasura and Padmavathi, Kanifnath, Sri Ganesh and the fort-deity. Next to them comes the sourthern gate which is variously known as Darya/Yeshwant Darwaja. Raghoji Angre built a beautiful temple of Shri Ganesh in front of the sweet water tank in 1759. The inner sanctum sanctorum includes images of Sri Ashtabhuja Devi, Shiv, Vishnu, Surya. The collection of the pantheon lends it the name 'Shri Ganesh Panchayatan'. Within the premises, you will find a well and a tank of sweet water in the midst of sea! On one of the 17 bastions, two cannons in intact condition can be seen. The Archaeological Survey of India charges a token entry Fee for the visitors. The Ganesh Temple (Mandir) is in the fort.  The length is 20 meter, width is 6 meter and 15 meter of this popular Ganesh Temple. The most people visit this temple at Ganesh Jayanti.   

    The two cannon in good situation are present on this historical fort.

HIRAKOT :

In the heart of Alibag town, this fort was built by the Angres in 1720. Its imposing black Bassalt high walls are indicative of the significance of this fort. Legend has it that the Angre treasure used to be housed in it. Today, it is used as District Jail.

KHANDERI :

Three to four kilometers into the sea from Thai beach, which is 5 kms from Alibag, this fort was built in 1678 on a small island. Later, a light house was erected. This fort was for long under the Angre's control. Today it is under Bombay port trust administration. With their permission, you can visit the fort in local boats.

UNDERI :

Just 374th of a Kilometer away from Khanderi, this is another island fort built by Siddi Qasam in 1680. Supremacy over this fort kept shifting between the Siddis, Peshwas, Angres and later the British. One can visit this fort with permission from the Bombay port trust. Local fishing boats can be hired for a visit

SAGARGADH :

This hill-fort, 7kms from Alibag is an old fort of Shivaji's times at 1357ft from sea-level. A dirt-track road to this fort begins at Khandala on Alibag-Pen road to the East. Half-way to the fort is Siddheshwar temple and an Ashram, where you can rest a while. During rainy season, one finds a cascading waterfall at this spot. To the left just before the Ashram, the trek-route to Sagargad begins. In an hour's time, one can reach the fort. The main gate is in completely desolate state while the two bastions are partially dilapidated. Inside, a temple and a small tank are in a disused state. Another tank is known as Pandav Kund. On the fort proper, one finds nine tombs of Satis. The place is called Sati Plateau. Besides this plateau a thumb-like erect land mass is known as Wanartok. The fort is totally uninhabited.

KASA (PADMADURGA) FORT :

When Shivaji the Great decidied to take on the Siddis of Janjira, his admiral, Daulat Khan, built this fort on an island next to Janjira. The rock, on which the fort was built, was called Kasa and the fort was named Padmadurg. The fort has six bastions, some of them devastated by Gun attack from the famous 'kalal bangdi' gun in Janjira. Kasa was soon overpowered by Siddis and used as a Jail. Private boat can be hired to visit this fort.

JANJIRA FORT :

This overwhelming guardian of the Siddi naval prowess over the Arabian sea, can be approached in sail boats, which leave from Rajpuri jetty, 5 kms from Murud. As we land at the front gate of the fort, two formidable bastions. can be seen guarding the huge gate. Here is a sculpture in stone depicting a Lion that has overpowered six elephants. The main gate is followed by another gate where 3 lungers/anchors are clearly visible in front of shrine of 5 Peers(peerpanchayatan). Opposite of that is a big sweet water tank. Around that stand Khasha Siddi Masjid and ruins of houses. Next comes Surul Khan's mansion(wada). In the backyard, remnants of Hindu sculptures are visible. During archaeological excavations in 1985, temple ruins and a 'Shivaling' was found. On the background, fortified bulwarks with guns positioned, are unmistakable. There are 24 bastions in all, having their separate names. 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'.

TOMB OF KAlNHOJI ANGRE :

Just five-minute walk from Alibag ST stand, on way to market, is this tomb. The structure has 8 faces and the pillars are exquisitely sculpted. Though in dilapidated state today, it stands in sacred memory of the great Maratha Admiral Konhoji Angre

MAGNETIC OBSERVATORY :

Established in 1904, this observatory is the only one of its kind in Asia and one of 13 in the whole world, with whom data is exchanged every 12 minutes. The British period building that houses rare valuable instruments like a magnatograph is built only in stone, with no steel used. The observatory records magnetic movement in the earth's' crust and also magnetic storms caused by solar storms.

KARMARKAR SHILPALAYA (Sasawane) :

18 kms from Alibag on Aliba Rewas Road, 150 works of art of the famous sculptor Late Mr. Nanasaheb Karmarkar are displayed in his own bunglow. The exhibition is open the whole day, all days of a week and entry fee is Rs.5/- per head. Filming the sculptures on camera is charged Rs. 10/- while video-shooting is charged Rs. 50/-

PHANSAD SANCTUARY (52.71 sq kms) :

Before Nandgaon, on way to Murud comes Borli village, 7kms to the left is this 'Game' reserved forest for the erstwhile Nawab of Murud. Today, this is a Government Sanctuary for rabbits, wolves, tigers etc. There is an information center, an exhibition, trekking facilities are made available by the government near Supegaon. These facilities are approachable on Murud-Roha road via. Supegaon at Usroli, 7 kms from Murud.

NAWAB'S PALACE (MURUD):

When you are about to enter Murund town, this palace is situated on the right side on a plateau with the sea for a backdrop. One appreciates the choice of location. Built in 1885, it is a private property of the royal family and prohibited for outsider. The architecture is a mix of Mughal and Gothic styles

CARVINGS AT KUDE MANDAD:

These Buddha period carvings are 25 kms south of Murud via. Bhalgaon. A Saatwahana Dynasty Aristocrat named Mahabhoj, ruled from Rajpuri near Murud around 100 B.C. He got these carvings carried out in the hill rock for Buddhist monks as their lodging/resting place. 200 feet above sea level there are 26 compartments in two tiers-15 in the lower and 11 in the upper tier. They comprise 5 Chaityas, 21 Vihars, a huge Stoopa and water tanks. The pillars are exquisitely decorated. One also finds inscriptions in Brahmi script. To the west of this group of carvings, is vast expanse of Arabian sea, scenic hilly region of Tala taluka to the east and Ghosala hill fort to the north.

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