Jal durg, forts surrounded by water. These forts of India were built either on Islands or off the sea. India has a vast coastline. The great rulers and emperors built these huge structures to protect themselves from the enemies entering India via sea. Building these fortresses near / in the sea ensured safety and helped them to keep a close eye on enemies coming through Indian waters.
Following are top 5 Sea / Beach / Island forts in India.
Sindhudurg fort stands on a rocky island, known as Kurte, barely a km from Malavan. Malavan is a small town in the state of Maharashtra, which is 510 kms away from Mumbai and 130 kms away from Goa. The great Maratha warrior, Shivaji, built the fort in 1664. It is located in Arabian Sea, just off the coast of Maharashtra in western India. The entire fort was built over a period of three years, the sea fort is spread over 48 acres (190,000 m2) with a two-mile (3 km) long rampart, and walls that are 30 feet (9.1 m) high and 12 feet (3.7 m) thick.
Janjira fort is a Jal Durg (sea fort) and is one of a kind. The fort is located near the coastal village named Murud in the Raigadh district of Maharashtra. It is the only undefeated fort along the western coast of India, despite Dutch and English East India Company attacks. It is one of the strongest marine forts of India. The word Janjira is the manipulated version of the Arabic word Jazira that means Island.
It is one of the important fort of Maratha kingdom. This is only one of the two forts of the Maratha kingdom, where King Shivaji personally hoisted the saffron flag. The fort was built in 17th Century by the great Maratha warrior, Shivaji. Today it is one of the major tourist attraction for people visiting Maharashtra.
The Architectural marvel
- There is a 200m long tunnel (undersea/underland ) from the fort to the Dhulap’s palatial house in the village. The tunnel is man-made and the roof has been pinched to protect it from land-slides and it is also well ventilated.
- The fencing compound wall constructed at 8 -10 m depth undersea, 300ft from the fort is another architectural wonder. The wall constructed is 122 mtr long, 3 mtr high & 7 mtr in breadth. Majority of attacking ships met their watery grave after colliding on this wall as this wall is not visible above the sea level.
The fort was built in the year 1678. It is located near Mumbai harbor and was built to keep a watch on British soldiers. It is located at a distance of 5km from Alibag and 3kms in the sea near Thal (a small nearby village).You need to hire a boat to visit the magnificent Island fort of Underi as there are no permanent ferries back and forth.
The fort of Koaba was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1652 to keep a check on the activities of the foreign naval powers of English, Portuguese and the Siddhi of Janjira. It is a testimony to the foresight of the great maratha king. The Kulaba fort is still in good condition and one can go to visit the fort by walking across the seashore at low tide or by taking a buggy ride @ 20 Rs. Per person. However be sure to check the proper timings to visit the fort as it is dangerous to try to go to the fort at high tide. You get approximately 3 to 4 hours to see the fort and come back.