Monday, 24 May 2010

Forts of Konkan 22 : Bandra Fort वांद्र्याचा किल्ला


Location:
Bandra, Mumbai Suburb.
Seaside fort

Things to see:

The fort is situated on a high ground on the southern tip of Bandra suburb which is known as Land's End. There is one small garden around the fort and also a small amphitheatre inside the garden. One can see views of Mahim and Worli which are in the south from this point. In the west one can enjoy the expanse of sea. From other directions views are blocked by buildings and hillock on which the fort is standing. The fort location offers beautiful view of Bandra Worli sea link. There are some stone inscriptions in Portuguese on some of the walls and entrances of the fort.

Past:

The fort was first built by Portuguese in the year during 1500's and later on strengthened. They ruled this area called Sashti upto 1739 before getting defeated by Marathas. They used this fort for protecting entry to Mumbai from Northern end. The name of the port was Castella de Aguada meaning Fort of the Waterpoint as there was one stream of water near the fort which was used for providing water to the ships coming to the Bandra port. There was big estuary near Bandra which has been reclaimed now for construction and has lost its importance as port. The fort had 7 canons and some other guns. Twenty two years after winning it from Portuguese, Marathas had to give up this area to the British as part of the treaty signed in First Anglo Maratha war in 1661. British destroyed large parts of the fort afterwards as they feared that Marathas will capture it again and keep on threatening them. British gave large parts of this area to Byramjee Jeejeebhoy in 1930 who later on developed this area. The local resident's committee of Bandra Band Stand did necessary efforts for restoration of the fort by successfully involving Member of Parliaments, government departments and private businesses.

The inscription on this gate say that this bastion was made in the name of God in the year 1640. The language is Portuguese.

Present:
The fort is in very good condition although it has lost many of its earlier features especially the big estuary which it protected. After restoration the structure has been strengthened but because of the cement used in the process one find its difficult to appreciate that it is really a very old structure. It is used many times for shooting Bollywood movies which include Dil Chahta Hai, Buddha Mil Gaya, Jaane Tu etc.

Nearby attractions:
Saint Mary Church, Bandra Reclamation Ground hosts many exhibitions.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,

Reach from Borivali to Bandra by Western Express Highway. While coming from Thane and Eastern side of the Mumbai city one has to reach Bandra via Sion and Dharavi. Come to the western side of the Bandra on the fly over bridge crossing Mahim creek and railway line from Western Express Highway. While coming from Mumbai city one has to reach Mahim and then reach Bandra. From there onwards using the bridge going to Bandra band stand and reclamation one can reach Bandra Fort.

By public transport:
Reach western side of Bandra suburban railway station by trains or convenient BEST buses. Then catch buses going to
Otherwise autorikshaw can also be hired from the western side of the station.

Nearby Places for stay:
Mumbai