Friday, 25 June 2010

Forts of Konkan 45 : Kille Janjira किल्ले जंजिरा

Murud, Dist. Raigad
Island Fort

Things to see:
The entrance of the fort is towards east and there is one stone inscription in Arabic on the arch of the main entrance. There are tigers, elephants etc. carved on the stones of the walls near the entrance. The wood of the doors is still in good condition. There is big water tank in the southern side and a small tank can be seen in the North Western side. In citadel there are remnants of the palace and many other buildings. Some remnants of Hindu sculptures can also be found. There is one Dargah of Panchayatan Peer which is said to have been earlier the place of Shri Ram Panchayatan. The fort has 19 bastions and three big canons on the fort. The biggest one is known as Kalal Bangdi. There are also some smaller cannons which number around 200. There is one seaside entrance on the west and it never goes under water. An old Shiva temple from the ancient period has been found out on the fort.

The fort came into existence during 1500's when local fishermen community built some protective walls on the island with the permission of local Sardar of Rajpuri. Ram Patil, the leader of fishermen then became independent of the same Sardar and did not allow him to come on the island. The Sardar then reported this Nizam of Ahmednagar. He sent Sardar Piram Khan who went in the island as a trader of liquor and then killed Ram Patil and his entire army present on the island. After Piram Khan, the island and surrounding area came into the control of Burhan Khan who was of Abyssinian descent. He built the fort during the year 1567 to 1571. The fort came to be knonw as Jazeer- e- Mehruba (Island of the Moon). It later on started to be known as Janjira. Siddi Malik Ambar received permission from the Badshah to rule the area as feudal King.
In 1657, Shivaji Maharaj first tried to win the fort through his sardars Raghunath Ballal Sabnis and Nilopant. This and all the later efforts done by him in the years 1659, 1669, 1672, 1675 and 1678 failed. Later Sambhaji Maharaj attacked the fort in the year 1682 and came very near to the victory but had to end the attack due to attack of Aurangzeb on the territory of Deccan. Peshava and Angre tried to take the fort again for various times. In 1746, Siddi was defeated and during the war one of the family member of Siddi was killed. But as part of the treaty, Siddi kept Janjira with themselves but gave six Mahals to Peshavas. In one more effort Pehava minister Nana Phadnis brought Balumiya Siddi on their side but later he was killed by another member of the family. During Peshava time one big cannon was brought to attack the fort which was later on taken by Siddi to the fort itself. The cannon was known as Kalal Bangdi. The Siddi dynasty became a princely state during British Rule and later on was annexed to the Free India in the year 1947.

The fort is a very big tourist attraction. There are various complaints about the bad quality of restoration work.

Nearby attractions:
Siddi Palace and tombs in Murud town, Ganapati Mandir and beach at Nandgaon village, Datta Mandir near Murud town. Khokari tombs near Murud town.

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


By public transport:
Murud is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai and Pune. While coming from Goa and Kolhapur one has to reach Mahad or Kolad which are on Mumbai Goa National Highway and then take bus for Murud. There is regular boat service for Janjira from Rajpuri port.

Nearby Places for stay: