Tuesday, 27 December 2016

6 Iconic Forts To Visit In Mumbai

When it comes to an understanding history of any place, the main thing that comes to mind is forts from that region. A city, which is known as a ‘city of dreams’ is not an exception.


Well, Mumbai also has a rich historical background of forts, other than being an identity of the entertainment industry. Because of some negligence, these forts are not preserved very well but there are times when a tourist, a historian, a researcher from Mumbaikars awakens and go to visit such spots and make the re-live again. You won’t be finding these forts or popularly known as ‘killa’ as adventurous as the treks from Sahyadri ranges, but yes they are worth visiting. You will be able to step in the past just by going there.

Let us introduce you to some of the major forts from Mumbai which you may be or may not be knowing earlier:

#1. Bandra Fort

Historically, called as ‘Castella de Aguada’ Bandra fort is located adjacent to Taj Lands End. Built in 1640’s by Britishers, the fort still has some elements remaining. It is not very far from Worli village. The Bandra-Worli sea link lies between these two areas. You can watch a beautiful sunset from here.

And it’s also popular amongst lovers as it is near to the bandstand. In fact many movies like, RHTDM, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, Rangeela, Wanted, etc. have also been shot here At 7.00 pm the gates of the fort are closed and you start hearing whistles that tell you to come out from the fort. This remains the most iconic and very safe fort in the city.

#2. Worli Fort

There are stories of the fort being built by Britishers in 1675 while some argue that it was built by Portuguese. But after the reconstruction in 2008-09, its look has been changed.

Local villagers from ‘Worli Koliwada’ enjoy the evening breeze here. They had previously blocked the way of the fort. Maybe that’s why not many visitors go here. But the issue has been solved. And this place is also very nice to chill in the evening with the view of sea link in front. This place has also seen the shooting of some movies like ABCD, Wanted. The most important thing is, this is the safest place when it comes to women tourists.

#3. Sewri / Shivadi Fort

It was built by Britishers in around 1680, which happened to be a picnic spot for them as it is surrounded by greenery. It has a nice pentagonal room along with a long domed corridor and linear vaulted structures.

Now it is declared as a grade-I heritage structure and efforts are being undertaken to preserve it. This place is popular amongst photographers as it is also a home for pink flamingoes at the time of migration. It is a good place to spot them. If maintained well, it can attract the attention of tourists again.

#4. Mahim Fort

There are different stories of when it was built but in 1516 Portuguese took over the authority of this fort.  In 1661, the Portuguese ceded the island of Mahim as dowry to Charles II of England.

This place has been declared as a 1st-grade heritage structure. In spite of that, the maintenance and tourism in this area are very poorly handled.

#5. Vasai Fort

This is also called as Fort Bassein, which was a central base for Naval and Docks during Portuguese Rule in the 17th century. The historic old fort was also a pride for Shivaji Maharaj and later it was won by Chimaji Appa.

The restoration of the fort is taking place very slowly. There are remains of a church and also two temples are there. Every year feast celebration happens inside the fort. It has not only attracted Bollywood films like Khamoshi: the musical, Josh etc. but famous British Band Coldplay also shot their song 'Hymn for the Weekend' at this fort.

#6. Madh Fort

Also known as Versova Fort, this was built by Portuguese in the 17th century, which they lost to Maratha empire in 1739. Its front is surrounded by sea view.

Now it is under control of the Indian Air Force as it is located close to an Indian Air Force base and permission is needed for accessing it. It is a wonderful place to chill out along with your bunch of friends away from the city although actually being in the city!

So, where are you planning to land first on this weekends to explore the history of Mumbai?

Written by Medini Kajarekar
Walking through the pages to find home in words.

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