Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vasai Fort

Pune-Vasai-Arnala-Dahanu
Dahanu-Bordi
Bordi-Surat-Sivassa
Silvassa-Jawahar
Jawahar-Pune

PUNE- VASAI 180 KMS 4.5 HRS 

VASAI FORT
Type: Sea Fort
Base Village: Vasai
Where: 180 KMs from Pune
Route: Pune-Mumbai-Vasai
Time visited: November 2012
Time to see: 3+ hrs. Car can be taken to most of the points.

History as on internet:  

The fort of Vasai was built in 1414 by Sardar Bhandari Bhendale. In 1530 Sultan of Gujrat captured the Fort but in 1534 it was conquered by Portuguese. With strong ramparts, the Fort is decagonal with bastion at each of the corner. There are entrances to the fort from both seaside and landside. In 1737, the Marathas tried to capture the fort, but failed. Later Bajirao Peshwa chose Chimajiappa for the mission. He planned for it and decided to attack from swamp side of the fort. They broke the rampart on the northern side. The army broke inside but unfortunately mines burst late and many soldiers died. The fierce battle continued over two days.  The ammunition ended, over 800 Portuguese lost their lives and finally the Portuguese had no option other than to surrender to Chimajiappa.

Shopping: Vasai is famous for Sukeli - preserved Bananas, which is sort of soft dry fruit like Anjir.  (Around 7-8 dried bananas are wrapped in banana leaves which was around Rs60 probably around 0.25kg ) Available in the main market.

Vasai fort is just not like any other fort but a huge area with several structures inside. Located in old vasai,  the fort is along the coast.  Apart from few church buildings, ammunition storeroom, residence of soldiers, there isn’t much to see around. It takes around 2 hours to see the fort completely and you can roam around in car to most of the spots. 

Statue of Narveer Chimajiappa lies on the left side on the way to the fort.


After the statue, turn side for Archaeology department office.  The staff is friendly but they unfortunately they don’t have any guides. The main roads are all tar roads and you can see various building by driving down.



Just adjacent to Archaeology office is dilapidated building probably a church.



Another huge church lies opposite of Archaeology office.




One more church is locate few meters away in a narrow lane.

The double floored structure reminds of once hustling town with several buildings magnificent architecture.



The 4th church worth seeing is one with ‘charkri jina’ or round staircase. Not sure but this church is said to have a huge bell in the tower above which Chimajjiappa brought it and installed in Temple of Menavali near wai. 





VASAI-NALASOPARA-ARNALA (20 KMS)
After Vasai Fort visit we proceeded to Arnala. Arnala is a small fishing village about 20kms from Vasai or 17 kms from Virar. The fort is on a small island which houses a village.  The road to the beach was extremely narrow occupied by fisherman with huge dry areas for fishes on both side. There was absolutely no space for car park. Couldn’t really see any passenger boats and all were mostly fishing boats. Since this was family trip I decided to skip and proceed with next destination- Dhanau.


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