Archive for the ‘Murud’ Category

Janjira Fort

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Janjira Fort which is the local name for the fort is located half a mile of the Rajpuri Village coast in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. The fort is famous for being the only fort along India’s western coast which remained undefeated even after the Maratha, Dutch and English East India Company attacks. It’s one of the must visit sightseeing while in Murud or surrounding villages. It’s mainly visited by Indian tourists who are on their way from Mumbai to GOA. The fort can be easily reached from anywhere in the Murud area, the Auto Auto drive back and forth from the main Murud market, a 1,5 mile bumpy road across the coast for the price of 5 Rs. (about $0.10). towards the harbor in Rajpuri Village.

From the Auto Auto stop it’s a 5 minutes walk to the Pierre where you will have to purchase a ticket in order to visit the Murud Janjira Fort for the price of 20 Rs. (about $0.40). The boats depart every 10 to 15 minutes towards the fort, they are old fashioned sailing boats without engines. About 10 people should be allowed on the boat, but the Indians try to fit in as many as they can.

The boat ride lasts about 15 minutes, is very relaxing and is giving great sightseeing of the Janjira Fort, which itself is absolutely huge! The fortress is about 500 years old, and once arrived they will start a tour which is in Indian (Hindi) language. The price of the tour guide is 30 Rs. per head, no English guides are available. Tourists are allowed to wonder around the fort for about 45 minutes free of charge giving unique opportunities of making endless magnificent pictures and video footage, which are free of charge to bring.

It’s advisable to go to the top of the fort, where the flag located giving you a fantastic view of the Janjira coast and the fort. It can get a bit windy up there, so be careful! Around the fort there’s a lot of Indian workers trying to clean up the fort. In the recent years tourists have written texts on the walls which is prohibited by law, as of March 2010 they are repainting the fort, and the most parts are under construction.


Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Once capital of the former Janjira state, nowadays the photo rich fisherstown of Murud which is situated about 102 miles south of Mumbai and can be easily reached by ferry/bus combination from the Gate of India as its located on the green west coast of Maharashtra. Janjira is the Marathi corruption of the Arabic word “jazirah” meaning “island”. Although the whole city was once called Janjira, the true meaning is defined by the mighty island fortress in the sea.

When you arrive in Murud by bus or taxi there’s just one main street leading through the city which is narrow and clean, one the sides are palm trees and colored houses, an gigantic empty beach can be found on the right hand side overlooking the outlines of the Casa Fort with nearby a few lodges like Sahil Lodge (from 600rs/night) as well a handful of hotels like Sea sight (from 800rs/night) providing cheap accommodation. Nearby these accommodation is another hotel/restaurant facing the beach named Vinajak Garden Family Restaurant providing cheap, fresh local foods for breakfast and dinner. It’s not a popular tourist destination but more of a stop-over for backpackers who are traveling from Mumbai towards Goa and back. 

The presence of the volatile Abyssinians can be felt like the tales of Murud’s past glory being told by the locals, as well can be seen by visiting the magnificent Sidi Palace that even today still stands on the outskirts of Murud village. The Sidi Palace brings a whole new dimension to tourist sightseeing with it’s 43 acres of land, old cannon’s, remnants of stone lion and a disused fountain covered with weeds and sculpture, not to mention the interiors of the Sidi Palace which is absolutely breathtaking unfortunately tourists are not allowed to go inside. Another great sightseeing in Murud is the Janjira Fort which is nearby the Janjira Village.

As earlier mentioned, the beach is empty besides for a few fishermen and kids riding buffalo’s with wooden cars, as well horses. You’re in for a surprise! Leaves you wondering why they don’t add a few beach shacks, restaurants and advertise Murud as a beach resort. As far our research, map wise Murud is the closest beach town from Mumbai and can be easily reached within 4 hours of convenient travel. It’s a perfect hide-away for Mumbai citizens and backpackers, but as of March 2010 has a serious lack of facilities. There’s just a few small shops that sell snacks and drinks although the Fish Market at the end of the beach is defiantly worth a visit. In the entire city of Muru there’s no ATMs (closes one is 19 miles away) and just a single internet cafe named “Fahim Internet Cafe” opened from 8:30 am to 11:00 pm (35rs. per hour) with 17 inch flat screens and a decent internet connection which is a few doors down from the Sahil Lodge.

The trip from Mumbai to Murud should cost you 144 rs. as of March 2010 for the ferry and bus from Gate of India to Mandrwa by ferry 45 minutes, from Mandrwa by bus to Alibag 30 minutes (2 in 1 ticket 110rs) total travel time 1 hours and 15 minutes. From Alibag central by bus (named tum tum) to Murud 2 hours (bumpy ride) for 34rs. Be sure to stock some extra drinks and snacks before proceeding to Murud by bus as there’s no air-conditioning. The tickets for the bus can be purchased in the bus.