Vasai Fort (Thane - Maharashtra)

Again Mademoiselle Mumbai called me. This time it was through my cousin, when she declared, she's getting married! Here's my OOTD at the wedding event from Fashion Panache.
Obviously a trip to Mumbai calls for its own list of places to be visited. Much unknown to many, is that Mumbai has its own bunch of ancient caves & 15-17th C AD forts. That includes caves in Kanheri, 2 caves in Jogeshwari etc and forts in Sewri, Sion, Mahim, Bandra, Madh, Vasai etc built by Porguese & British. I wanted to see atleast one of these forts if not all, and Vasai Fort was first in the list. I took my print of Magic Eye's blogpost on the same...

The Vasai Fort was built by the Portuguese and was called The Fort of St. Sebastian of Vasai. From the Portuguese, the Marathas won it over by King Baji Rao Peshwa, in 1739. From the Marathas, it went over to British Raj who called it Bassein Fort.


This is the first ever time I saw a fort of this kind. I've seen the Chenji / Gingee fort in Tamil Nadu and Golkonda Fort in Hyderabad, but the construction of those were very different, built with huge boulders of granite. This was built with some smaller granite, bricks, etc. The architecture is a major difference. The earlier places were South Indian and Nawabi architecture, while this was purely western, Portuguese to be precise. It was awesome. It was in ruins, still it was majestic.


I managed to spot the Fort beside a temple. An ASI office is at the entrance. It was fenced by ASI. After spending almost more than 15-20 mins in there, I realized this was just one of the 2-3 sections of the fort. I moved over to the 2nd one. 


This was much more maintained with a garden in the front and a swivel door and heavier fence. It was all the more majestic & bigger than the earlier one. I couldn't help but wonder how fabulous it would have been when it was in use. I was visualizing people dressed in Portuguese & Indian outfits of different races, walking about & talking in the huge premises!
The flooring has been re-done by the ASI and some broken places have been filled and renovated. There were some little openings & paths that led nowhere. Earlier might have been doors, who knows!


Some planks with reliefs sculpted on them were kept aside. Some more panels of relief sculptures were still intact on the walls. 


Some had written words - No I couldn't read the language! All of the windows and doors were arched in true arches, that's one fabulous aspect of architecture. 

One thing that totally astonished was there were no bats, no monkeys, no mongrels and no stupid humans too (read - smoking drunkards or just college bunking brats). Not even broken whiskey bottles - that's astonishing, I mean really, really astonishing. Just a few pigeons, nothing else!!! Behind this building was a huge wild mango tree. I had seen wild mango trees only in Parappalaru before this! 

Further walking ahead lead to a school here, while is located within the compound of the fort!! Beyond that is the village. Women clad in traditional Marathi saree drape with Mangalsutras and Men in the traditional triangular lungi tie-dyed in bright colors were walking about. Enroute was a mini dhobi-ghat with about 20 women washing clothes here - that itself was a colorful sight with their colorful outfit and all the more colorful garments that they were washing. In a green environment, with granite fort background, so much of colors was an amazing visual treat!!!


TO REACH THERE:
Nearest Railway Station in Mumbai: Vasai Road station in Western Railway Line of Mumbai Local.
Trains to Virar pass through Vasai.
Autos can be taken from the station to the Fort. Mumbai autos run on metre.
Refer to the fort locally as Vasai Khila, as in the local language, so they understand!

Dedicated to my Mom & Pop

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

18 comments:

  1. Great!!!! u visited a fort I have wanted to visit for a long long time!!!

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    1. Why haven't u visited yet. Its an awesome place... Go there, you'll love it...

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  2. Well described. I enjoyed visiting this fort couple of years ago. The bronze bell from this fort (Church) after it was captured, got shifted to Bhimashankar (Jyotirlinga.

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    1. Oh! You've been to the fort! Nice.. :)
      And wow, my school senior was in Bhimasankar for in recent past for research in the sanctuary. Wish I knew of this, I could have told her to check out the bronze bell too!!! Anyway, thank you so much for the info... :)

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  3. Nicely written. Beautiful fort.

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  4. HI

    Nice place...It reminds me of the song 'Uyire' from Maniratnam's Bombay...Is it by any chance the same place?

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    1. That's Bekal Fort in Kasargod in Kerala. I was almost there during college days, when we were barred from going there as it was raining that time and the place was unsafe during rains! :( :( :(

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Vineeta..:)
      Thanks for dropping by n commenting.
      Do drop by often.. :)

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  6. Really well-written with great pics - I envy people who manage to visit such places - I get perennially stuck at work and the weekend means washing and ironing clothes :). Do post more photos and also share info on the street-food of Mumbai

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    1. Thank you Mahesh. Thanks for appreciating n taking time to drop a comment.
      And pls don't get jealous of me!!! :)
      Why don't you wash every night and iron every morning and roam around in weekends? I've done that, it pretty much worked out!!! :)

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  7. Forts I love, Good photographs and well described

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  8. First off..i'm glad you picked vasai fort to visit..but from your picture and description,i gathered that what you did see was only the tip of the iceberg...the fort is way more massive...and there's so much more to see! you missed out on the great iron dorr that can be accessed from the dock entrance...within the same section is a beautiful church with a turret where one can climb upto and sit for hours...js staring out at sea...
    Do visit again...vasai fort is a fort with its own charm...definitely a place to see over again...

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    Replies
    1. Thank you dear.
      Wow! So bad I missed so much. I should indeed visit again...

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