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Arnala Fort

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Arnala Fort is built on an small island which can be accessed by a ferry from Arnala village. Arnala Village is located 10 KM away from Virar Railway station and around 14 KM away from Vasai Railway station on Western line. St. Peter's Church is also located here.
Old lighthouse near Arnal Fort


I saw the photos of Arnala fort on the Internet. The fort was in good condition, so I decided to pay a visit to it. This fort is also known as Jaldurg (literally sea-fort in Hindi) or Jangire- Arnala. This fort was built by a local chieftain from Gujarat and later owned by the Portuguese colonials.
St Peter's Church at Arnala Village

I asked my friend Hitesh to accompany me, I met Hitesh when I was in the 10th grade. Since both of us like trekking I asked him to join me in exploring the fort, and he agreed. So we decided that we would go to see the fort on a Saturday.
Lighthouse and Arnala Fort in a distance

Come Saturday morning, we boarded a fast train to Virar from Andheri Station on platform 4, alighted at Virar and boarded the ST bus to Arnala Village. Share and private rickshaw's also ply to the fort.It took us 35 minutes to reach the village. Alternatively Arnala Village can also be reached by ST bus from Vasai ST bus stand located outside Vasai railway station. No share rickshaw's are available from Vasai station.


Bastion at Arnala Fort

Arnala Market was the last stop for the bus and that is where we alighted. The market was packed with people. Smell of fish lingered all around. There was a Church nearby. St. Peter's Church. We entered the church, sat inside silently for some time and then headed out to see the fort.


Entrance to Arnala Fort


Fortification of Arnala Fort
We had to walk through narrow gullies surrounded by the houses of the local fisher folk on our way to the ferry wharf. Arnala fort, being a sea-fort, is in the middle of the water. This fact was not known to us earlier and it took us by surprise to know that we would need to go through waist-deep water to board the ferry. Our trousers were going to be wet. But we had not come all this way just to be put off by the fear of getting wet. As a lot of people stay on the island, the ferry was packed with more people than it could carry. But it was just the two of us who made it to the fort. Clearly the fort is not a must-see item on the agenda of tourists.


Fortification of Arnala Fort

Finally after 20 minutes, we reached the entrance of the fort. The fort was in very good condition. It has a hexagonal shaped water reservoir, temples and tombs. The main door of the fort is carved. It has a few bastions on it. It took us around 2 hours to see the entire fort along with photo shoots, of course.
Light House at a distance from Arnala Fort
Water tank at Arnala Fort
There is a lighthouse nearby which is around an hour’s distance from the fort. Unfortunately, there is no proper entrance to it. So we had to satisfy ourselves with looking at it from the outside.
Temple within Arnala Fort
Arnala Beach from Arnala Fort
The trek had tired us out considerably. Finally at the end of the day, we boarded the ferry and headed back to Arnala village and from there headed home.

Other sea forts I have visited are Murud Janjira, Alibag Fort and (Khanderi and Undheri )Forts in Alibag and Sindhudurg in Malvan

7 comments:

NEEL said...

GOOD ONE

PRANAV KELUSKAR said...

awesome pictures, and the information about the places, keep it posted

merod22 said...

Thanks Neel and Pranav, any place you want me to writeon, pls keep me posted

Deepak Pogade said...

hey Merwyn.. great work.. man.. compilation is awesome...
hope we will join some day for trek...

keep it up.. :-)

merwynsrucksack said...

Thanks Deepak, sure hope to see you soon on a trek :)

aditya vasaikar said...

nice work. but can you explain more about villages on island around the fort? i m architecture student and wish to take the site for my thesis.so if you able provide information it will be needfull

Aditya Vasaikar said...

hey nice work. but can you explain more about villages on island around the fort. i m architecture student and i wish to take this site for my thesis so if you can provide with more information it will help me alot

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