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Belapur Fort

Sunday, July 29, 2012


The rays of the early morning sun shone down on the sea, framed by mangroves along the shore. It was a site worth seeing from the bastion of the fort, although the fort itself stands in ruins today.
This is the story of Belapur Fort, once a watchtower perched on a hilltop, watching over the sea and the mangroves.
This fort was initially built by the Siddhis who had built the massive fort of Murud Janjira,  To read about Murud Janjira http://merwynsrucksack.blogspot.in/2010/11/murud-roadtrip-includes-korlai-fort.html which later went into the hands of the Portuguese. Subsequently, it was conquered by the Marathas, and finally taken over by the British.  
Tower of Belapur Fort located at the Kille Junction, thats why the junction is called Kille Junction. This tower is covered by trees all around it making it difficult to locate it from a distance. There is a small garden at the base of the tower. The tower is a storey tall but there is no way of accessing the top floor

Today just a bastion stands, and even this has developed huge cracks in it. The walls have broken down and there are very few structures still standing, making it difficult to figure out what it must have been.
This is our history which lies unattended today, and if we don’t take care of it, it might not even exist after some years. Fortunately there is some good news at hand. Jiten Kumar, the watchman of Forest Hills Society, informed me that CIDCO [City and Industrial Development Corporation] was planning to renovate the fort. The news brought a broad smile to my face. If not for such efforts, the whole fort will surely crumble.
The fort is very small. I could not locate any graffiti here. Maybe there are no walls to write on or maybe no one has even heard of this fort.  There are two small ponds near the fort premises with lovely lotus flowers blossoming in the water. I was unhappy to see the lake covered in a sheet of green algae. It could certainly do with some cleaning.  
View from the Belapur Fort located near the Forest Hills Society

The fort is located very close to the Forest Hills Society which is also perched on the hill rock. In fact one can enter the fort from Wing A of the society. This fort is very close to Kille Junction and located in Sector 32. 
A small road, running parallel to the Uran highway from Kille Junction, leads to the fort.  A little ahead the road divides into two, one leading to CIDCO guesthouse and Forest Hills Society and the other to the Fort. In fact, either of the two roads will eventually take you to the fort.
Kille Junction is so named because there are two forts here in Belapur. Both are bastions at a distance of 20 minutes from each other. While the former gives you a view of the sea and the mangroves, the latter offers a view of the Road Junction that connects Uran, Mumbai and Thane to Belapur.

Some structures located atop the fort

The fort at Kille Junction is so well camouflaged near the trees that one can hardly locate the fort here. I found it difficult to locate it myself.
This fort was in a better condition than the one I had left behind. The walls of this fort were made of stone and held together with a cement-like material. Patches of grass, now dry, had sprouted within the walls. This is a two-storeyed building but there is no way to access the top stories. The walls had small narrow holes in them to support guns to shoot the approaching enemy.
This is also a watch tower which enabled people in the old days to watch over the land. Currently I believe some soul has made it his home, as I saw a mat and some cooking utensils in there.

Some more structures located atop the fort with openings for window

The tower which once used to watch over the land now silently watches over the busy highway that connects various places together. It has certainly seen some modernisation.
The tower is very close to Belapur CBD railway station. After alighting from the station, you have to board a rickshaw to Kille Junction. The trip takes around 10 minutes and the fare is Rs 17.  There is no provision for food and water near the fort premises.

The pond full of lotus and infestd with algae at the bottom of the fort
Both the forts are not in very good condition. I hope CIDCO’s plans to work on the renovation of these forts come to fruition. It would be nice to see these forts restored to their past beauty. If that is not possible, at least some attempt can be made to maintain the remains well.
So that is what I saw on my visit to Belapur Fort. A big Thank you to Ameya Gokhale who introduced me to this fort via his blog and to Flature who accompanied me on my visit to this fort.


Map : Belapur Station to Belapur Fort


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4 comments:

Aneesh Gokhale said...

'On 27th March 1737 , Marathas under Chimaji Appa crossed into Salsette ( present day Mumbai beyond Dadar) . Narayan Joshi invaded Parsik and Belapur fort . Apart from the forts of Uran , Vasai , Bandra and Versova ; everything else was annexed to Bajirao I's Maratha Empire . ' ( Konkan - from earliest times to 1818 : Dr VG Khobrekar . Snehavardhan Publishing House )

R Niranjan Das said...

Nice fort and well described.

www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks Aneesh, for the headups on the history

cheers
merwyn

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks R Niranjan Das

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