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St. Jerome Fort in Nani Daman

Monday, July 9, 2012

Standing atop one of the bastions I could see the horizon at one end, the fishing boats parked in the Damanganga that divides Moti and Nani Daman on another end and the silent fishing village of Nani Daman in yet another direction.
Entrance to St. Jerome Fort in Nani Daman. Above the Door is a statue of St. Jerome with many inscriptions and carvings on the walls of the fort.

No wonder that the St Jerome Fort was built here to keep a watch on the vessels that ventured in via the sea and also to keep a check on the enemies of the state.
Fishing Boats parked on the banks of Nani Dman

St Jerome Fort has two entrances. The main entrance is near the sea; it is placed opposite the fort of Moti Daman on the other side of the Damanganga creek. To read more on River Damanganga http://merwynsrucksack.blogspot.in/2012/05/bridge-over-river-damanganga.html The other entrance is a small one which connects the sleepy village of Nani Daman to the fort.
View from the main entrance of St. Jerome Fort. The fishing boats parked on the banks of both Nani Daman and Moti Daman. with River Damanganga flowing through it in the Arabian Sea

At the main entrance is a huge statue of St Jerome, a renowned Catholic priest. A few inscriptions in Portuguese are placed below the Portuguese emblems on either side of the statue.  Atop it is placed the Cross. As I cannot read Portuguese, I cannot enlighten you on what those words meant. If you can read the language, I’d appreciate it if you could translate it for me. There are two huge human figures carved in the walls near the entrance. Carved around 400 years ago, they are still in good condition.
Within the premises of St. Jerome Fort. It encloses the Church of Our Lady of the Sea, a school, a graveyard and an open ground.

The huge main door has developed cracks in it, but it continues to adorn the entrance of the fort.
Though the fort is around 400 years old, the walls of the fort are intact. There is no sign of any breakage around the fort.  But the fort is covered by graffiti, which ruins its splendour and reflects badly on the narrow mindsets of the people who have visited this place and left destruction and ruin where once there was only beauty.

Portuguese cemetary in the premises of the Fort.

The entire fort can be covered by walking across the thick walls of the fort. It takes around an hour’s time to see the entire fort. The fort offers a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea, the Fort of Moti Daman http://merwynsrucksack.blogspot.com/2012/06/fort-of-moti-daman.html ,and the colorful fishing boats parked in the waters of Damanganga.
The fort comprises the Church of Our Lady of the Sea http://merwynsrucksack.blogspot.in/2012/06/church-of-our-lady-of-sea.html, which has now been converted into a school. A cemetery and an open ground also stand on the premises.

One of the many Crosses erected on the walls of the Fort

The walls of the fort have holes to support guns that were used to protect the fort. I could not locate any cannons on this fort. I found this strange, particularly as the fort is near the sea. There was always a possibility of the enemy attacking the fort. So did the Portuguese guard the fort with the guns they had and the infantry or was there more to it, which has been lost to us somewhere in the last 400 years?
A structure on the walls of the Fort spoiled by graffiti

Standing atop the fort, I felt as I was the Commander of this Fort, keeping a watch on the walls to check that we were not in danger of being attacked by our enemies.
There are a couple of broken down structures atop the walls of the fort along with the open spaces near them. I wondered what they were. 
This narrow staricase leads to nowhere, one upon a time it lead to somehere but now nothing exists there

Another well carved entrance within the fort premises takes us to the walls of the fort. These entrances were neatly carved as arches in the thick walls of the fort with emblems above them.

Church of Our Lady of the Sea in its premises

There are these two big rooms in here to which gates have been newly constructed. I guessed that these rooms were being misused. There were beer cans and broken beer bottles lying around on the walls of the fort, making it clear that people come here to drink.
The other entrance to the fort from land with a few gigantic rooms in its premises

Guys, this is a historical monument and not a place in which to drink and to do graffiti. Do you do the same at home? I don’t think so. Then why here? This is an ancient monument, a heritage structure, which needs to be protected by us, not destroyed.
One of hte large rooms in the fort premises now guarded with a gate as it was misused by the people. Inside I noticed waste paper, beer bottles and graffiti on the walls. Its good that this is kept closed.
So please do not drink or do graffiti on the walls of this fort or other forts anywhere.

2 comments:

Sheldon Quinny said...

Good Review,

Thanks.

Merwyn Rodrigues said...

Thanks Sheldon Quinny

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