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Revdanda Fort at Revdanda near Alibag in Maharashtra

Monday, October 12, 2015

Revdanda Fort built by the Portuguese, is located on the shores of the Revdanda Beach near Alibag. Revdanda is around 17 KM away from Alibag and can be accessed by the Alibag Murud Road. It is located very near to the Fort and Light House at Korlai in Maharashtra.
Revdanda Fort at Revdanda Beach

I have been to Alibag and places around it in my previous trips. I have seen most of the forts it has in its vicinity. The only ones remaining to be conquered were Sagargad, Revdanda Fort and Korlai Fort.

As decided Manohar and I set out to visit the three forts on a overnight trip to Alibag. We boarded the first ferry to Alibag at a price of Rs.95 each. Note. there are three operators plying ferries to Alibag, the rates differ and so do the timings. 
Fortification of Revdanda Fort
Though it was the first ferry, it was quite empty.  The weather was gloomy, the sun had risen but the rays of the sun couldn't penetrate through the thick clouds to reach us. The waters were calm in the morning so not many ups and downs in the start of the day. 

In an hour's time we were at Mandwa Jetty, from there we boarded the bus to reach Alibag. Note. The price of the ticket (includes the price of the ferry and the bus ride). In another hour's time we were at Alibag. 
Tower within Revdanda Fort premises
We alighted here and headed off to the nearest eatery to have some breakfast. A strong meal at the start of the day. Though the time was just 8:15 AM on my watch, the heat was killing us. 

We then took some Rava cakes from a nearby Iyengar Bakery, food for us to eat on the way to Sagargad. Like Chinese Fast Food, Rava Cakes is become a must on most of our travel expeditions. 
Cannons within Revdanda Fort premises
Luckily we got a ST bus which was plying to Sagaon which stops at Khandale Village. We boarded the same and in a matter of 15 minutes we alighted at Khandale Village. The ticket cost us Rs.12 for two. This is the base village, from where the trek trail starts. 
Fortification of Revdanda, but couldn't access due to low tide

We inquired with a couple of locals in regards to the fort and the time it would take for us to reach the same. They informed us that it would take around 3 to 4 hours to reach the top of the fort. Though the climb is not difficult, but the trail is exhaustive. At 9:15 AM the heat was unbearable. We had to make a choice if we wanted to climb up or abort the plan. As the heat would kill us anyway. We decided to abort the plan. 
View of Korlai hillock from Revdanda fort
We then boarded a ST bus to Alibag Bus station. Note: the ordinary buses (Lal Dabba) stop here but not the Hirkani  ones. Tum Tum take around Rs.15 each. The later are forever packed with people. We opted to board the ST bus to Alibag. Again at a cost of Rs. 12 we were at Alibag Bus Depot. 
Structure in Revdanda Fort premises
Inquired with the locals. There are buses plying to and plying by Revdanda Bus Depot to go to Murud. So one can board any one of the two buses. There is a good frequency of buses here. They ply every 20 minutes. 
Emblem within the Revdanda fort premises
The bus journey is about an hour long and it cost us Rs.19 each. Again the driver will drive as if he is driving a formula one car along the narrow and curvy roads full of vehicles. It was a bumpy ride. I even wet my tees while trying to have some water. LOL.

A couple of KM away from the Revdanda Bus depot, we  started to see the fortification of the fort. I understood that the fort is huge and has got people living within its premises. Something similar to Vasai Fort near Mumbai. 
St Francis Xavier Chapel within the fort premises
We alighted at the Revdanda Bus Depot. Sadly there are no food eateries near the Bus Stand apart from the Shared Tum Tum and Private Rickshaw Stand. There are very few options available for overnight stay here. We got ourselves a room at a cost of Rs.600 for the night at Swagat Niwas located next to Raut Bungalow. The room was average. No TV and No Fridge. Hot water available in the morning, with Anglo Indian commode. 

Again there are only two eateries near the Revdanda beach and Fort. Though they are both on the main road.  Both are bars, one being a cheap one and the other catering to families. Surbhi Family Restaurant and Bar. Food is okay here. 
Ruins of old church in Revdanda fort premises
Note: In the rains it is common to have a electricity cut. So the village will not have electricity but Surbhi Restaurant and Bar has a generator so it is business as usual for them. 

After having lunch here, we inquired with a couple of locals and headed off to see Revdanda Fort. We climbed up the broken down walls of the fort to access the fort from the inside. The sea facing entrance can be accessed during low tide. The tide was high, hence we had to climb up the walls. 

A little bit of history. This fort was built by the Portuguese Captain Soj in 1558 and had named it Santa Maria de Castelo. It was later named as Rev Danda by the locals. 
Bus timings at Revdanda ST bus stand
The fort is densely populated with coconut trees and betul nut trees. Outside the fort premises the beach area has casuarina trees. So maybe the Portuguese planted these trees within the fort premises. 

The fort premises, it has a 4 storey tower and a couple of cannons within its walls. It also houses an old structure similar to that of a church, though it is in ruins now. It houses a Chapel of St. Francis Xavier. It is said that he delivered his earliest sermons while in India here.   Apart from it there are a couple of other ruins also. Not sure what they are, though they have emblems on them, which are not in English. It took us around 2 hours to explore the entire fort. 
Another structure in Revdanda Fort premises
We then headed off to the Bazaar area, which is around 2 KM away from Revdanda Beach. ST buses and share Tum Tum are available to go there. After picking up water we headed to the hotel. The water here is bore well water. 

We headed off to the beach to watch the sun go down on us. There was hardly any crowd at the beach.. We could see the Korlai Fort in a distance on a neighboring hillock. Sat on the sand to watch the calm waters. Soon  it was dusk and in a couple of minutes it was dark. There is a flood light put at the entrance of the beach. If you are wearing shorts, then apply Odomos (Mosquito repellent cream) else the mosquitoes will suck the blood out of you. They attack in huge nos. I was attacked. 
Bus timings at Revdanda ST bus stand
There was lighting but no thunder in the skies. The mosquito attack was unbearable for me and so we headed off to Hotel Surbhi at 7:30 PM to have dinner. The moment we entered, it started pouring heavily. Had we been at the beach, we would have been soaking wet by now. Due to the rains the power was cut in the village. The hotel has generator so we had electricity. Had a couple of beers along with chinese fast food. We then waited for the rain to reduce so that we could reach Swagat Niwas. Finally around 11 PM the rains reduced to a trickle and we made our way to the Niwas. 

The rain was so strong, that it filled some of the potholes on the road. 

Had to catch up on sleep as we had to leave for Korlai Light House and Fort the next morning.  


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