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Bassein Fort

Vasai or Bassein Fort is a large fort in Vasai village, in the Vasai taluka (county) of the District of Palghar, Konkan Division, MaharashtraState, Republic of India. The name "Bassein" is the English version of the Portuguese "Baçaim" (with the "ç" spoken as "s" and with the "m" silent), itself a version of an apparently native name that may have a connection to the Vasa Konkani tribals of the North Konkan region, extending from Mumbai into "South Gujarat." The Marathi name of the place is Vasai.The complete form of the Portuguese name is "Fortaleza de São Sebastião de Baçaim" or the Fort of St. Sebastian of Vasai. The Vasai fort is a monument of national importance and is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The fort and the village are accessible most easily through the Vasai Road Railway Station, which itself is in Manikpur-Navghar, a part of the newly raised City of Vasai-Virar (See "Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation"), and lies to the immediate north of the cities of Mumbai and Mira Road-Bhayander. The "Vasai Road" Railway Station is on the Western Railway line (formerly the Bombay, Baroda & Central India Railways) in the direction of Virar Railway Station

History
Portuguese mariners exploring the north Konkan Coast, discovered the Arab Sultanate of Khambat or Cambay, building or renovating or expanding the fort in the early 1400s and attacked it in a failed effort to seize it. Later, after more systematic efforts, the Sultanate of Cambay ceded the fort to Portugal by the Treaty of Saint Matthew signed on the Portuguese brig Sao Matteus anchored in the Bhayander Creek or Vasai Harbor.Under Portugal, the fort was the Northern Court or "Corte da Norte," second only to the City of Goa, functioning as the headquarters of the Captain of the North. For 150 odd years, the presence of the Portuguese made the surrounding area a vibrant and opulent city. As such it was the capital of Portuguese possessions on the coast north of Goa, over places such as Chaul-Revdanda, Karanja Island, the Bombay Archipelago, Bandra Island, Juhu Island, Salsette Island including the City of Thane, Dharavi Island, the Vasai archipelago itself, Daman, Diu, and other Portuguese holdings extending up the coasts to Pakistan, Oman, the UAE, Iran, and other parts of the Persian Gulf.The ethnic community locally known in the Bombay region as the "East Indians" (sic) were called "Norteiro" (Northernmen) after the Court of the North functioning out of the fort. In the 18th century, the fort was taken over by the Maratha army under Peshwa Baji Rao's brother Chimaji Appa, and fell in 1739 after a three-year-long campaign. (See-Battle of Vasai) The British shortly attacked and took over the territory from the Marathas as the price for supporting one faction of the Marathas against another.

Present
The ramparts overlook what is alternatively called the Vasai Creek and the Bhayander Creek and are almost complete, though overgrown by vegetation. Several watch-towers still stand, with safe staircases leading up. The Portuguese buildings inside the fort are in ruins, although there are enough standing walls to give a good idea of the floor plans of these structures. Some have well-preserved façades. In particular, many of the arches have weathered the years remarkably well. They are usually decorated with carved stones, some weathered beyond recognition, others still displaying sharp chisel marks.\Three chapels inside the fort are still recognisable. They have façades typical of 17th-century Portuguese churches. The southernmost of these has a well preserved barrel-vaulted ceiling. Besides all the structures one should not miss observing the nature that has taken over much of the fort. It is a great place to observe butterflies, birds, plants and reptiles. The Archaeological Survey of India has started restoration work of the fort, although the quality of the work has been severely criticized by "conservation activists". It is said that the fort has a bad reputation for illegal activities and that during the week days its not advisable for tourists or women to visit it.

Accessibility
One needs to take a Western Railways train bound to Virar from Churchgate and get off at Vasai Road. If someone is coming from the Central Railway or Central Railway Harbour Line then they have to switch to the Western Railway line at either Dadar, Bandra or Andheri. Another railway line connects the Central and the Western Railways lines from Vasai Road Railway Station to Diva, a stop just beyond Thane city on the Central Railway line, and long-distance passenger trains travelling this route also carry commuters between the two lines. A new railway station named Kopar has started which is between Diva and Dombivli. Passengers travelling from Thane or Kalyan can alight at Kopar and go top by staircase and at Platform No.3 they can catch the Diva to Vasai train. Vasai Road station is only one hour by train from Kopar station. Currently there are 5 trains daily which goes to Vasai Road from Dombivli, Diva and Panvel and 5 trains from Vasai Road to Diva and Panvel. There is a State Road Transport Bus Terminus & Station adjacent and to the immediate west of the Vasai Road Railway Station in Manickpur-Navghar. The destination for buses going to the Vasai fort is "Killa Bunder" or "Fort Jetty/Quay." There are buses every half hour. Ticket costs you Rs. 7.00 and you can get off at the last stop and walk around. Auto-Rickshaws are also available which can be hired from the western entrance to the Railway station but cost more per head and are unsafe in that they are usually congested. Auto Rickshaws are also available which can be hired from the main road outside the station but it would cost you around Rs.20.00 per head.

Belapur Fort

Belapur Fort is a fort near the township of Belapur in Navi Mumbai (New Bombay), Maharashtra, India. The fort was built by theSiddis of Janjira. It was later conquered by the Portuguese, and then Marathas. In the early 19th century, the fort was captured by the British. After the British gained supremacy in the region, with the expansion of the Bombay Presidency, the strategic importance of the fort declined, and it fell into disuse.

History

Built in 1560–1570 by the Siddis, after they wrested control of the area from the Portuguese, it is located atop a hillock, near the mouth of the Panvel Creek. In 1682, the fort was recaptured by the Portuguese, who had managed to annex the regions controlled by the Siddis, near Belapur (at that time known as Shabaz). In 1733, the Marathas, led by Chimnaji Appa, wrested control of the fort from the Portuguese. He had made a vow that if it were to be successfully recaptured from the Portuguese, he would place a garland of beli leaves in a nearby Amruthaishwar temple, and after the victory the fort was christened as Belapur Fort. The Marathas ruled the area until 23 June 1817, when it was captured by Captain Charles Gray of the British East India Company. The British partially destroyed the fort under their policy of razing any Maratha stronghold in the area During its active days, the fort stationed four companies each of 180 men, and 14 guns ranging from 4–12 pounds (2–5 kg) in weight. An underground tunnel is also supposed to exist, which many locals believe connects it to Gharapuri Island, the site of theElephanta Caves.

Restoration
The fort comes under the jurisdiction of City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO). It lies in a dilapidated state. Plans are underway to renovate the fort which is in danger of being lost to encroachments. Residents have used the Right to Information Act to save the fort from dumping and debris. A pond in the vicinity that supplies water to the area is also in danger of being choked.

Bhimgad Fort

Bhimgad Fort are historical ruins located within the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary, on a detached spur of the Western Ghats, in Khanapur Taluk of Belgaum District near JambotiVillage, Karnataka state, India. It is located in the heart of the Mhadei river watershed. It was built and occupied by Shivaji Maharaj in the mid 17th century during his conquest ofSouth India to defend from the Portuguese colonial troops who controlled Goa at that time.

Location
The fort sits on top of a 300 ft (91 m) rock outcropping at the crest of the escarpment overlooking the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and rising 1,800 ft (550 m) near vertically above the plains to the west. The defenses were almost entirely natural, requiring little additional construction.

History
Near the end of 1676, Shivaji besieged Belgaum and Vayem Rayim in current day northern Karnataka. From here he launched a wave of conquests in southern India with a massive force of 30,000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry.[2] Bhimgad was one of the forts that Shivagi still held when he died in 1680. In 1719, the fort was included with the 16 districts given to a grandson of Shivagi, Chattrapati Shahu, at the beginning of his own rule. About 1787, the fort was overtaken by theNesagari chief but it was soon retaken. In 1820 it was observed by the British and in 1844 it was occupied by them to guard against insurgents who threatened Belgaum.

Description
There is one narrow stone-cut trail leading up to the fort. The ruins are 1,380 ft (420 m) long from north to south and 825 ft (251 m) broad from east to west. The fort has only one gateway and the walls are still mostly intact. The inside is overgrown with brush and there is one fresh-water spring on the west side and a small reservoir in the north, both of which are dry in the two hottest months of the year. The fort had an eight-pound gun and a three-pound gun plus a wall musket. Bhimgad was one of the forts that Shivagi still held when he died in 1680.

Chakan Fort

Sangram Durga is a land fort situated at Chakan, Pune, India. It is famous for its defense by Firangoji Narsala a renownedMaratha warrior and military leader in the army of Shivaji, a Maharaja of the Maratha Empire, against a Mughal army led byShaista Khan in 1660 .Firangoji was a Killedar(commander) of this fort in Chakan (Pune). When Shaista Khan invaded Pune with a lakh of soldiers, he selected Sangram Durga as the first target. He attacked the fort with 10,000 soldiers. Firangoji Narsala was prepared for this attack, despite only having 200 soldiers at his disposal. Just before this attack Shivaji had asked his commander to leave the fort, however Firangoji decided not to abandon the fort and instead started a fierce guerrilla war against the Mughals and defended the fort for almost two months.The Mughals tried another way of taking the fort. They dug a tunnel up to the fort; which was a challenge because of the water around it. They filled this tunnel with explosives and blew up the wall of the fort. This was a major setback for Firangoji and his soldiers; 75 soldiers died in this attack. The Mughal army rushed into the fort; fierce fighting ensued and many Maratha soldiers were killed.Shaista Khan was astonished by Firangoji's bravery, and offered him Mughal Sardari. Firangoji refused to accept it and instead Shaista Khan gave him and his soldiers safe passage. Firangoji came to meet Shivaji and apologised for surrendering the fort. Shivaji, happy with him for having defended the small fort for almost 2 months said "if it took 60 days for Shaista Khan to take a small fort, imagine how many days will be required to capture an entire swarajya (kingdom)". Shivaji rewarded Firangoji and made him Killedar of the Bhupalgad fort .

Chanderi Fort

Chanderi Fort located at Chanderi in Ashoknagar District of Madhya Pradesh state in India is situated at a distance of 127 km from Shivpuri and 37 km from Lalitpur and about 45 km fromEsagarh and 38 km from Mungoali It is located on a hill southwest of the Betwa River. Chanderi is surrounded by hills, lakes and forests and there are several monuments of the Bundela Rajputs andMalwa sultans. Chanderi finds mention in Mahabharata. Shishupal was the king of Mahabharata period. Chanderi is located strategically on the borders of Malwa and Bundelkhand. History of Chanderi goes back to the 11th century, when it was dominated by the trade routes of Central India and was proximate to the arterial route to the ancient ports of Gujarat as well as to Malwa, Mewar, Central India and the Deccan. Consequently, Chanderi became an important military outpost Chanderi Fort, a vast Mughal fort, dominates the skyline of the lovely old town of Chanderi. The main gate of the fort is known as the "Khooni Darwaza". Chanderi fort is situated on a hill 71 meter above the town. The fortification walls were constructed mainly by the Muslim rulers of Chanderi. To the southwest of the fort there is a curious gateway called katti-ghatti made through a hill side

History
Chanderi is mentioned by the Persian scholar Alberuni in 1030. Ghiyas ud din Balban captured the city in 1251 for Nasir ud din Mahmud, Sultan of Delhi. Sultan Mahmud I Khilji of Malwa captured the city in 1438 after a siege of several months. In 1520 Rana Sangha of Mewar captured the city, and gave it to Medini Rai, a rebellious minister of Sultan Mahmud II of Malwa. The Mughal Emperor Babur captured the city from Medini Rai, and in 1540 it was captured by Sher Shah Suri, and added to the governorship of Shujaat Khan. The Mughal Emperor Akbar made the city asarkar in the subah of Malwa. The Bundela Rajputs captured the city in 1586, and it was held by Ram Sab, a son of Raja Madhukar of Orchha. In 1680 Devi Singh Bundela was made governor of the city, and Chanderi remained in the hands of his family until it was annexed in 1811 by Jean Baptiste Filose for the Maratha ruler Daulat Rao Sindhia of Gwalior. The city was transferred to the British in 1844. The British lost control of the city during the Revolt of 1857, and the city was recaptured by Sir Hugh Rose on February 14, 1858. Richard Harte Keatinge was awarded the Victoria Cross for leading this assault. The city was transferred back to the Sindhias of Gwalior in 1861, and became part ofIsagarh District of Gwalior state. After India's independence in 1947, Gwalior became part of the new state of Madhya Bharat, which was merged into Madhya Pradesh on November 1, 1956.





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