Mumbai is a hub when it comes to beautiful historical places. Maharashtra for a really long time was the centre of Maratha rule and that led to the construction of many structures, buildings and forts here. A lot of these ancient forts and buildings are more than 300- 200 years old. Obviously they are the biggest source of the history of the land as well. So if you are a history buff then visiting these old structures will be one of the most interesting activities for you. One such fort is the Kolaba Fort Mumbai.
The Kolaba Fort Mumbai is a beautiful structure and is a Sea Fort with the Arabian Sea on all sides. At one point of time in history, sea forts were very important for its strategic locations. And for that obvious reason these forts always remained the centre of attraction in power politics too. With multiple attacks, invasions and change in power the charm of this beautiful fort sustained. Even today the fort is still standing in all its glory and is one of the popular sightseeing spots in Mumbai.
So if you are in Mumbai you need to include this fort on your itinerary otherwise you will be missing out on a lot. Keep on reading this article as here I will mention each and everything that you probably need to know about the Kolaba Fort Mumbai. It will be a helpful read for you in planning a successful trip to this fort.
Kolaba Fort Mumbai
Location of Kolaba Fort Mumbai: Alibag, Alibag Beach, Maharashtra
Kolaba Fort timings: 10 am to 6 pm
Entry fee of Kolaba Fort Mumbai: Rs. 5
Ideal duration of visit: 1-2 hours approx
How to Reach Kolaba Fort
The nearest major city to reach the Kolaba Fort is Mumbai which is around 100 km away if you are travelling by road. You will get state transport buses everyday in regular intervals on this route. From locations like Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur etc you will get buses to reach Alibag. Also if you wish to you can also drive through your own vehicle to reach this location. And you can also opt for hired cars as well to reach Alibag.
By sea also the Kolaba Fort Mumbai is easily accessible. It is only a 35 km distance from Mumbai if you travel by sea. You will get speed boats and ferries from the Gateway of India. Mandwa and Rewas are the nearby jetties to reach Alibag. Regular ferry services are available here from Mumbai and it takes around 45 minutes to reach the fort. From the time of sunrise to sunset these ferries and speedboats are in service.
If you wish to travel by train then the Pen railway station is the nearest railway station to reach Kolaba Fort Mumbai. The fort is about 30 km away from the railway station so you can even opt for that as well.
From the shores of Alibag the Kolaba Fort is only 1-2 km away. You will easily get local transport available here like auto rickshaws and private taxis. These are popular modes of transport here. One of the most important ways to reach the fort can be to reach the fort on foot from the shores of Alibag. The distance is not much and it would be an interesting activity too. However note that you can only opt for this during the low rides. During the times of high tide you would need a boat to reach the fort.
Best time to visit Kolaba Fort
The winter months from October to February are the ideal time to visit this fort. The weather is most pleasant during this time and it would make it easier for you to explore the whole location during this time. However the monsoon season is not at all a perfect time to visit here. In fact this is the time you should avoid visiting here. From July to September the region experiences a lot of rainfall. Also there are persistent high tides during this time and that can be a dampener for your trip to this location. During high tides it is not safe to reach the location by boat. Boat services also might be unavailable during this time. So avoid visiting here during that time of the year.
Furthermore the summer season is also not at all perfect to visit this location. Especially the peak summer months of March to June the weather can be too hot and humid. With the sultry weather and the scorching sun the beach location tends to get very uncomfortable for a visit. So try to plan your visit accordingly.
Overview of Kolaba Fort Mumbai
Situated amidst the sea there is a reason why is the Kolaba Fort called a Sea Fort. This beautiful fort in Alibag is a fort that the Arabian Sea surrounds on all three sides. Also this is one of the major tourist attractions in Alibag as well as in Mumbai. This fort is an isolated fort with military fortification in the middle of the Arabian Sea. At one point of time the fort was the chief naval station during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj. The best part is that this construction is about 300 years old and is a spectacular site to observe.
From the Alibag Beach this fort is only at a distance of 2 km. During low tides you can even reach this fort from the beach by foot. However during high tides that is not possible and you will have to hire a boat to reach the fort.
Mostly this is a secluded area and the population here is sparse. Other than the number of people visiting here you won’t find a lot of people at this location. The fort houses multiple historical artifacts which are one of the major attractions here. You will find massive cannons and carvings of various birds and animals on the walls of the fort here. Even though this fort is located amidst the sea and the Arabian Sea surrounds it on all sides, there is one important hallmark of this fort. There is the presence of a freshwater well in the premise of the fort itself.
You will also find a beautiful temple of Lord Ganesha here as one of the main deities of the Marathas is Lord Ganesha. In 1759 Raghoji Angre built this temple here. This temple is an important temple for the fishermen and they still worship in this temple. This fort had always been important in Maharashtra due to its strategic position. As a chief naval station this fort held an important position to fight against British rule. This was a chief location to launch attacks against the British troops.
At present this is one of the popular sightseeing locations in Mumbai and a primary location in Alibag. Also it is an important monument under the Archeological Survey of India and holds a lot of historical importance.
History of Kolaba Fort Mumbai
For more than 100 years the Kolaba Fort was a strong centre and a shelter for the armies during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj. Later it was an important stronghold for the Portuguese and the East India Company as well. This fort was not always under the Maratha rule. However the fort is one of the multiple forts that Shivaji had captured in the 17th century. Also this fort is supposedly the last fort that he could capture before his death.
The construction of this fort was also done by Shivaji Maharaj. And later his son Sambhaji Maharaj took this forward after his death in 1680. Two important sardars of the army of Shivaji Maharaj, Darya Sagar and Manik Bhandari were the main authority of this fort. This was the situation until 1713 and then Kanhoji Angre who was the admiral of the Maratha navy took over the control of this fort. Until his death in 1729 the fort was under his control.
After the invasion of Kanhoji this fort was mostly a location that was used to raid the British ships. During the independence movement during the 1700s this fort was an important centre. The strategic location of this fort was one of the major reasons why this fort was an important centre and during each rule it served as an important location.
Kanhoji made strategic attacks on the British armies from 1713. In 1721 however the British army made an alliance with the Portuguese forces to capture the fort. Their main aim was to gain control over the fort and to overthrow Kanhoji. But their attacks and attempts failed miserably. In 1729 Kanhoji died and then many historical buildings were burned down. Earlier Kolaba Fort had beautiful gardens, treasuries, stables and other constructions a lot of which were destroyed during the fires. In 1842 however the British took over this fort.
Architecture of Kolaba Fort Mumbai
This fort construction is surely a masterpiece in itself. It is located amidst the Arabian Sea and has two entrances. The first entrance opens up to the sea while the other one opens up to the shores of Alibag. Approximately the fort is about 25 feet high and to build such a massive structure on a small rock face is an example of artistic brilliance and architectural brilliance.
You will find some temples inside the fort like the Siddhivinayak Temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha, Padmavati Temple and Mahishasura Temple. Also there is a dargah inside the fort premise dedicated to Haji Kamaluddin Shah.
Another interesting and amazing feature of this fort is the presence of freshwater well in the premise of the fort. The fact that the fort is located amidst the sea and the supply of freshwater in the middle of the sea is quite astonishing.
Now that you know all the Kolaba Fort information definitely plan a visit to this beautiful fort. The strategic location and the historical importance of this fort makes it an important sightseeing spot. Places like this will make you wonder about the strength of such ancient constructions. These architectures have survived the test of time and even today are wonderous locations that will make you feel mesmerized.
The beauty of the location, intricate carvings, massive structure everything is worth mentioning. And in no way you can miss out on visiting this beautiful spot in Mumbai. So next time you visit Kolaba Fort this is a location that you need to visit for sure. Let me know when you are planning a visit to this spot. Also do not forget to let me know if this article on Kolaba Fort Mumbai is helpful for you in planning a successful trip there.