If you want the works this holiday season - the mountains, the sea, an old fishing village and ruined old forts in the middle of the sea- you have to head along the coastline of Maharashtra to Murud Janjira.
This quaint little fishing village, perched at the edge of the sea with mountains on one side and pristine beaches on the other is the place to relax and soak in the sun. Murud Janjira are twin villages which have been in existence for many centuries. As you walk along the beaches of Murud, you can see quite clearly in the distance, the half finished Kasa ( originally Padamdurg)fort which Shivajis son Shambhaji left undone.
There is another older fort a few meters into the sea known as the Janjira fort which was built under the supervision of Malik Amber in the 15th century. It was the last outpost of the Siddis of Janjira,fierce warriors who hailed from Abyssinia in far away Africa. The fort, surrounded on all four sides by water is said to have taken 22 years to build. Forty feet high even at full tide, the fort is said to have been impregnable to enemies because of its cleverly built architecture. Neither the British , nor the Portuguese could subjugate the fort and the Marathas tried several times but failed .
One can hire small boats to visit this fort which can be covered on foot in about an hour. It has the usual turrets, watchtowers and there are two fresh water reservoirs within the lake. A secret escape route also exists which is virtually unnoticeable unless one is in the know.
The coastline, and the cuisine form the other attractions at Murud Janjira. A delectable variety of fresh sea food is always available along with tall glasses of "sol kadi". The beaches are clean and soft and lovely. A majestic Nawabs palace which is out of bounds for tourists stands atop a cliff overlooking the sea. There is also a Ganpati temple for Hindu pilgrims.
It is nice to walk through the twin villages which have an equal mix of Muslims and Hindus who co exist peacefully as they go about their activities of fishing, salting and boat building. Khashid and Nandgaon are two more lovely beaches within a few kilometers of Murud.
Getting There :
Roha is the nearest railhead. Mumbai is 165 kms away from Murud by road, approximately a four hour drive. Another fun-filled route is by ferry from Mumbai to Rewas jetty, 90 minutes away and then by bus via Alibag and Chaul.