Murud Janjira is a renowned port situated just off Murud, a coastal village, in the Raigad District within the state of Maharashtra. Once famously occupied by the Siddi Dynasty, this fort boasts of being the only one in its team that remained undamaged and undefeated by the several attacks of the Marathas, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English East India Company.
The name Janjira is not of any India language origin. It finds its origination in the Arabic word – Jazeera – that roughly translates to an Island. Murud, meanwhile, was once referred to as Habsan, or Habshi – which literally means Abyssinian in the Marathi language.
Murud is closely associated to the word Morod, a word of Konkani origin. The fort, hence, acquired its name from an amalgamation of Konkani and Arabic words – Morod and Jazeera – and over the years has changed to Murud Janjira.
Most people interestingly called the fort Jal Jeera as well, due to the fact that the monument was surrounded by water – the Arabian Sea on all sides.
History Of Murud Janjira
Back in the 12th Century when the fort was constructed under the Siddi Dynasty, the town of Murud was the seat of capital for the Siddis of Janjira. Amongst other failed attempts of foreigners and domestic ruling kingdoms to penetrate and capture the fort, the most significant loss was that of the Marathas.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is said to have tried six times to ravage the fort and dominate it, but failed every single time.The fortification of the monument was done brilliantly. Initially established as a wooden fortress by the local fishermen of Murud, this fort was built to help them defend and protect themselves from pirate invasion that attacked from the sea front.
Pir Khan is later said to have captured and dominated the fort under the Nizam Shahi Dynasty of Ahmednagar. With the passage of time, they re-fortified the fortress and strengthened it in a manner to make it impenetrable by the attacking enemies.
Malik Ambar, a prominent regent of the Ahmednagar Empire, is to be credited with the restructuring and transformation of the fort.
What Not To Miss While You're There - Tourist Places In And Around Murud Janjira
The Murud Janjira Fort is a solid marine fort that can be reached via the Rajapuri jetty. It is replete with several bastions and canons that are still very much intact. The fort premises house a mosque, a quarter for officers, several palaces and a big water tank.
The marvellous island fort of Bassein is yet another historical monument, overlooking the pristine Bassein Beach that must be checked out. The Panchala Fort nearby is also worth a visit.
Apart from the legendary fort, Murud provides as an ideal vacationing spot. Its scenic beach glitters with silvery white sand lined, with the shore lined with betel nut and coconut trees. The crystal clear water sparkles under the sun beam while the verdant greenery that surrounds the region attracts tourists like a powerful magnet.
For the religious folks, a well known shrine dedicated to Lord Dattatreya can be found here. The idol within the temple is exceptionally beautiful, with three heads depicting the mighty Hindu Lords – Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara.
This tiny little fishing village is fast emerging as a major tourist hub. The sun, the sand, the historic forts and the balmy weather beckons to travellers who wish to enjoy a surreal experience that will remain in their cherished memories for a lifetime.