Jaigad Fort is situated in the coastal region
of Ratnagiri district in Maharashtra and was constructed in the 16th
century. Popularly known as the Fort of Victory, this fort is built over an
area of about 13 acres and is located in Jaigad village. The fortress is
positioned on a cliff and overlooks the Jaigad creek where Shastri River merges
with the mighty Arabian Sea. The blue sea and serene ambience with the ruins of
the fort in the backdrop serve as a perfect location to spend quality time with
family and friends. You can also visit the lighthouse which is situated close
to this fort.
Jaigad Fort is one of the crucial ports on the
Western Coast of India. The Jaigad Fort was built to the South of the creek
along with another fort named Vijaygad to the North to protect the region. With
limited amount of supplies, the majestic fort was built with much emphasis on
security. Now, the fort comes under the Archaeological Survey of India and is a
crucial research area for many archaeologists.
More on Jaigad Fort
History of Jaigad Fort
The Jaigad fort was constructed in the 16th
century by Bijapur Sultanate. The fort was annexed by Naiks who hailed from
Sangameshwar and reigned over 8 hamlets. During their rule, the fort sustained
attacks from Portuguese forces and Bijapur Sultanate. However, Naiks fought
bravely and defeated the enemies. In later years, the region was conquered by
Kanhoji Angre and came under the Maratha rule. Subsequently, it was controlled
by Balaji Vishwanath Peshwa. It was in the year 1818 right after the Third
Anglo Maratha War, the British successfully captured Jaidag Fort.
It is believed that the construction of the
fort was met with many failures and it was successfully completed only after a
human sacrifice. A young lad named Jaiba Malhar was sacrificed in order to
complete this fort and he is supposedly buried in one of the walls of the fort.
Thus, the fort derives its name from the name of this young boy.
The architecture of Jaigad Fort
The Jaigad Fort is situated on the Konkan
Coast and stands tall at an elevation of 250 feet above the sea level. The fort
is surrounded by a moat on its eastern and northern end. Locally known as
Khandak, the moat was filled with water and had crocodiles to protect the fort
from unforeseen attacks and trespassers.
Today, most parts of the fort are in ruins,
however, some architecture and structures have withstood the harsh forces of
nature. The majestic fort constitutes of
an upper fortress which is connected to bastions positioned on the edge of the
cliff. The structure also houses two freshwater wells and a lower line of
defence. A beautiful winding staircase leads to the upper part of the fort from
where you can get an excellent view of the creek. A palace of Kanhoji is
situated in the middle of the fort premises along with shrines of Lord Ganesha
and Lord Hanuman.
Best Time to Visit
The weather around Jaigad remains cool and
pleasant throughout the year. However, winter months are relatively cooler. The
suitable time to visit Jaigad is during the months between October and March.
The temperature in the region usually hovers around 11 to 20 degrees Celsius.
Tips for Visiting
1. The fort remains open throughout the day,
however, it is recommended to visit the fort during the early hours.
2. You will be solely responsible for your
belongings and safety as there are no security guards appointed at the fort. It
is advised to explore the fort in groups.
3. Most parts of the fort are in ruins now, so
walk around the fort cautiously to avoid any mishap.
4. Carry enough water and snacks to keep
yourself hydrated and full. Do not litter the place.
How to Reach Jaigad Fort?
The Jaigad Fort is well-connected by roadways.
Situated at a distance of about 20 km, the fort can be easily accessed by the
public and state bus from Ganapatipule. You can also hire an auto-rickshaw to
reach the place. The region is also connected to Ratnagiri via both state and
private bus services; however, the journey might not be comfortable due to the
presence of potholes. You can also drive to the fort in your private car via