Janjira Fort. If travel is to enjoy then journey to Janjira fort is amazing. Unplanned trips, that took me too many beautiful tourist spots. Janjira was one among them. I came to know this place fortuitously. It is 42 kms away from Alibaug, Maharastra and Alibaug is 30 kms from Mumbai. One Saturday I decided to go to Alibag. The beach was deserted by the time I reached. It was 12 noon and no one preferred to walk under the scorching sun. Walking a while I felt there is nothing much to see. And of course that was the third time I am visiting the same place and deep inside I thought of exploring a new tourist spot nearby. While wandering I saw an old man sitting under a pine tree. I went up to him and started having conversation basically about tourist place and tourists. In between I enquired about any tourist place near by and he replied “not near by but once you are here in Alibag it will be incomplete if you do not visit the Murud-Janjira fort. But the time is almost noon and it will take you more than 1 and a half hour to reach there from Alibag.” The fun is always to go on unexplored places without any plans and to land there on odd times. So I decided to go. I took a MSRTC bus from Alibag bus depot. It cost me around Rs 75. The journey was awesome. After a while traveling in the bus I started seeing the mountain in the right side and the sea on my left. The road to Janjira from Alibag was made in between where the mountain ends and the beach begins. My neck started paining by twisting the head to both sides to catch the beauty ;) I reached Murud by 2.30 pm. There is nothing as such to describe the town. It’s a port town. Small time vendors selling ready to eat food items like Vadapavu, behl, samosa and a lot of food items that I never tasted in life. In Maharastra I found it difficult to have non veg food in the local restaurants. I was not sure about the hygiene of these foods though I saw many buying and eating and also this kind of food will not suffice my hunger so I looked for a normal restaurant. Resorts are expensive stuff. Resorts are the best option for those who wish to stay there and enjoy a few days. I have to come back on the same day. So I had my food from a small restaurant and the food was hygiene, cheap and tasty(b’cz whenever I had food from outside it will reflect in my bowels on the next day. But nothing had happened the next day ;)] The transportation to the Rajpuri jetty (the fort is approached by sail boats from jetty, but I didn’t know that until I reached the jetty) is by dum dum(a bigger size of auto rickshaw that can carry 8 passengers.) Per person costs Rs. 5/-. But when I reached the beach I realized Janjira fort is located on an island in Arabian Sea. And it was around 4.30pm. I have to travel by boat to see that place. And the sail boats will go only when there are 20 passengers. The person in the ticket counter told me that now its evening and people don’t prefer going in the evening. So if we get a crowd you will be first person to get the ticket. I realized no one is going to come by at this time and there was no point in staying there. Anyways I went near the beach to glance on how the fort looks like. But I could barely see it. By this time the sun was going to set. [caption id="attachment_657" align="alignnone" width="300"] Janjira sea fort view from an aeroplane[/caption] I heard a voice and I turned back and saw the ticket issuer calling me. I went and asked “what”? I saw a group of tourist just came in. And the crowd was enough to fill three sailboats. It was my first time traveling experience in a sail boat. I still don’t understand the logic of how it sails. I always felt it might go side ways because of the wind blowing and pushing the cloth to one side but it goes straight. I recommend everyone who has not experience the journey on a sail boat. It took around one hour to reach the fort. When we stepped into the boat I saw the fort like a big spot but the moment I came closer I realized why it is impregnable for many kings and emperors and that too for more than 350 years. It’s huge. No one can scale it. It’s simply impossible to build such a fort in the modern era. And all the guys in the boat wondered what technology had been used in 1495 to build this wonder We got down at the main gate of the fort. The main gate of the fort faces Rajapuri on the shore. I could only saw the gate when I was quite close to it. It was same with the rest of the guys in the sailboat. It has a small postern gate towards the open sea for escape. The sailor itself acted as a guide and he charged Rs. 50/ per person. After completing I felt it is unnecessary to pay 50 bucks because the fort is constructed in oval shape entrance in one side and exit the other. But for the first time no one would take that risk. So the group followed the guide. Most of his conversations are in Hindi and it was difficult for me to comprehend. The fort has 19 rounded bastions, still intact. There are many canons of native and European make rusting on the bastions. Now in ruins, the fort in its heyday was a full-fledged living fort with all the necessary facilities, e.g., palaces, quarters for officers, mosque, a big fresh water tank, etc. The guide stated that the pond was called meeta pani(sweet water) where in olden days the water tasted sweet. But now no one dared to drink from it because it was maintained badly. On the outer wall flanking the main gate, there is a sculpture depicting a tiger-like beast clasping elephants in its claws. This sculpture, its meaning difficult to interpret, appears on many fort-gates of Maharashtra. The palace of the Nawabs of Janjira at Murud is still in good shape. The view from the top of the fort was amazing. Carrying a camera is highly recommended because I didn’t carry one. From there you can see lush paddy fields, rolling hills and sparkling rivulets. The journey took me to the old days of India. I felt this place as a tranquilizer that eases the anxiety and tension. The silence lends to it an air of serenity that brings joy and peace to every weary soul. By this time the sun was going to out and the guide requested everyone to leave otherwise it will be difficult to sail in the night. I got into the sailboat and sailed back. There are lots of Holiday homes, homestays and other accommodation facilities available in Murud near this fort.