Alibag is a coastal town in Maharashtra, famous for its beaches, forts, and temples. One of the most prominent landmarks of Alibag is the Colaba Fort, also known as Kolaba Fort, which is an ancient maritime base situated in the Arabian Sea. If you are looking for a historical and scenic experience in Alibag, you should definitely visit the Colaba Fort. Visit during Alibag One day tour By cab
Colaba Fort Location/ How to Reach/ Timing and Entry Fees
The Colaba Fort is located about 1-2 km from the shores of Alibag Beach, which is the main beach of the town. It can be reached by boat or by walking through the sea water during low tide. The boat ride takes about 10 minutes and costs Rs. 50 per person for a round trip. The walking route is accessible only during low tide, which occurs twice a day for about 2-3 hours. You can hire a horse cart or a hand cart to reach the fort through the water, which costs Rs. 200-300 per person for a round trip.
Colaba Fort is open every day from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The entry fee is Rs. 5 per person for Indians and Rs. 100 per person for foreigners.
Things To Do / Must See Colaba Fort
The fort has a lot to offer for history and nature lovers. You can see the remains of the fortifications, bastions, cannons, temples, wells, and sculptures that date back to the 17th century. You can also enjoy the panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding landscape from the fort walls.
Some of the major attractions of the fort are:
- The Ganesh Temple: This is a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh, which is believed to be built by Shivaji Maharaj himself. The temple has a six-feet tall idol of Ganesh made of stone and adorned with gold ornaments.
- The Dargah of Haji Kamaluddin Shah: This is a shrine of a Muslim saint who lived in the fort and was revered by both Hindus and Muslims. The dargah has a tomb and a mosque within its premises.
- The Freshwater Wells: The fort has 17 freshwater wells that provide drinking water even though it is surrounded by seawater. These wells are considered to be miraculous and are visited by many pilgrims.
- The Lighthouse: The fort has a lighthouse that was built by the British in 1850. The lighthouse is still functional and guides the ships in the sea.
- The Cannon Balls: The fort has several cannon balls that were used for defense during the wars. Some of these cannon balls are still embedded in the walls of the fort.
Significance of Colaba Fort
The Colaba Fort has a rich history and significance that dates back to the 16th century. It was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1680 as one of his chief naval stations to counter the attacks of the Portuguese and the British. The fort was later captured by his son Sambhaji Maharaj in 1681. The fort was then given to Kanhoji Angre, a naval chief of Shivaji’s army, who made it his headquarters and used it to launch raids on British ships. The fort witnessed several battles and sieges between the Marathas and the British until it was finally surrendered to the British in 1842.
The fort is also a symbol of cultural harmony as it has temples and dargahs within its premises that are visited by people of different faiths. The fort also showcases the architectural and artistic skills of the Marathas and their successors.
How long does it take to visit the fort?
It depends on your interest and pace, but generally it takes about an hour to see all the sections of the fort.
Can I swim in the sea water near the fort?
No, swimming in the sea water near the fort is not allowed as it can be dangerous due to strong currents and rocks.
Is there a guide service available at the fort?
Yes, there are guides available at the entrance of the fort who can explain you the history and features of the fort for a nominal fee.
Is there a parking facility available at Alibag Beach?
Yes, there is a parking facility available