Kolrai fort

Korlai Fort: Famous Portuguese Sea Fort and Lighthouse Near Mumbai

Korlai Fort is a Portuguese sea fort and lighthouse located near the town of Korlai, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It is one of the few surviving examples of Portuguese colonial architecture in India and a major attraction for history and nature lovers. It is also close to some other attractions, such as the Revdanda beach and fort, the Shri Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayaka temple and the Vikram Vinayak temple. Visit during One day Trip from Mumbai.

Location of Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort is situated on a hilltop on an oval-shaped rock island in the Arabian Sea, about 2 km from the shore of Korlai town. Korlai town is about 165 km south of Mumbai and 30 km from Alibag. The nearest railway station is Roha, which is about 50 km from Korlai. The nearest airport is Mumbai, which is about 170 km from Korlai.

Timing/Entry fees Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort is open from 6 am to 6 pm every day. There is no entry fee to visit the fort, but you will need to buy tickets for the boat ride that takes you to and from the fort. The boat ride costs around INR 50 per person and takes about 10 minutes. The boats stop ferrying to the fort sometime before it closes, so it is advisable to visit with at least an hour to spare.

How to Reach Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort

The best way to reach Korlai Fort is by road. You can drive from Mumbai or Pune via Alibag or Panvel. The road is well-maintained and scenic, passing through green hills and coastal villages. You can also hire a private cab or a bus from Mumbai or Pune. Once you reach Korlai town, you can head to the jetty near Mahesh Lunch Home, where you can board a sailboat to reach the fort.

History of Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort was built in 1521 by the Portuguese with the permission of the Ahmednagar sultanate. It was originally a small wooden structure, but was later expanded and fortified with stone walls, bastions, cannons and other features. It was meant as a companion to the fort at Chaul, which was another Portuguese stronghold in the region. The fort was strategically located at the mouth of the Revdanda creek, which was an important trade route and a natural harbour.

The fort was attacked by several enemies, including the Marathas, the Mughals, the Siddis and the British, but none of them could capture it. The fort remained under the control of the Portuguese until 1739, when it was surrendered to the Marathas under Chimaji Appa after a long siege. The Marathas repaired and maintained the fort until 1818, when it was taken over by the British East India Company after the Third Anglo-Maratha War.

The fort also has a lighthouse, which was built in 1867 by the British. It is still operational and guides the ships sailing along the coast. It has a white tower with a red lantern and flashes every 10 seconds.

Things to Do/Must see Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort has many things to see and do for visitors. Some of them are:

  • Explore the fort and admire its architecture, cannons, sculptures, wells, church and cemetery. The fort has three main parts: a lower part that has a water cistern and a warehouse; a middle part that has a church, a cemetery and some quarters; and an upper part that has a bastion, a magazine and a lighthouse.
  • Visit the lighthouse and enjoy the panoramic view of the sea and the coastline from its balcony. You can also see the ruins of another smaller lighthouse nearby.
  • Watch the sunset at the fort, which is extremely beautiful and romantic. The view of the sun turning red over the Arabian Sea, with the palm trees silhouetted against the sky, is a sight to behold.
  • Visit the Revdanda beach and fort, which are about 2 km from Korlai town. The beach is clean and calm and ideal for swimming and relaxing. The fort is an old Portuguese fortification that has some interesting features like arches, bastions and tunnels.
  • Visit the Shri Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayaka temple, which is one of the eight temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha in Maharashtra. It is located about 4 km from Korlai town and has a unique idol of Ganesha that faces east instead of west.
  • Visit the Vikram Vinayak temple, which is another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha in Korlai town. It is located on a hilltop and has a beautiful view of the surroundings.

Significance of Korlai Fort

Korlai Fort is a significant place for its historical and cultural value. It is a symbol of the Portuguese presence and influence in India and a testimony of their architectural and engineering skills. It is also a place of religious harmony, as it has a church and a temple within its premises. It is also a place of natural beauty, as it is surrounded by water on all sides and has a scenic view of the sea and the coast.

FAQs

Q: Is there any accommodation available near Korlai Fort?

A: Yes, there are many hotels and resorts available near Korlai town or Kashid town that offer comfortable stay options for visitors. You can also find some homestays or cottages that offer a more authentic and rustic experience.

Q: What are the best time and season to visit Korlai Fort?

A: The best time to visit Korlai Fort is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and the sea is calm. The monsoon season from June to September should be avoided, as the sea becomes rough and the boat service may be disrupted.

Q: What are the safety and security measures at Korlai Fort?

A: Korlai Fort is a safe and secure place for visitors. There are guards and guides available at the fort who can assist you with any queries or issues. You should also follow some basic safety precautions, such as wearing life jackets while on the boat, avoiding swimming in the sea, carrying enough water and snacks, etc.

Q: What are the other attractions near Korlai Fort?

A: Apart from Korlai Fort, you can also visit some other attractions near Korlai town, such as:
Revdanda beach and fort, which are about 2 km from Korlai town. The beach is clean and calm and ideal for swimming and relaxing. The fort is an old Portuguese fortification that has some interesting features like arches, bastions and tunnels.
Shri Ballaleshwar Ashtavinayaka temple, which is one of the eight temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha in Maharashtra. It is located about 4 km from Korlai town and has a unique idol of Ganesha that faces east instead of west.
Vikram Vinayak temple, which is another temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha in Korlai town. It is located on a hilltop and has a beautiful view of the surroundings.

Conclusion

Korlai Fort is a Portuguese sea fort and lighthouse near Mumbai that offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors. It is a place where you can learn about the history and culture of the Portuguese in India and admire their architectural and engineering skills. It is also a place where you can enjoy the beauty of nature and watch the sunset over the Arabian Sea. It is a place that you should not miss if you are travelling in Maharashtra.

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