Murud Janjira


Murud-Janjira is the local name for a fort situated at the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It is famous for being the only fort along India's western coast that remained undefeated despite Maratha, Dutch and English East India Company attacks.

Formerly the capital town of the Siddis of Janjira, Murud is a village in Raigad district, south to Alibag. It is just 45 Kms. from Alibag.Like other villages in Konkan, Murud is also on the seashore and there are many businesses dependent on sea which are the natives lives like Fishing and tourism. Murud is not a big village but it has a huge palace of Nawab of Murud. That is the only attraction in the village.But Murud is famous for the fort of Janjira. The fort is build in the sea 2 Kms. inside of Murud. This is one of the vital sea-forts in Maharashtra. The fort is old one but still very strong. Though, today it is not in a proper condition, one can still imagine its hugeness and toughness. Some monuments inside and the walls of the fort are destroyed after so many years now. But the toughness of the fort can be still felt. There are in all 19 Buruj in the fort. Every buruj has huge guns on it especially 3 big guns 'Kalal Bangadi' , 'Chavari' and 'Landa Kasam' are very famous. There are 2 water tanks inside the fort and some tombs as well.Murud is today popular for its alluring beach, whispering casuarinas, coconut and betel palms, and an ancient fort.On a hillock to the north is the shrine of Lord Dattatraya, the three heads representing Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara.The 300-years old fort of Janjira is an architectural marvel- once upon a time considered to be impregnable. The palace of the Nawab and the Janjira caves are also a must for the tourist.

Murud-Janjira is the local name for a fort situated at the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It is famous for being the only fort along India's western coast that remained undefeated despite Maratha, Dutch and English East India Company attacks.

The word Janjira is not native to India, and may have originated after the Arabic word Jazeera, which means an island. Similarly, the Marathi word Habshi refers to "habes" an afro-asiatic word meaning lion, its origin is thought to be from the word the "lion of judah", this term came to refer to judaic-christian cushtic people of the horn of africa[vague][citation needed]. Murud was once known in Marathi as Habsan, or Abyssinian's land.

The name of the fort is a concatenation of the Konkani and Arabic words for Island, "morod" and "jazeera". The word "morod" is peculiar to Konkani and is absent in Marathi. In Goa, the word is now more generally used for those parts of the village which were originally dry land as against the fields, which were swamps. Thus, during the rains, the fields get flooded, but the morods never flood. The State of Murud-Janjira was known to the Maratha Empire as Habsan, the land of the Habshis.

The term Siddi is an expression of respectful address commonly used in North Africa. The ruler of the Habshi state of Murud-Janjira was known as the Siddi. The Siddis or Sayyids refers to the descendants of Prophet Muhammed that were integrated into cushtic peoples and occupied in particular the Somaliland coast.

How to Reach: Murud is 170 km away from Mumbai, on the Konkan Coast. To reach Murud one has to travel by road, via Alibaug or Roha or take a ferry from Gateway to Mandwa, near Alibaug and travel about 50 kms by road.

Location info:

Address:Murud is 170 km away from Mumbai, on the Konkan Coast
District: Maharashtra state.
Nearest City: Mumbai
Best time to visit: Any time



The fort was built by the Koli (Fishermen) kings of Konkan and repelled all the attacks of Muslim rulers for almost two hundred years (till 1490). The subedar of Junnar, Mallik Ambar also tried to capture the fort in vain in 1485-86. Finally around 1490, he secretly sent a warship disguised as a merchant ship with 147 Habashi soldiers. The ship's crew asked for refuge in the fort. The officer at the time, Etbatrao, agreed and took the ship in. The Habashi general, pretending to be a merchant gave liquor to the Koli soldiers. Habashi soldiers hiding in the goods containers attacked and defeated the intoxicated Koli soldiers. The fort previously in habshi hands passed to the authority of the Siddis, the Siddis engaged largely in protecting their trade routes to the African coast, the Red Sea and the Middle East, formed alliances with the Bahamani Sultan of Ahmednagar and the Habshi and Siddi states inside India, such as that of Malik Ambar (1550-1626). Before the rise of the Maratha sardars, the courts of the Bahamani sultanates were rent by rivalry between the Indian Muslims and the foreign Muslims, as a result of which, the Sultans began to patronize the Marathas as a third force, leading to the rise of Shivaji and the Maratha Empire.

Malik Amber initially rose to great prominence as the Prime Minister of Ahmednagar. He is credited with having carried out a systematic revenue settlement of major portions of the Deccan, which formed the basis for many subsequent settlements. When the Ahmadnagar kingdom was conquered by Bijapur and the Mughals in alliance, the Siddis switched their allegiance to the Sultanate of Bijapur; when the Bijapur kingdom was conquered by the Mughal Empire, the Habshis switched their allegiance to the Mughal Empire. The Siddis juggled their alliances, while intervening politically and diplomatically to decrease the political intrigue between their allies in the interior.

As allies of these Muslim states, the Siddis acted often in conjunction with their navies, and fulfilled the role of defending Muslim interests in the sea, and particularly, access by sea for the Hajj and Umrah,and trade. For this reason, the Siddis guarded their independence from the political intrigues of their allies, despite the powerful roles the Habshis and Siddis as rulers, governors and kingmakers in the interior.

The Siddis remained independent, and due to their strategic position, the coastal shipping remained subject to their protection or disruption. This vulnerability to the Siddi princely state's naval power provoked various local powers to attempt to conquer the islands, but despite efforts by the Portuguese, Dutch, English and the Marathas, the fort was never conquered. The fort thus earned a reputation for being impregnable. The iron grip of the Siddis and their ability to mobilize allies to create diversions kept Murud-Janjira from falling .

The founder of what later developed into the Maratha Empire, Shivaji Bhosale, sent his Prime Minister or Peshwa, Moropant Pingle to conquer the Siddis during August, 1676, albeit unsuccessfully. Shivaji's inability to capture this fort led him to build the Vijaydurg fort down the coast, and also a fort named Sindhudurg on the island of Padmagad, near the town of Malvan. The Siddis power remained undiminished. Several further attempts were made by the Marathas to conquer the Siddi principality, but in vain.

The English tried to suppress the Siddis, and the Siddis on occasion projected their power by invading the coast, for example they seized Bombay, overwhelming the English garrison, before pulling back to their fort. As the Muslim and Maratha powers of the interior waned in the face of rising English power, the Siddi state signed a treaty with England. HH Nawab Sidi Muhammed Khan II Sidi Ahmad Khan was the last Ruler of Murud-Janjira. A patron of arts and culture, he supported such musicians as Beenkar Abid Hussain Khan. The state continued in this condition until late 1947, when the last prince acceded his state to the Indian Union, and his state was merged into the Bombay Presidency which was later transformed into the State of Bombay and the State of Maharashtra.[citation

Interesting things to do:


Interesting things to Visit:

Sambhaji Maharaj (Son of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj)constructed a fort in a nearby island (Padamdurg Fort, now known as Kasa). Kasa fort is not accessible for public and requires special permission from Navy.

To Reach the Janjira Fort Sailboats are available from Murud Port ( which is behind Ekdara Village ) and Rajpuri port.

Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary: It is a small sanctuary - all of 52.71 sq. km and was hunting preserve of the erstwhile Nawab of Murud. It is an unspolit forest area with thick vegetation. The Sanctuary is situated between Murud and Kashid.

Carambi Dharan (Dam), a picnic spot providing clean water through pipes to Murud throughout the year channeled from its natural springs.

Murud not Just means Beach's & Fort. it also has a Temple over the hill next to the New Bus Depot ( known as Datta cha Dongar) Hill of Lord Dattatray. one can have a paranormic view of murud & both the forts together from the hill.

Further ahead of the hill is an idga, the walk though the dense jungle is a experience in itself.

On a hillock to the north is the shrine of Lord Dattatraya, the three heads representing Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara

And just a few kilometers away are two undiscovered beaches : Nandgaon and Kashid.Nandgaon is famous for its Ganapati temple and the annual fair held in honour of this elephant headed god every February.

Alkapuri, a picnic spot favored for its lush green vegetation.

Mobile range info:

How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station:Mumbai/Konkan Railway/nearest railhead is at Panvel 122 km away
Nearest Airport:Mumbai International Airport.
Road Transport: via Alibaug or Roha or take a ferry from Gateway to Mandwa, near Alibaug and travel about 50 kms by road

Nearest Visiting places:

  • The Casa Fort
    This is located on another island.
  • The Janjira Caves
  • The Temple of Lord Dattaraya
  • Alibagh Beach
  • Kashid Beach
  • Nandgaon Beach

Nearest Petrol Pump:


  • Hotel Sea Face
  • Sahil lodge.
  • Golden Swan Beach Resort

Things to carry:

Mineral water bottles, food, first aid kit,camera and so on

Tips & Suggestions:

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:100
Nearest Hospital:At the Nearest City.
Society/Community Phone Number