For a couple of weeks now, we have had a Polish colleague here in Mumbai. Since I’m the only other foreigner in the same office, I have been asked to show him around in Mumbai. So yesterday we had a long trip around in Mumbai to see a lot of places. Our first destination was the Vasai Fort.
The Vasai Fort is the Sea fort in Vasai Road, which is a suburb towards north of Mumbai. It was established by the Portuguese as the headquarters of their Indian operations in 1534 and centre of their operations until 1739. With this as the main base, they built other smaller forts such as the Castella de Aguda, and strong houses in many of the islands in what is now Pakistan.
In the 18th century, the fort was attacked by the Maratha army, and fell in 173
The ramparts overlook Vasai creek and are almost complete, though overgrown. Several watch-towers still stand, with safe staircases leading up.
The Portuguese buildings inside the fort are in ruins, although there are enough standing walls to give a good idea of the floor plans of these structures. Some have well-preserved facades. In particular, many of the arches have weathered the years remarkably well. They are usually decorated with carved stones, some weathered beyond recognition, others still displaying sharp chisel marks.
Three chapels inside the fort are still recognizable. They have façades typical of 17th century Portuguese churches. The southernmost of these has a well preserved barrel vaulted ceiling.
Is it worth going to this fort? Well, if you are in Mumbai only for a short duration, I’m not really sure if I would recommend this place. It is quite far away from the city, so you either have to take a long train journey on a probably quite crowded train to get there, or if you have a car, you have to drive for a quite long time. And with most of the fort in ruins, it’s maybe a place you would like to go to. But if you really are in Mumbai for quite some time, I think it is really worth a visit. That’s maybe one reason why could see so many Indian couples there, relaxing on a Sunday of. The nearby village was also really worth a visit. I will tell more about that shortly.
Talk to you soon!