Arnala Fort: The Must Visit Beach Fort (2021)
The Arnala Fort is in Vasai, near Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is an island fort and is famous among picnickers and tourists because of its vicinity to urban Mumbai. If you are planning to visit Arnala fort anytime soon, read this article to get all the information you would need about Arnala fort.
Historial Importance of Arnala Fort
Sultan Mahmud Begda, a Gujarat Chieftain built the fort in 1516. The Marathas conquered it later, only for the British to take it over during the third British-Maratha war. The fort was mostly a vantage point for the Portuguese to keep a tab on the shipping business in the northern Konkan coast.
Structures Inside Arnala Fort
The Arnala Fort is a strong fort that is in a state of disrepair now, but there is still a lot to see. The fort has a unique, octagonal reservoir. The reservoir still has water and you will see aquatic animals swim about in it. As is usual, the fort has a couple of temples and tombs. You will see the temples of Ambakeshwar, Lord Shiva and Goddess Bhavani. Along with this, you will see the tombs of Shahali and Hajjali.
Interestingly, the fort has a Shankar Temple and a Mosque, where the local villagers celebrate festivals every year. Since this fort is near the village, villagers grow vegetables inside the fort as well as on the western side of the fort. So, you can also get a glimpse of the village life when you visit this fort.
The main walls have several carvings of elephants and tigers, giving you an idea of ancient sculpting practices and styles in India.
The Arnala Fort has some storehouses and residences that are a reminder of a bygone era. One important artifact here is the paduka of Shri Nityananda Maharaj. Another interesting prop to see is a cannonball stuck in the wall, the last remnant of an era filled with strife, war, and violence.
Tourist Experience of Arnala Fort
The Arnala Fort is a tourist hub and offers the tourists a great experience. You get a breathtaking view from the top of the fort. It has a fascinating sunset view as well, making it well worth it for you to stay on until sundown.
The Arnala trek is a simple one and you can take children along and the elderly do not have to worry too much. They might find it a tad difficult to climb the actual steps to the top, but they can very well enjoy the ambiance of the fort overall. And then, if boat rides excite you, you should visit the Arnala fort.
Also, there is a beach nearby and an entire village whose livelihood is fishing. So, there are a lot of fishing activities going around as well. If you are not comfortable with this, you should skip this trip.
The entire experience is a unique one. For tourists accustomed to high altitude treks, the naval forts of Maharashtra should come as a pleasant surprise, as they get great views of the sea and experience the rural fishing life in an instant weekend. All this makes the Arnala fort an important part of fort tourism in Maharashtra
The Arnala Fort is near the Arnala village and Arnala beach. The entire Virar area has several resorts, hotels, and garden restaurants. Also, this area is popular for its economic staying options as well. It is not just a great, but economical experience as well.
The only way you can reach the actual fort is via a ferry ride. The ride is less than ten minutes but surely adds to the fun that you are having when in Arnala.
Places Near Arnala Fort
Arnala is in Vasai and there are several economic options for anyone looking to explore Vasai and Arnala. Here is a list of the places you can visit:
Arnala Beach is a popular tourist spot and Mumbaikars flock here, as it is the easiest way for them to visit a semi-urban beach. There is some commercial activity here and is an ideal place for groups, families, and couples. If you are on a weeklong prowl, you can camp at any of the resorts in Arnala and visit the many beaches in and around Mumbai, like the Bhayander beach, Juhu Beach, Aksa Beach, Danapani and Marve Beach. There are a couple of resorts, hotels, and restaurants around as well, so staying in Virar should not be a problem.
The Jivdani Temple is a famous one and many religious-minded people, as well as tourists, visit it regularly. The temple has around 1400 steps, so it is not recommended for the aged. You will see many people climbing the steps as a promise they have made.
If you are in this area during the monsoon, head over to Chinchoti Waterfalls, which is an hour’s drive from Arnala. It is a must-visit place for trekkers and nature lovers. Go to this place only if you have experience trekking and are okay with traveling through jungles.
Rajodi Beach is a clean beach that offers you a chance of a long, calming walk on the beach. There is some commercial activity on the beach as well. Some tourists also visit this place for nature photography.
A bit further is Sopara Stupa, is this stupa that exists since 3 BC. It has several Buddhist sculptures and experts say that Gautam Buddha visited this place.
How To Reach Arnala Fort?
Arnala Fort is on the outskirts of Mumbai. The simplest way to reach it is to catch a train from Mumbai and then travel towards the Vasai-Virar station. From Virar, you can take any of the private and public transport to reach Arnala village. From there, you need to take a ten-minute boat ride to Arnala fort.