Bandra Fort or Castella De Aguada: Fort Built BY Portuguese in Mumbai (2021)
The original name of the Bandra Fort is Castella De Aguada. But because it is in the Mumbai area of Bandra, the name Bandra Fort, stuck. The Bandra fort is a landmark of the city and a historic structure. Castella De Aguada fort or the Bandra fort is one of the many places that youngsters, as well as families and groups, visit frequently and spend entire evenings here. The Bandra Fort is truly a hotspot of the Mumbai spirit. If you plan to visit the Bandra fort, read this article to get a better idea of what to expect and the must-have experiences.
Historical Importance of the Bandra Fort
The Portuguese built the Bandra fort looking at the strategic location, as it looks out to the Mahim Bay as well as the Arabian Sea in Mumbai. The Marathas took over the fort, but the British again captured it in the First Anglo-Maratha War.
Structures Inside the Bandra Fort
Today, there are not many structures inside the Bandra fort, and it is a tourist spot in Mumbai. The fortifications and the staircases leading along the fort are strong enough. The view from the fort gives a memorable glimpse of the city of Mumbai. From the Bandra fort, you also see the Bandra-Worli sea link, which is at its best during the monsoon season.
At the foot of the Bandra fort and around it, there is a public garden that is home to several trees, plants, and other flora and fauna. There are a couple of entry points within the forts, and it is easily navigable, taking you to the top of the fort in no time. Unlike the other forts in Maharashtra, the Bandra Fort does not have big structures or a secondary floor. It’s basically a what you see is what you get kind of fort.
The main door has an inscription in the Portuguese language. The inscription is of the formation date. You see a structure in ruins, covered by a contemporary construction. The other archway opens to the Taj’s Land’s End Hotel.
Tourist Experience of the Bandra Fort
The Bandra Fort is right in the middle of Mumbai city, and you will never find this place without locals or tourists trying to explore the fort.
Whatever the weather, you will always find someone soaking in the sun or taking in the sights at the Bandra Fort.
The fort is at a secluded portion of Bandra, Mumbai, but there are some shops around that sell cold-drinks, tea, and other fast food. There is also a restaurant around that sells finger-food, allowing the tourists to spend some more time at the fort after a light lunch or brunch.
The Bandra Fort overlooks the beach, and one bastion has become a photography point for everyone. Many producers have used the Bandra fort for shooting movies, like the other urban forts in the Mumbai area, the Worli Seaface, and the Vasai Fort.
Bandra Fort is the one true town fort in Mumbai. The other forts in Mumbai, like the Vasai Fort, the Arnala Fort and the Bhayander Fort are technically at the outskirts of Mumbai. The Bandra fort is bang in the middle of the city.
The Bandra fort experience is a unique one, as there is no trek involved and there is no calmness and serenity like the other trekking destinations in Maharashtra. Bandra fort has stood the force of time, politics, and a fast-growing city to stand undaunted, at the seashore of Mumbai.
Places Near Bandra Fort
You cannot go wrong in Bandra. There are so many destinations in Bandra that you will never get bored of this place. One of the closest places to the fort is the Bandstand area, the beachfront of Mumbai. The Bandstand has several joggers, people just taking in the salty air of the sea and all kinds of Mumbaikars. If you are here at the right time, you will also see many amateurs trying their best at music, calisthenics, dancing, and whatnot.
A half an hour’s drive takes you to Juhu Beach, another iconic location that’s been part of several Bollywood movies, like the Bandra Fort. Juhu Beach is everything Mumbai is, crowded, raucous, and yet has a calm that you can get only in this part of Mumbai. This beach has several eateries and restaurants as well, so you can get a taste of Mumbai while you are here. One tip though, these shops are expensive, and their costs are similar to a restaurant in the nearby area. So, you might want to look at the prices in the restaurants before you decide on something at the food stalls in the Juhu area.
Coming out of this area, you can spend hours at the flea market in Bandra on Hill Road. The market has several shops that sell you everything from clothes to accessories to plastics to imitation jewelry. If you do wish to visit the shops, make sure you have someone who can bargain with you.
Another excellent venue here is Carter Road, which is a foodie’s heaven. You will find small and big restaurants, from franchises to local outlets, where you can eat to your heart’s content and not worry about the effect it will have on your pocket.
Bandra is also famous for the Mount Mary church, which is again a place of cultural and heritage importance. The Mount Mary Church is the venue for the Feast of Mother Mary in the September month.
How to Reach Bandra Fort?
You should have absolutely no problem reaching Bandra Fort. Bandra is a station on the Western Railway platform, so you can board a bus from anywhere in Mumbai to drop off here.
If you are traveling from outstation, you will either get down at Dadar or Bandra or on a station in the Western Line, like the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Station. You need to board a local train from that place to Bandra.
From the Bandra station, you can get a cab or an autorickshaw to reach the Bandra fort. One excellent aspect of the Bandra station is the autorickshaw stand at the station. Autos are always available here, and they never refuse a fare.