Bankot Fort: Where the Savitri River Meets the Arabian Sea (2021)
The Bankot Fort is a historic fort, located in the South Konkan region. Bankot fort is in Dapoli, Ratnagiri District. The fort has not only changed hands, but it has also changed names throughout its history. Bankot fort today is a quick visit for anyone interested in fort tourism in Maharashtra. If you intend to visit Bankot fort, read this article.
Historical Importance of Bankot
Experts claim that Bankot fort exists since 5 AD. The fort came under the Maratha rule sometime in the 1700s and under the British in 1755. As it changed hands, the name of the fort also changed. Under the British, its name was Victoria Fort. The earliest name was Mandgor, so on and so forth. During the Maratha regime, people knew it as Bawankot as well. Bawan is the Indian term for 52, and it was the 52nd fort to come under the Maratha regime.
Bankot fort overlooks the Savitri River, which was a trade route back in the day, making Bankot fort an important one.
Structures inside Bankot Fort
There are a couple of structures and props in the Bankot fort that are of historical and cultural importance. Along the entryway, you see a cannon that experts claim is the only surviving cannon of Portuguese origin.
All along, you will see the renovation work that the Government is undertaking. Bankot fort is formidable, and the walls, as well as the fortifications, are still strong enough. The bastions are weather worn but are standing still and gives you an idea of the defense and military strategies of generations ago.
As you move up, you will see a Ganesh Temple, which is not in good condition. You also see the various pathways that connect different parts of the Bankot fort. One of the paths takes you out of the fort, possibly a military strategy for the residents of the Bankot fort to escape.
Bankot fort is one of the few structures in India that have a memorial for a British officer. The triangular memorial you see is by Sir Arthur Mallet, for his wife and daughter, who died in a ferry accident in the Savitri River.
You see at least six water tanks and cisterns within the fort. Inside the fort, you will also see what would have been a lake but has since dried up.
The Bankot Fort also has a moat around it, a natural military structure that ensured that enemies could not access it easily. Other than these, many structures have not survived the generations of changes in the Bankot fort.
Tourist Experience of the Bankot Fort
The fastest and simplest way to reach the Bankot fort is via the Jetty. It is a short ride and gives you a rather unique experience. This is one of the few forts in Maharashtra that can be accessed via the seaside.
Currently, you will see a couple of laborers living inside the Bankot fort, so that takes away from the experience of visiting a fort and the calmness and serenity that you get.
You get an excellent view of the Savitri River meeting the Arabian Sea from the top of the Bankot fort. The visit is an easy trek and you will not need to climb steep cliffs.
The Bankot fort has a path leading towards it, so it is almost in the middle of the city, allowing everyone to visit it, making it part of the fort tourism in Maharashtra.
For all practical purposes, the Bankot fort is a quick visit and something that you must-do if you wish to cross off all the forts that you would like to visit in Maharashtra.
Places To Visit Near Bankot Fort
Bankot Fort is around an hour from Dapoli, which is a popular tourist destination. If you have a weekend in your hand, you can explore several places near the Bankot fort including many beaches. Here is a quick list:
This beach is an isolated, tranquil beach that’s perfect for a long walk at the beachfront. There’s no commercial activity here, so you get all the calm and silence that you want.
Ladghar Beach is one of the best venues for a family to destress and lay their hair down. The beach is clean and offers watersports and other commercial activities, making it a perfect day out for anyone and everyone.
Murud Beach is the most famous in this area and with good reason. This beach is the commercial hub of Dapoli, and has several commercial activities, from parasailing to munching on the food that the local restaurants here offer.
The Keshavraj Temple is one of the most famous places in Dapoli. Set in an area that’s full of greenery, it’s a vivid experience to visit this temple. A visit to the temple will help you connect to your spiritual self.
Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple
Another popular tourist location here is the Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple, also known as the Kadyavarcha Ganpati, which means Ganpati on a Cliff. Devotees from all over throng to this place and with good reason. The road leading to this temple is a majestic view as well.
How to Reach Bankot Fort?
Bankot fort is on the outskirts of Dapoli, almost 250 KM away from Mumbai, and around 200 KM away from Pune. The fort Bankot is about 50 KM away from Dapoli. If you go by road, you will Bankot from Mumbai in three hours. If you go by train, you need to board a train to Mangaon and then take a cab. From Pune, you will take around 3 hours to reach Bankot. You will first need to take a bus to Indapur and then proceed to Bankot via cab.