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Hirakort Fort - The Fort That Shines

Hirakort Fort: The Fort That Shines (2021)

Hirakot Fort is in the weekend capital of Maharashtra, Alibaug. The fort has a rich history and some conspicuous talk about it as well. Unlike many other forts in Maharashtra, visiting this fort is not a trek, and it is in the heart of the urban area. So, visiting Hirakot fort becomes something of an afternoon retreat.

Some people think that Maharashtra has lost a great fort because the authorities use it as a prison and for various administrative purposes. You will find articles all over the internet urging the Government to give up the fort and make it a preserved structure. Until that happens, if you are planning to visit this fort, read this article.

Historical and Contemporary Importance of Hirakot Fort

Kanhoji Angre, the Maratha Chieftan, built Hirakot fort sometime in the late 1700s. The consensus is that he built the fort to store all the treasure of his kingdom. Therefore, there are theories today that there is a lot of gold and treasure – and one only needs to find it.

Hirakot fort has had its fair share of history, with the murder of Maharaj Jaysingh taking place because of this fort. It was not until 1840, when it finally fell to the British, that the bloodshed and the angst stopped.

Experts also claim that the fort had more than 500 cannons, but there is no proof of that. Today, there are a couple of cannons around the fort premises.

Whether that is the case or not, this is one of the strongest and formidable places in India today, because it is a district jail for Alibaug. This fact makes it one of the few forts that the administration is actively using.

If you are looking for an experience of exploring forts, moving around in them for a couple of hours, looking at the water cisterns and the carvings strike this one off the list, as it is an active Government building and a prison.

Structures in the Hirakot Fort

Hirakot Fort is today an active prison, the Government has fortified it well, but the outer walls are still from a bygone era. Since it is a prison and a Tehsil’s office, tourists cannot enter some parts of the premises. However, they can view the base of the fort.

Tourist Experience at Hirakot Fort

If you are looking for an experience of exploring forts, moving around in them for a couple of hours, looking at the water cisterns and the carvings strike this one off the list, as it is an active Government building and a prison.

Nevertheless, Hirakot fort is a unique visual, as the basalt rock used to make this fort shines in the sunlight, Hira is Diamond in Marathi and Hindi, and because of the shine, the name stuck.

Places To Visit Near Hirakot

Hirakot is in Alibaug, as we noted earlier, is the picnic capital of Mumbai, and the most happening place after Goa. So, if you are in Alibaug, rest assured, you have a lot to see and experience. Here is the list:

Hirakot Lake

The Hirakot Lake is right next to the Hirakot fort. It is a large lake and is perfect for an evening stroll or an early morning walk. It is a well maintained and cordoned lake, so there is no question of taking a dip.

Alibaug Beach

Alibaug beach is the hub of tourist activity in Alibaug. The beach offers a calm and serene experience for those looking for it. And for those who are looking for some thrills around the beachside, the beach has that too. All along the beachline, you will see small restaurants and hotels that give you a taste of the local food and cuisine. On the beach, you will find watersports as well, available at cheaper rates than the ones you will find on the beaches of GoaGood Place To Visit Near Hirakot - Alibaug Beach

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Datta Temple Kurul

If you have an evening to spare, head over to the Datta temple Kurul, which is about two hours from the Hirakot. The walk to the temple is an energizing experience, and you get a spell-binding view from the top of the temple. 

Kanhoji Angre Samadhi

Kanhogji Angre is a revered figure in Maratha history. He has a special place in the hearts of the people of Alibaug. Alibaug is his final resting place, which is a sort of a garden today for people to take a breather. The sculpts are in good shape. You will also see other, smaller tombs of his three wives and an ancient Shivling. There is also a modern figurine of the great warrior.  Top Place To Visit Near Hirakot - Kanhoji Angre Samadhi

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Kolaba Fort

At a stone’s throw is the Kolaba fort. This fort is the one that gives you the authentic fort experience. You will see several carvings from ancient times that give you an idea of the art, architecture, and culture of that time.  Kolaba Fort - Best Place to Visit Near Hirakot

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Revdanda Fort

Revdanda Fort has an important place in the fort tourism of Maharastra. Situated on the Revdanda beach, mythology says that Lord Krishna gifted this fort to his sister-in-law, Revati, giving rise to the name Revatishetra. It was a prominent trading port in ancient times. Today, the Revdanda fort has some artifacts and structures remaining from the Portuguese times. 

How to Reach Hirakot Fort?

Hirakort Fort is in the heart of Alibaug, so you do not need to plan how to reach Hirakot from Alibaug. Alibaug is well connected to Mumbai and Pune. From Mumbai, you get several luxury as well as State Transport buses that ply to Alibaug. However, the scenic route to Alibaug from Mumbai is via a jetty that takes about an hour. From Pune, it is a two-hour road trip.