Jaigad Fort: The Fort with the Sea and Hills Surrounding It (2022)
Jaigad Fort is in Ratnagiri District, a short distance from the famous tourist spot Ganpatipule. The fort is part of the fort tourism in Maharashtra. Jaigad fort is a must-visit fort if you are interested in fort tourism, simply because it is quite easy to reach it and explore it. Most of the other forts are either too far away or there is a difficult trek involved, or the forts are no longer worth going to. If you are planning to visit, read this article to find out more about this place.
Historical Importance of Jaigad Fort
Experts believe that the Bijapur kings built the fort sometime in the sixteenth century. The fort has changed ownership a few times, until it finally came under the British bastion in June 1818.
There is some controversy about the fort. People believe that the construction of the fort was possible only after the sacrifice of a young boy. It is like Gangu Teli, who offered his wife and son as sacrifices for the completion of the Panhala fort.
Structures Inside the Jaigad Fort
The Jaigad fort is a large area and has several structures in passable condition. A layperson might not be able to recognize which is which, an expert will be able to point them out.
You will see a Ganpati temple at the outer end of the Jaigad fort. As you move upwards, you will see the strong fortifications that are still formidable to look. The Jaigad fort also has the ruins of a three-floor structure. There is also a rather steep well within f the fort.
Apart from these, you will also see different structures like granaries, residences, and the living quarters of the soldiers. Curiously, Jaigad fort does not have the intricate carvings and wall structures that are prominent in the other forts, making it a unique part of the fort tourism in Maharashtra. Jaigad fort still shows the fortifications that were part of the defense system, like the moat that surrounds the fort, making it difficult for animals or even human beings to access the sides of the fort quickly. The creativity in engineering is also present here, with the main entrance hidden behind a curve and another smaller one very much visible.
There are some small and big rooms all over Jaigad fort. Stairs to the top of the fortifications are also available. The walkway at the fortification is not very wide, so climb up only if you are comfortable with trekking. The bastions are in good condition as well.
There is also a temple dedicated to Kilekar baba. The temple is contemporary and has a unique look. All in all, the Jaigad fort is in good condition and makes for a good tourist outing. There are some new structures in the fort as well. There is a pretty steep well, and one can see the carved-in steps that the people of that time must have used to get into the well. Experts say that this well is an all-year well. Jaigad fort has some entrance doors, and one of them leads from the beachfront to the fort.
Tourist Experience of Jaigad Fort
Jaigad Fort is a sea-facing fort, therefore, going to the top bastion gives a great view of the sea. The fort has the Arabian sea and the Ratnagiri hills in its surrounding, so it makes for some great photo opportunities. If you plan to visit Jaigad fort, make sure to carry sunglasses and skincare, as it can get hot and sultry in the summer season. The fort has some greenery around it, so it is bound to look unbelievably beautiful during the monsoon season. If you can, visit the fort during the monsoon season. You will be able to spend around an hour in the fort, exploring and looking at the details on the walls.
Places to Visit Near Jaigad Fort
Jaigad Fort has several places that tourists would like to visit nearby. The fort is a short drive away from Ganpatipule, a popular tourist spot and a must-visit for religiously inclined people. Ganpati Pule is around half an hour away from Jaigad fort.
If you have time, you can also visit the Guhagar beach, which about 36 km away from the fort, making it a one and a half-hour drive. The beach is clean and offers you a calmness that you always wanted. Walk on the beachfront and experience the calm that it can give you. There are almost no vendors on this beach.
Another hour’s drive from the fort and you will reach the Tilak Ali Museum. The museum is the ancestral home of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak. The museum has artifacts and props from his childhood until 10 years.
Another place to visit is the Ratnagiri Marine Fishi Museum, which is at a one-hour drive from the Jaigad fort. You can see the specimen of various aquatic life, including turtles, lobsters, sea snakes, lionfish, etc.
If you are up for another one and a half-hour drive from the fort, you can visit the Trimukhi Temple. The temple has some beautiful carvings and offers calmness and serenity to anyone who visits.
An hour’s drive from Jaigad fort and you reach Pandhre Samudra, a beach that is just before you hit Ratnagiri. It is a clean beach, and not many tourists visit – as of now.
How To Reach Jaigad Fort?
Jaigad Fort is near Ganpatipule, so you would need to first reach Ganpatipule and then travel towards the fort. The village near the Jaigad fort is named Jaigad.
If you plan to travel to Ganpatipule from Mumbai, you will need to take a train to Ratnagiri and then private transport further to Ganpatipule, and from thereon to the Jaigad fort. The total duration is under nine hours.
If you plan to reach Ganpatipule via Pune, you will need to reach Ratnagiri first and then travel ahead. From Pune to Ganpatipule, the duration of the journey is under eight hours.