The fort is nearly 300 years old and it once acted as one of the major naval stations during the time when Shivaji Maharaj ruled in Maharashtra. The spectacular fort was once an isolated military fortification in the middle of the Arabian Sea, and had a strategic geographical importance for the Marathas when it came to warfare. The fort itself is full of historical artifacts and various paraphernalia of its golden period. You will find huge cannons and sculptures of various birds and animals on the walls of the fort. You can also find various old temple buildings here. In fact, there is a Lord Ganesh temple that is present within the grounds and is still used as a place of worship by the local fishermen community. The fort is surrounded by the sea waters on all its sides, and a significant hallmark worth noting is the presence of a freshwater well within the fort.
For hundreds of years, the Kolaba Fort served as a shelter and stronghold for the armies of the Shivaji empire and later the Portuguese and the East India Company. This was one of the many forts captured by Shivaji Maharaj's army in the 17th century, and it is said that the Alibaug Fort was supposedly his last construction project before his demise. Its reinforcement was completed by Shivaji Maharaj's prodigal son, Sambhaji Maharaja, after his untimely death in 1680. The authority of the fort was given to Darya Sagar and Manik Bhandari, two sardars of Shivaji Maharaja's army, until Kanhoji Angre, the admiral of the Maratha navy took over command in 1713 until his death in 1729. During these years, British ships were havocked by occasional raids and loots of possessions by the Maratha Navy. The battle of 1721 is the most notable of the battles fought here, where the British and Portuguese armies conspired to attack Kolaba but were unsuccessful due to various reasons. The Kolaba Fort once housed gardens, stables, treasuries and other buildings, most of which were exhumed and destroyed during fires.
The construction of the fort in itself is a masterpiece. Located in the Arabian sea, it has two entrances. One entrance opens into the sea and another one on the shores of Alibag. The average height of the fort is 25 feet. The most interesting feature is its freshwater wells that supply fresh water despite the fact that regal fort is built in the middle of the sea. There are several temples located inside the premises of Kolaba fort dedicated to Hindu Gods which are now used by the local temples to offer their prayers and celebrate festivals.The architecture of the Fort is a masterpiece and offers a unique glimpse into the style of that era. The fort is located in the middle of the Arabian Sea and it has two main gates through which you can enter. One of the gates open right into the Arabian Sea and the other one is located on the sandy shores of the town.The fort stands at a staggering height of 25 feet. One of the most interesting features of the fort is that despite being located in the middle of the sea and being surrounded by salty water, it has a well within the grounds that supplies fresh water. There are also several temples located within the grounds of the Fort. All the temples are dedicated to various Hindu deities and are used by the local fishermen community to worship the Gods. People also visit the temples to offer their prayers and celebrate festivals every year.
- Alibaug Beach â€“This popular beach is located about 2 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and is known for its clean sands and calm waters.
- Kanakeshwar Forest â€“This scenic forest area is about 12 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and features hiking trails, waterfalls, and a historic Shiva temple.
- Murud-Janjira Fort â€“ This impressive fort is located about 50 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and is situated on an island in the Arabian Sea.
- Kihim Beach â€“This secluded beach is located about 10 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and is known for its serene atmosphere and variety of bird species.
- Vikram Vinayak Temple â€“This ancient temple is located about 8 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha.
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Alibaug â€“ This luxury resort is located about 5 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and features multiple dining options, a spa, and an outdoor pool.This recommended couple getaway is a full-fledged 5-star romantic resort near Mumbai with amenities like fully furnished contemporary style rooms ranging from Superior Rooms to Presidential Suite, fine dining restaurants such as Aparanta and Kokum & Spice, The Lounge Bar, discotheque and piano bar.
- U Tropicana Alibaug â€“ This upscale resort is located about 6 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and offers spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant.
- Big Splash Alibaug â€“ This mid-range resort is located about 7 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and features a water park, a restaurant, and comfortable rooms.
- Mango Beach House â€“ This budget-friendly guest house is located about 2 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and offers cozy rooms, a garden, and a shared lounge area.
- Annapurna Guest House â€“ This affordable guest house is located about 2 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and features basic rooms, a restaurant, and free Wi-Fi.
- The Coastal Crew â€“ This popular restaurant is located about 2 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and serves a variety of seafood and vegetarian dishes. The restaurant has a relaxed and casual atmosphere.
- Sanman Restaurant â€“ This family-friendly restaurant is located about 1.5 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and offers a range of Indian and Chinese dishes. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating options.
- Thalassa â€“ This upscale restaurant is located about 5 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and features a beautiful outdoor setting with views of the Arabian Sea. The restaurant serves Mediterranean and seafood dishes.
- Bohemyan Blue â€“ This restaurant and cafÃ© is located about 8 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and offers a variety of international and fusion dishes. The restaurant has a relaxed and bohemian atmosphere.
- Kiki's CafÃ© and Deli â€“ This cozy cafÃ© is located about 2 kilometres from Kolaba Fort and offers a range of breakfast dishes, sandwiches, salads, and smoothies. The cafÃ© has both indoor and outdoor seating options.
TIPS FOR VISITING KOLABA FORT
- It is important to note that routes to the fort that is accessible by foot during low tides, submerge underwater during high tides and a boat ride is required.
- You can hire horse carts along the beach for a special experience.
- If you are planning your visit during summers, you should wear light and airy clothes. In winters, you should have a jacket, and in monsoon, you should carry an umbrella.
- The tide height greatly affects the transportation services here. So, make sure that the tide is not high when you visit if you want to walk to the fort.
- Wear water-proof shoes if you want to take a walk in the fort.
- Make sure to carry some snacks and a water bottle with you.
- Carry necessary medications, especially if you are taking a ferry. Sea sickness can affect a lot of people, and you should carry medicines for it if you are prone to it.
- Do not litter around the fort and try to maintain the cleanliness of the fort.
- It is advised to do some research on the place before you reach as there are no signs or pointers to give directions or reveal the importance of different structures.
HOW TO REACH KOLABA FORT
- By Ferry â€“The Kolaba Fort is easily reachable by sea from Mumbai, which is only 35 kilometres away. If you are proceeding from Mumbai, speedboats or ferries can be hired at Gateway of India. The nearest jetties in Alibaug are in Mandwa and Rewas from where regular ferry service is provided all the way to Mumbai.
- By Road â€“Mumbai is the nearest major city and it is approximately 100kilometres by road. Daily state transport buses operate to Alibaug from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur and Nashik. The nearest railway station is at Pen which is 30 kilometres away.Kolaba fort is located at a distance of 1-2k from the shores of Alibaug. The local transport such as private taxis, autorickshaws is well developed.
BEST TIME TO VISIT KOLABA FORT
The best time to visit the fort is during the winter months, that is from October to February. The weather is considered to be quite pleasant and cool this time of the year. Thus, it is ideal for sightseeing and enjoying the natural beauty all around the fort.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
Where Is Kolaba Fort Located?
Kolaba Fort located at Alibaug beach is an old fortified maritime base in Alibaug, Konkan, India.
What Is The Best Time To Visit The Kolaba Fort?
What Is The Best Time To Visit The Kolaba Fort?
How To Reach Kolaba Fort?
Kolaba Fort can be reached either by ferry or by road.