On Sunday 10th June, 2012 i visited Vasai Fort with Mumbai Travellers. For 4 for us it was a bike tour + fort exploration. We started early from Thane as other travelers were going to meet us at Vasai ST stand at 7.30 AM. The fort is around 10-12 Km from the ST stand and it take 20 min to reach the fort by bus.
History of the fort
Bahadur Shah, a Mughal Emperor had built the Bassein Fort in the 1530s. The fort covers area of around 110 acre of land. The Portuguese came, conquered and destroyed most of it a year after it was built and started a town which was also used as a trade center for various materials. After that, in 1739, the Marathas took over. In 1818 the British came and conquered it for a hundred years more until in 1917 it was finally declared by the government of Bombay as its own ancient monument that must be preserved.
When we reached near Chimaji Appa statue where a thin guy with full beard wearing a kurta and a formal pant welcomed us. Shridatta Raut was the guy who was going to show the fort and explain the history of the it. The very first thing he said was that a single day is not enough to see the entire fort that is spread across 110 acre.
Shridatta had a big fort map with him and also gave us the xerox of the same so he can explain us each & everything in detail. He had lots of details to share and also he had many documents of that era to show. He explained in detail about the fort structure, its back ground, the reason behind the fortifications (Tatabandi) on the fort. He even knows the Modi Language and also has the government certificate which is used to handle the ancient letters which are in that Modi language.
He took us around the churches where he explained the structure of the church, old monuments & also took us to places that were worth visiting. We even walked over the fortification to reach the war site. As archaeological department hardly care about the forts maintenance, the support walls and the fencing of fortification is on the verge of falling. Shridatta explained us in detailed about the war on the war site and transported back to the era when the fort had a high importance. He even showed us the underground tunnel which is in the fort. The tunnel is approximately 525 fts which according to Shridatta takes around 21 mins to cross. We concluded our tour near the tunnel. Shridatta promised us that next time when we’ll visit the fort he will guide us in crossing the tunnel. We just could see 1/3rd of the fort in 7 hrs but whatever we saw and the information Shridatta provided was very knowledgeable.
A 26 yrs married man who spend almost all weekends on some or other fort if not any other fort then on Vasai fort. From last 13 yrs he is working on fort conservation and also research on its history. He is also an author, a poet and an activist who fights for other forts conservation. He founded kille Vasai Mohim that works for fort conservation in Thane district since 2003. He celebrates his birthday, festivals, even got married on the fort.
If you wish to explore Vasai fort or any other fort with Shridatta you can call him @ 9764316678. He don’t charge a single penny for it as history fascinate him & he believes in sharing history of forts.
Join his Kille Vasai Mohim Facebook Page – Kille Vasai Mohin
Checkout his blog – Kille Vasai Mohim
How to Reach Vasai Fort
Get down at Vasai road station. ST stand is just out side the station from where every 20 min a bus leaves towards vasai fort. From Station one can go by auto. They charge around 50 bucks. The fort is around 10-12 km from Vasai station. From Thane the fort is around 50 – 55 Km.
Facilities in the fort
One can take rest in the temple and also can get water in the temple. No other water source inside the fort. Carry your own food as there are no hotels / restaurants near the fort. You can get nimbus pani / cold drink / ice gola near the fort.
The history of the Vasai fort is too vast to explain in writing. I think it is best to experience it through Shridatta’s words.