“Unexplored Paths lead to Magical Treasures”
See, you know Goa never left my mind ever since I ventured their this January and fell for the “calm in the chaos” vibes that place has. So I had been reading a lot of articles on the Bouncing Beach Destination and got many amazing stories of people who went there and fell in love with the place.
Then once, a few days ago, this word – Murud – came into my view. Murud is basically a weekend getaway if you’re anywhere near Mumbai or Pune. Just at a distance of about 50 kilometers from Alibaug, Murud Janjira Fort has been quite “the talk of the town” recently.
Murud Janjira Fort is surrounded by the incredible Arabian Sea from all sides and has a reputation to be known as “a nearly unconquerable island-fort“.
This grabbed my attention and I researched about it to create a completely Unique Guide to Murud Janjira Fort and the things to do and places you can venture to if you ever find yourself in the small village of Murud.
A little backstory – Murud Janjira Fort
So y’all might be wondering why this very fort is believed to be “nearly unconquerable“, right? When a place gets this type of adjective related to it, it’s mostly because of a story – something that happened there – something unique.
Let’s talk about the one time someone conquered the Fort.
Let’s just dive in then, shall we?
Aight, so our main character for the story – is actually the Fort itself. During the times when pirates roamed around the Arabian Sea (or shall I say – when people knew they did?) a Chief of Kolis – the fishermen – called Raja Ram Rao Patil or the Patil of Janjira took it on himself to build a fortress away from land to keep the public or Koli people away from the Pirates.
He got all required permissions from the Sultan of the Ahmednagar Sultanate pretty easily as the local people were fed up and scared of the pirates.
So the Patil of Janjira built the first ever island-fort off the coast of Maharashtra amidst the Arabian Sea.
For almost two centuries, many tried but failed to conquer this island-fort – from huge pirate groups to invading Muslim armies.
The one thing which kept the Murud Janjira Fort “unconquerable” is maybe because unlike most other parts around the nation, the fishermen locals did not depend on any outside source for living. The fort had a huge well built inside which still is said to be hosting large amounts of non-salty and drinkable water to keep the entire Kolis alive and well to do.
With water to drink and fishes to eat, the kingdom remained independent from outside sources and fought against them when need be.
About 200 years later, the kingdom of Kolis or the Murud Janjira Fort saw and experienced it’s first ever “conquer” by the soldiers of the Persian kingdom or Habashi kingdom (it is believed that the Sultan wanted to claim the island-fort to himself but the Kolis’ didn’t agree).
It was a really interesting raid – sometimes referred as the Trojan Horse style raid – which finally tricked the fishermen kings or Kolis soldiers and the “unconquerable got conquered“. The Habashi soldiers disguised themselves into liquor merchants while some hid in huge barrels of classic booze.
When the Koli soldiers got drunk, the Habashi got a chance to enter the island-fort of Murud Janjira and took the place for themselves.
Later on when the Britishers came, the Habashi left the place by handing it over to an African descent – Muslim group called Siddis.
When Britishers wanted to claim it for themselves, they had to sign a treaty with the Siddis stating that –
The island fort remains under local rule at all times – and becomes the only independent frontier in all of the Indian subcontinent.
Murud Janjira Fort Unique Travel Guide – How to See, What to See, Where to Stay, What to Eat
How to Get to Murud Village?
Murud is situated at a distance of around 228 kilometers from Mumbai and about 206 kilometers from Pune. Many people from the two cities hover around here, mostly during the weekends.
- The nearest railway station to reach Murud Janjira Fort is known as Koha, which falls under the Konkan line and is well connected to Mumbai.
- The nearest airport to reach the Murud Janjira Fort and explore the history it holds within is the Mumbai International Airport.
- Buses are also available from Pune, Thane, Borivli, Mumbai central and Dadar
Where to Stay in Murud?
As per TripAdvisor, here are a few amazing hotels to stay in while you venture around the Offbeat Murud Village:-
1. The Divine Homestay
Consistent with its name, The Divine Homestay (Bed and Breakfast) is a delightful and calm relief from the ordinary. One that feels like home, yet better. The harmony and serenity of the environmental factors will amuse you when you enter.
Location – At Murud Beach (Murud has an amazingly mesmerizing beach which is a must-visit, will come to that too in a little while)
Lowest Price per night per room – Rs. 6,160/- (MMT)
2. Sea Shore Beach Resort
The Sea Shore Beach Resort is a family run small resort right on the Murud Beach. Relax in the hammock under coconut trees and enjoy the swing over here – amazing for kids. The most important characteristics of this place is, at the time of high tide waves reach up to the hotel fence.
Location – Durbar Road Murud Janjira
Lowest Price per night per room – Rs. 2,184/- (MMT)
3. Hotel Murud Marina
Arranged in Murud, a couple of steps from Murud Beach, Hotel Murud Marina highlights convenience with a café, free private stopping, an outside pool and a nursery.
Location – Lokmanya Tilak Road Bhandar Wada
Lowest Price per night per room – Rs. 3,080/- (Booking.com)
What to Do and What to See While in Murud Village? Best Things to Do in and near Murud (except the Murud Janjira Fort)
There are many interesting things to do in a small village like Murud and you’ll surely be amazed by the things this place has to offer.
Karde Beach – One of the Safest Konkan Beach
Karde Beach is known to be one of the most Safest and really popular beach in the state of Maharashtra. Karde is basically an extension to the main Murud Beach of the area, but remains quite secluded and peaceful at all seasons.
One interesting thing about many of the Konkan or Dapoli beaches is that you find unique types of sands in most of them – Karde not being an exception. The Karde Beach is consisting of white and black sand on the shores which makes it a worthy – instagramable(?) destination.
Note – if you wanna grow your Insta-game and earn more followers, I recently got this quite affordable and amazing course called Instapreneur Academy by Gurdit Singh. Give it a try if you want.
Karde offers everything from the delicate sand tinkering with your feet like silk, catching different uncommon, transient birds with a tick of your camera and getting a charge out of dolphin rides in the remote ocean for everybody.
Murud Beach – Juggle with the Dolphins
One of the most prominent of beach destinations in the Western part of India – the Murud Beach is pretty famous for its pristine views of the Arabian Sea, the beautiful coastline inclined with majestic fortresses and surrounded on one side with giant coconut and palm trees.
It is a great place to be for a family holiday as it has plenty to offer for all age groups travellers. You can relax on the sand near the shore as the waves hit around the place. You can go for an adventure sport (or two) of your choice while at the beach. It has plenty of amazing and thrilling experiences waiting for you.
If not that – you can indulge in an amazing Dolphin Cruise to view the playful mammals in bulks playing around the boat. Some even claim that the chances of seeing a Dolphin is much higher here than in the Beach Paradise Goa itself. Reason being the crowds over there and the noise of the boats tends to keep the dolphins away. While over here, as it’s still an offbeat destination in India, there are less crowds – which means more dolphins!!
Suvarnadurg Fort – The Golden Fortress
The Golden Fort or Suvarnadurg Fort is located off the village on a nearby island in the Konkan Coast. It is just a mere 7 kilometers from the Murud Beach and is a must visit. The island-fort, said to be conquered by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1660s, was built around the shorelines to repel the foreign forces.
To arrive at the Suvarnadurg fort, you need to take a boat on a sharing premise from Harnai. There is no pier as such on the fortress and the boat lands on the sea shore. There is a bunch of steps that takes you further into the design. When you arrive, it will take you around an hour or two to investigate the whole territory.
**The boat ride from Harnai to the Fort costs around Rs.160-200 per person.
Harnai Beach – One of the Unfathomed Beaches of Maharashtra
Although referred to be one of the most renowned places in Maharashtra as far as Tourism is concerned, the Harnai Beach remains a lot less crowded than all it’s other counterparts in the state. With the incredible and historical sea forts surrounding the beaches of Harnai and Murud, they are known to be all about the far-reaching resplendent and poised waterfronts of the Arabian Sea.
Sea shore occasions look dull and dismal without appropriate sea shore resorts remembered for it. The famous sea shores of Harnai and Murud offer a wide cluster of well off sea shore resorts, the greater part of which are situated on the banks of Konkan and acquires the praise for being wonderfully embellished with the marvelous oceanfront combined with the striking wavering of the palm trees.
Keshavraj Temple – Dedicated to Lord Vishnu
Arguably the best temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu in and around the Dapoli area of Maharashtra, the Keshavraj Temple showcases the nature’s beauty at it’s best. Situated amongst the dense coconut and palm trees covered forest area, as you move into the trail your eyes can easily catch the energetic glimpse of the idol of Lord Vishnu kept under a dim lantern light.
The temple was actually developed during the Peshwa rule in Maharashtra. As the symbol of ruler Ganpati stands to one side of the sanctuary, the sanctuary is encircled by stone asphalts from every one of the four sides and furthermore broadly known as the Keshavraj Devrai sanctuary.
What to Eat and Where to Eat near Murud Janjira Fort
The small-but-beautiful village of Murud doesn’t have an excessive number of awe inspiring alternatives for cooking, yet houses the absolute generally flavorful and lovely fish, fish and chicken arrangements that you may at any point taste. Neighborhood Konkan, fish and a portion of the mainstream things off the Maharashtrian food, for example, the Poha and so forth are the basic fortunes of this space.
Best restaurants in Murud Janjira?
1. Patil Kharnaval
A famous spot few blocks from the beach, Patil Kharnaval serves scrumptious Konkani cooking. It is prescribed to attempt their fish thalis to appreciate the neighborhood taste in the outdoor seating watching the ocean.
Location – Dr. Rajendra Prasad Road
Cuisine – Indian, Seafood
Timings – 10.00 AM to 11.00 PM
2. New Sea Rock Restaurant
Roosted on a precipice over the Janjira boat pier at Rajpuri, this joint has a marvelous perspective on the fortification. An ideal spot to take million-dollar sunset at the cost of a desi chai, however you will most likely be enticed to attempt the far pricier fish curries they offer.
Location – Rajpuri, Murud, India
Cuisine – Indian, Sea Food
Timings – 07.00 AM – 08.00 PM
3. Hotel Shoreline Pure Veg Restaurant
Probably the only Pure Veg restaurant in all of Murud, the Shoreline Restaurant is reviewed to be a really good restaurant with proper ambience. The Restaurant is on the main road, can be easily identified.
Location – Alibaug, India
Cuisine – Indian, Pure Veg
Timings – 11.00 AM – 11.00 PM
What to Eat & Drink in Murud Janjira
Seafood is really famous in all of Murud and nearby areas. A must try dish whenever you get a chance to visit here is Murud’s Fish Thali. It is said to be a delight for seafood lovers.
As for the drinking side, Coconut wine called Maadi is extremely famous here. There are a couple of brew bars, dull and rancid. One can get a drink and sit at the sea shore too.
Now for the Major Question: Is Murud Janjira a worthy Goa Alternative?
The Short Answer – Yes
The Long Answer – Maybe.
Murud Janjira has the major things that Goa is famous for – serene beaches, historical and unique forts, amazing seafood options and a few temples and churches. But, Goa – has much, much more!
Goa is a full packed joyride at all times with lots of tourists and too many things to do, while Murud is a much calmer place to be at. You cannot compare Goa with any other place, at least in India. Goa is a world of it’s own. But that doesn’t mean other places which look like Goa are not worth a visit. They are.
In case of the Murud Janjira Fort and it’s surrounding areas, you can come over here if you want the beach vibes, the water sports, amazing seafood and fortress exploration tours – but with lesser crowds than Goa.
Murud Janjira is an amazing place and everyone shall at least once visit it and see for themselves if the place gives out the insane amounts of interesting vibes (or some amounts of it) as Goa does.
“At the end, It’s all about the Exploration”