The Info List - Murud-Janjira

( pron. (help·info)) is the local name for a fort situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district
Raigad district
of Maharashtra, India.[1]


1 Origins of the name 2 Major features 3 History 4 See also 5 Sources 6 References

Origins of the name[edit]

Janjira from outside

The word Janjira is not native to India, and may have originated after the Arabic word Jazeera, which means an island. Murud was once known in Marathi as Habsan ("of Habshi" or Abyssinian). The name of the fort is a concatenation of the Konkani and Arabic words for Island, "morod" and "jazeera". The word "morod" is peculiar to Konkani and is absent in Marathi.[2] Major features[edit]

Fort Murud-Janjira
paintings from the 17th century in the Mughal

Kalak Bangadi, 3rd Largest Cannon in India
At Janjira Fort, weighing over 22 Tons

Fort is situated on an oval-shaped rock off the Arabian Sea coast near the port town of Murud, 165 km (103 mi) south of Mumbai. Janjira is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India. The fort is approached by sailboats from Rajapuri jetty.

Murud Janjira Fort View from ferry point in Rajapuri

The main gate of the fort faces Rajapuri on the shore and can be seen only when one is about 40 feet (12 m) away from it. It has a small postern gate towards the open sea for escape.

Entry Gate into Murud Janjira Fort. Accessible by ferry.

The fort has 26 rounded bastions, still intact. There are many cannons of native and European make rusting on the bastions. Now in ruins, the fort in its heyday was a full-fledged living fort with all the necessary facilities, e.g., palaces, quarters for officers, mosque, two small 60-foot-deep (18 m) natural fresh water lakes, etc.[3] On the outer wall flanking the main gate, there is a sculpture depicting a tiger-like beast clasping elephants in its claws.

The sculpture on the main gate

The palace of the Nawabs of Janjira at Murud is still in good shape.[citation needed] A special attraction of this fort are 3 gigantic cannons named Kalalbangdi, Chavri and Landa Kasam. These cannons were said to be feared for their shooting range.[4] Another gate to the west is sea-facing, called 'Darya Darwaza'. There is also another fortress, named Ghosalgad, which is located on top of the hill around 32 km (20 mi) east of Murud-Janjira, that was used as outpost for the rulers of Janjira.[5] History[edit]

Inside the fort

Main article: Janjira State The fort of Janjira on the sea is the only one of its kind. Janjira Jal-Durg ("sea fort") was constructed by Malik Ambar, an Abssynian minister in the service of the Sultan of Ahmednagar, who belonged to the Nizamshahi dynasty. The fort, built at the end of the 17th century, is almost entirely intact today. During its heyday the island fort boasted having 572 cannons.[6] Visitors can gain access to the Janjira fort from Rajapuri, a small village on the coast. After a short ride in a small boat, one can enter the fort through the main entrance. The fort is oval shaped instead of the usual oblong or square shape. The fort wall is about 40 feet high and has 19 rounded porches or arches, some of which still have cannons mounted on them, including the famous cannon Kalaal Baangadi. These cannons were largely responsible for repelling oncoming enemies from the sea. Inside the fort walls are the ruins of a mosque, a palace and bath with water channeled from streams, evidence that royal ladies occupied the quarters. A deep well, still functional, provides fresh water despite the fort being surrounded by salt water. On shore is a luxurious cliff-top mansion, the Palace of the Nawab. Built by the former Nawab of Janjira, it commands a panoramic view of the Arabian sea and the Janjira sea fort.[citation needed] According to another record,[vague] the Abyssinian Sidis established the Janjira and Jafarabad state in early 1100.[7]

Archaeological Survey of India
noticeboard at fort entrance

According to accounts written by the Portuguese Admiral Fernão Mendes Pinto, the Ottoman fleet that first arrived in Aceh
prior to the Ottoman expedition to Aceh
led by Kurtoğlu Hızır Reis included 200 Malabar sailors from Janjira to aid the region of Batak and Maritime Southeast Asia in 1539.[8] Later, in 1621, the Siddis of Janjira became exceptionally powerful as autonomous state to the point that the commander of Janjira, Siddi
Ambar the Little, successfully defied his overlord Malik Ambar's attempt to replace him. Siddi
Ambar the Little is accordingly considered the first Nawab of Janjira state.[9] The island fortress was under control of Adil Shahi dynasty until the reign of Ibrahim II where Janjira fort was lost to the Siddis.[10] Major historical figures from Murud-Janjira
include men such as Sidi Hilal, Yahya Saleh and Sidi Yaqub. During the rule of Sultan Aurangzeb, Sidi Yaqut received a subsidy of 400.000 rupees. He also owned large ships which weighed 300–400 tons. According to the record these ships were unsuitable for fighting on the open sea against European warships, but their size allowed for transporting soldiers for amphibious operations.[11] Despite their repeated attempts, the Portuguese, the British and the Marathas
failed to subdue the power of the Siddis, who were themselves allied with the Mughal Empire. For example, 10,000 soldiers from Moro Pandit were repulsed by Janjira's army in 1676.[12] The Marathas
led by Shivaji
attempted to scale the 12-meter-high (39 ft) granite walls; he failed in all his attempts. His son Sambhaji
even attempted to tunnel his way into the fort but was unsuccessful in all his attempts.[13] He built another sea fort in 1676, known as Padmadurg or Kasa fort, to challenge Janjira. It is located northeast of Janjira. Padmadurg took 22 years to build and is constructed on 22 acres of land.

Janjira ruins

The small pond inside Janjira fort

In the year 1736, Siddis of Murud-Janjira
set out in a battle with the forces of Maratha
Peshwa Baji Rao. On 19 April 1736, Maratha
warrior Chimaji Appa
Chimaji Appa
attacked the gathering forces in the encampments of the Siddis near Rewas.[14] When the confrontation ended, 1,500 Siddis, including their leader Siddi
Sat, were killed. Peace was concluded in September 1736, but the Siddis were confined to only Janjira, Gowalkot, and Anjanwel, thus their power greatly reduced. However, Janjira remained unconquered until it became part of Indian territory after independence from the British in 1947. See also[edit]

Murud, Raigad List of Indian Princely States List of forts in Maharashtra Khokari Tombs Janjira State Jafarabad State Maratha


Imperial Gazetteer of India, 2. A., 26 Bde., Oxford 1908–1931 Malleson, G. B.: An historical sketch of the native states of India, London 1875, Reprint Delhi 1984 Schwartzberg, Joseph E., Hrsg.: A historical atlas of South Asia, 2. A., New York/Oxford 1992, ISBN 0-19-506869-6 http://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/MTDC/HTML/MaharashtraTourism/TouristDelight/Forts/Forts.aspx?strpage=Murud_JanjiraForts.html Maharashtra
- Murud Janjira Forts Official Govt. Page


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Murud-Janjira.

^ Hoiberg, Dale; Indu Ramchandani (2000). Students' Britannica India. Popular Prakashan. p. 403. ISBN 0-85229-762-9. Retrieved 2009-03-17.  ^ Richard, M. Eaton (2005). A Social History of the Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives, Volume 1 1], [“The” new Cambridge history of India
A Social History of the Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives, Richard Maxwell Eaton. Cambridge University Press. p. 127. ISBN 0521254841. Retrieved 30 October 2015.  ^ http://murudjanjira.blogspot.in/ ^ Gunaji, Milind (2003). Offbeat Tracks in Maharashtra. Popular Prakashan. p. 23. ISBN 8171546692.  ^ Gunaji, Milind (2010). Offbeat Tracks in Maharashtra. Popular Prakashan. p. 20 of 260. ISBN 8179915786. Retrieved 30 October 2015.  ^ Verma, Bharat. Indian Defence Review, Volume 24 (illustrated ed.). Lancer Publishers, 2010. pp. 49,156. ISBN 8170621720.  ^ Boyce, Carole Elizabeth (2008). Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture [3 volumes]: Origins, Experiences, and Culture. ABC-CLIO. p. 106. ISBN 1851097058.  ^ Cambridge illustrated atlas, warfare: Renaissance to revolution, 1492–1792 by Jeremy Black. p.17 [1] ^ Hawley, John C. (25 June 2008). India
in Africa, Africa in India: Indian Ocean Cosmopolitanisms. Indiana University Press. pp. 255–256. ISBN 0253003164.  ^ Ahmed, Farooqui Salma (2011). A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century. Pearson Education India. p. 176. ISBN 8131732029.  ^ Roy, Kaushik (30 Mar 2011). War, Culture and Society in Early Modern South Asia, 1740-1849 (Volume 3 Asian States and Empires ed.). Taylor & Francis. p. 13. ISBN 9781136790874. Retrieved 15 Jan 2016.  ^ Kyd Nairne, Alexander (1894). History of the Konkan (Reprint ed.). Asian Educational Services. p. 71 of 131. ISBN 8120602757. Retrieved 29 October 2015.  ^ India, Lonely Planet. ^ Advance Study in the History of Modern India
(Volume-1: 1707-1803) By G.S.Chhabra

v t e

Forts in Maharashtra

Ahmednagar district

Ahmednagar Fort Bahadurgad Bhairavgad Bitangad Harishchandragad Kaladgad Kharda Kunjargad Madan Fort Manjarsumbha fort Pabargad Patta Fort Ratangad

Akola district

Akola Fort Balapur Narnala

Amravati district

Amner Fort Gawilghur

Aurangabad district

Antur Fort Daulatabad

Dhule district

Bhamer Laling Thalner

Kolhapur district

Bhudargad Gandharvgad Panhala Pargadh Pavangad Samangad Vishalgad

Latur district


city district

Bombay Castle Dongri Fort Fort George Mahim Fort Mazagon Fort Riwa Fort Sewri Fort Sion Hillock Fort Worli Fort

suburban district

Castella de Aguada Madh

Nagpur district


Nanded district

Kandhar Fort

Nashik district

Aavandhagad Achla Fort Ahivant Fort Alang Anjaneri Ankai Fort Bahulagad Bhaskargad Chandwad Chaulher Dermal Dhodap Haargad Harshgad Hatgad Indrai Fort Kanchangad Kanhergad Kavnai Fort Kulang Madangad Malegaon Fort Mangi-Tungi Moragad Mulher Fort Nhavigad Rajdher Fort Ramsej Salher Salota Saptashrungi Tankai fort Tringalwadi Waghera

Osmanabad district

Naldurg Fort Paranda Fort

Palghar district

Bassein Tandulwadi

Pune district

Anghaai Fort Bhorgiri Fort Chawand Dhakoba Ghangad Hadsar Fort Induri Fort Jivdhan Kailasgad Kawla Korigad/Koraigad Lohagad Malhargad Manaranjan Mangalgad Morgiri Fort Narayangad Nimgiri Purandar Rajgad Rajmachi Rayri Fort Rohida Sangram Durg Sindola Fort Shaniwar Wada Shivneri Shrivardhan Sinhagad Tikona Torna Tung Vajragad Fort Visapur

Raigad district

Agarkot Avchitgad Bhimashankar Fort Bhiwgad Birwadi Chambhargad Chandragad Dhak Bahiri Dronagiri Gadad Bahiri Ghangad Ghosalgad Irshalgad Karnala Khaderi Khanderi Kondhawi Fort Korlai Kothaligad
Peb fort Kulaba Kurdugad Lingana Maangad Madgad Malanggad Mangalgad
(Kangori) Manikgad Mirgad Mrugagad Murud-Janjira Padmadurg/ Kasa Fort Prabalgad Raigad Ratnagad Revdanda Sagargad Samrajgad Sankshi Fort Sarasgad Sarjekot Songad Songiri Fort Sudhagad Surgad Talagad Underi Vikatgad
Peb fort

Ratnagiri district

Aambolgad Anjanwel Bankot Fattedurg Gopalgad Govindgad Gowalkot Jaigad Kanakdurg Mahipatgad Mandangad Prachitgad Prunagad Rasalgad Ratnagiri Fort/ Ratnadurg Sumargad Suvarnadurg Yashwantgad

Satara district

Ajinkyatara Bhairavgad Bhushangad Chandan-Vandan Dategad Gunavantgad Jangali Jayagad Kalyangad Kamalgad Kenjalgad Mahimangad Pandavgad Prachitgad Pratapgad Sajjangad Santoshgad Vairatgad Vardhangad Varugad Vasantgad Vasota


Aasavgad Bharatgad Rajkot Fort Sanrjekot Sindhudurg Vijaydurg

Thane district

Aajobagad Aasawa Arnala Asherigad Ballalgad Balwantgad Belapur Fort Bhairavgad Bhandargad Bhavanigad Bhupatgad Chanderigad Dahanugad Daulatmandal Dharavi Durgadi Fort Gambhirgad Ghodbunder Fort Gorakhgad Gotara Jivdhaanigad Kaldurg Kamandurg Kelwegad Kohojgad Mahuli Malang gad Palasgad Pankot Tahuli Segwa Shirgav Fort Siddhgad Tarapur Fort Vasai Fort

v t e

Forts in India


Gingee Bangalore Udayagiri Vellore

Deccan sultanates

Ahmednagar Gawilghur Narnala Panhala

Gujarat Sultanate

Mahim Bhadra Surat Castle

Delhi Sultanate

Aligarh Bandhavgarh Hathras Qila Mubarak Siri Tughlaqabad Salimgarh Daulatabad

Nayak Dynasty

Chitradurga Bekal Dindigul Gingee Tiruchirapalli Rock Chandragiri FortChandragiri Fort, KeralaChandragiri Hosdurg

Malwa Sultanate

Mandsaur Mandavgadh

Faruqi dynasty

Asirgarh Laling Thalner


Achalgarh Amber Bhangarh Chittor Jaigarh Jaisalmer Jalore Junagarh Kankwadi Kumbhalgarh Nahargarh Qila Rai Pithora Taragarh Lal Kot Gwalior Kalinjar Hinglajgarh Mehrangarh Narwar Senapati fortress Sabalgarh Bahu Kangra Ranthambore Derawar Umarkot


Dongri Harishchandragad Kolaba Lohagad Sudhagad Sinhagad Tikona Panhala Pratapgad Vishalgad Rajgad Sindhudurg Vijaydurg Shivneri Raigad Gajendragarh Gingee Shaniwar Wada Jhansi Hinglajgarh Manora Visapur Sadashivgad

Mughal Empire

Purana Qila Chanderi Agra Allahabad Fatehpur Sikri Red Akola Hari Parbat Ramnagar


Bawana Fort Gohad Lohagarh Nahar Singh Mahal

Mysore Kingdom

Devanahalli Palakkad Bekal Sankagiri


Murud-Janjira Belapur Underi


Vattakottai Udayagiri East


Bassein Bombay Castle Arnala Castella de Aguada Emmanuel Korlai Madh St Thomas, Tangasseri St. Angelo Pallipuram Aguada Anjediva Cranganore Ghodbunder Diu Terekhol

Sikh Empire

Jamrud Kamlah Multan Harkishangarh Lahore

British Raj

Anchuthengu St. George William Bombay Riwa Worli Mazagon Sion Hillock Sewri Mahim Tellicherry St. David

Sur Empire

Chunar Rohtasgarh Munger

Ahom Dynasty

Talatal Ghar Kareng Ghar Rang Ghar Garchuk Lachit Garh

Kakatiya Dynasty

Golkonda Warangal

v t e

Gun salute
Gun salute
Princely states during the British Raj

21-gun salute

Baroda Gwalior Hyderabad Jammu & Kashmir Mysore

19-gun salute

Bhopal Indore Kalat Kolhapur Travancore Udaipur

17-gun salute

Bahawalpur Bharatpur Bikaner Bundi Cochin Cutch Jaipur Jodhpur Karauli Kota Patiala Pudukkottai Rewa Tonk

15-gun salute

Alwar Banswara Datia Dewas Dhar Dholpur Dungarpur Idar Jaisalmer Khairpur Kishangarh Orchha Pratapgarh Rampur Sikkim Sirohi

13-gun salute

Benares Bhavnagar Cooch Behar Dhrangadhra Jaora Jhalawar Jind Junagadh Kapurthala Nabha Nawanagar Palanpur Porbandar Rajpipla Ratlam Tripura

11-gun salute

Ajaigarh Alirajpur Baoni Barwani Bijawar Bilaspur Cambay Chamba Charkhari Chhatarpur Chitral Faridkot Tehri Garhwal Gondal Janjira/Jafrabad Jhabua Malerkotla Mandi Manipur Morvi Narsinghgarh Panna Radhanpur Rajgarh Sailana Samthar Sirmur Sitamau Suket Wankaner

9-gun salute

Balasinor Banganapalle Bansda Baraundha Baria Bhor Chhota Udaipur Danta Dharampur Dhrol Jawhar Kalahandi Khilchipur Limbdi Loharu Lunavada Maihar Mayurbhanj Mudhol Nagod Palitana Patna Rajkot Sachin Sangli Sant Sawantwadi Shahpura Sonepur Wadhwan Yawnghwe

List of princely states of British India