Another weekend was round the corner and nothing was planned for the weekend wanderer within me so I thought let me try out something nearby, hence Sunday Morning I took 7;40 am shuttle train from Virar Station to Palghar because this weekend my destination will be Shirgaon Fort in Palghar,
Shirgaon Fort, I was given to understand is some 13 kms away from the Palghar Station. I took ST bus from Palghar Station to go to Shirgoan fort. The bus frequency I was told is quite good.One needs to catch buses going to Satpati to reach this fort.
|ST bus to Satpati all set to go|
A bus journey of half an hour and I was dropped at a coastal village,The Bus Conducter said “Aap Masjid ke stop per utar jana “ actually this stop is before Satpati. I got down before Sarpati as I saw this huge Masjid along the road.
|Masjid is the landmark to get down from ST bus|
After getting down the bus I took direction from the locals and started walking for few minutes through the coastal village towards the Shirgaon Fort.
|Sleepy coastal village|
In few minutes I reached the main entrance of the Shirgaon Fort.
|Shirgoan Fort Main Entrance|
Before setting my foot on the fort let me brush up some history about the fort.
Historical name of Shirgaon during Portuguese ruling was Sirgão. Locals told me that this fort was built by the Portuguese though I could not find much history about this fort except that this fort was later won by the Marathas in 1738 along with the Dahanu Fort, Tarapur, Kelve and Asherigad Fort under the able leadership of Chimaji Appa. However in 1818 the Britisher captured this Fort.
|Fort in Ruins|
This been a land fort hence no trekking is required, one can simply walk in from the road to reach the entrance of the fort. Standing in front of the fort we see Minar or tower on the right side and a gate next to that. Minar construction some how gives the impression of Mughal architecture Just at the entrance on the right side are inscriptions dating the origin of this fort to 1714 A.D.
|Frontal view of Fort from outside|
As soon as we enter the fort from the door we immediately come across a big entrance door on the left side which leads into central courtyard of the fort.
The structure near the entrance lies in a ruined state today, tall walls and small windows atop them spells the historic tale unknown to us in today’s time. I am sharing few pictures of lost glory .
|Tall walls with windows|
|Tales of lost glory|
|Door leading to central courtyard|
The moment I entered through the door to central courtyard I saw a large ground with some ruined structure on the right side which looked like rooms probably for soldiers or for holding their rations.
|Stairs leading to the rampart of the fort|
|Inside View of Large halls|
I explored the inside, actually not much to see. I came out and as there was stairs which were leading to the top walls of the fort.This fort so reminded me of Arnala Fort ( You can click the link to read about Arnala fort here) near Virar.
These stone stairs going up ends on the ramparts of the fort which one can easily circumvent.I started to walk on the top. There are 5 Bastions on this fort.
|View from the ramparts of the quarters,Rooms of soldiers|
Walking on the ramparts of the fort just across from where I was standing I could see a white structure perched on the bastion so naturally started to move toward it to explore.
But before reaching this bastion I came across one more bastion. which has the usual windows and circular construction.
Moving forward from here I made my way to the white structure perched on the northern bastion.
The spiral stairs take you to the top.Its quite sad to see lots of graffiti on the walls, How I wish people start respecting their heritage.
Upon reaching the top of this bastion I could see the whole fort and the most prominent thing was the multi branch Palm tree…wow must be one of its kind.
|Unique multi branch Palm tree|
|Bird’s eye view from the Bastion.|
After spending some time here I went on to explore the other bastion which we saw at the entrance door.
|Bastion on the other end, waiting to be explored|
|Bastion from ground level|
Exploration of these ancient forts is always an adventure because we often come across secret tunnels, caves etc. Shirgoan fort too has its quota of such historical mysteries.
|Doors to unknown|
The sun was hitting me hard and I think I have seen all that I can see so felt it was time to move on now back home. Shirgoan Fort is a small fort which you can explore in two hours. Do visit it if you are at Palghar.
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