Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bandra Fort

At ‘Land’s end’ in Bandra there are the ruins of an old Portugese fort - Castella de Aguada (Portuguese: "Fort of the Waterpoint"), also known as the Bandra Fort.
The name indicates its origin as a place where fresh water was available in the form of a fountain
("Aguada") for Portuguese ships cruising the coasts in the initial period of Portuguese presence. It was built in 1640 as a watchtower.
The Portuguese, who had established a base in the area in 1534 after defeating Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, built several sea forts along the western Indian coastline.
Castella de Aguada was one such strategically located fort, overlooking the Mahim Bay to the south, the Arabian Sea to the west, the islands of Worli to the south and the town of Mahim to the south west. The fort also guarded the northern sea route into Mumbai Harbour.
The strategic value of the fort was enhanced in 1661 after the Portuguese ceded the seven islands of Bombay that lay to the immediate south of Bandra to the British.
After the decline of the Portuguese in the early 18th century, the Marathas became the largest threat to British possessions. Sensing an impending Portuguese defeat, the British partially
demolished the fort as a precautionary measure. The demolition would obviate the possibility of the fort being captured by the Marathas, with the possibility of it being used as a forward military base to attack British Bombay.
In 2003, a conservation program was started by Bandra Band Stand Residents’ Trust to save the fort. It was spearheaded by a local Member of Parliament (MP), Shabana Azmi, who funded part of the effort from her allotted funds. The brick arch of one of the gateways on the verge of collapse, and the foundation masonry of the fort wall that was in danger of tidal erosion were repaired.
The nearby Taj Land's End Hotel is responsible for maintenance of the fort
The fort is owned by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Included in the fort makeover are the preservation of the natural rock formations, providing pathways, and the creation of an
amphitheatre. The architect for the makeover was P.K. Das.
The way up the fort is a short flight of stone steps. Once on top the views all around are worth the visit.
A lotus pond to meditate on.
In the south you have the marvellous Bandra Worli sealink and on the north is the Taj Lands
End Hotel.
The sea in the west never ceases to fascinate.
And if you are there early in the morning you shall catch the sunrise in the east
and people exercising
dogs chilling
Here is a map to help you get there.

28 comments:

  1. The amphitheater looks nice and looks like the sea view from the fort should be good too ...

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  2. What a wonderful, historic place! I'm glad they done such a great makeover! Love your photos as always!

    Sylvia

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  3. Now, I have visited this place many times and have some photos as well. Will post them sometime.

    Loved your shots.

    Nisha

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  4. Wish I could visit this place some day!

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  5. wow!! amazing!! Loved all the pics esp the doggas one :) I miss Bandra!!!

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  6. Awesome! Wonderful pictures!

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  7. Bandra is my fav place in Bombay and its where I stayed initially after my college..thanks for the memories

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  8. Deepak, thank you so much for forwarding this wonderful link to the Bandra fort. I have had a lovely visit to India this evening, enjoying every single picture and, of course, wishing I were there. It is wonderful that the project of restoration was taken on by people who recognize the value of this piece of India's history.

    I remember, during my short 1997, going to the market in Bandra, with my friend's wife and cousin. I couldn't believe cotton caftans for $3! When the shopkeeper looked at me, he said, "So sorry, madame, for you, they are $4...you are jumbo!" ( I may have told you this ).

    Are these dogs at the fort all strays? My only concern is that they should have rabies vaccinations and who feeds the animals? With all your heavy traffic, I imagine animals can be at such risk!

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  9. And i bet we can see the Mahim fort from here!

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  10. It's so beautiful, thanks so much for sharing!
    Léia

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  11. I loved Shabana ji in Masoom (and later in Tehzeeb) with ♥Urmila (swoon)♥. Good to see she's still doing great work!

    This looks like a must-see for any visitor to Mumbai. Great job showing us around. Thanks!

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  12. Hi , Great pics. Would love to go there early evening and spend some time there. It would be so soothing. r v allowed to go any time or r there restrictions. Have been to the amphitheatre several times. Amazing ambience.

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  13. Thank you Chitra. The Hill garden timings are 6am-1pm and 4pm to 8pm as per the board put up there.

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  14. aAAAHHH..Thanks for these scenic views..and for letting the world knw that Bandra holds much more beautiful treasures than any Bollywood actor's bungalow or some shopping arcade or some great hotel..:D
    Indeed India's historic structures are well preserved through such photographs too!

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  15. Lovely pictures dude :) Especially that of the oldies exercising :).
    Been a long time since me been to Bandra Fort. Thanks for the memories!

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  16. I have lived in Bandra almost all my life but have never been to the fort. I have gone close to quite often. Now you have made me all eager to go there.

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  17. Wow, wonderful images and loved the all the info..

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  18. wonderfull photos!!
    i love your blog!
    kisses!

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  19. i don't know portugese actually built a port in mumbai. thanks for the history lesson along with great pictures! :D

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  20. Surely very good shots. Specially the palm tree with the steps taking us to the top. Myself a history buff and enjoyed reading about roles playd by Portugese and Englishman and great Marathas. Wonder, where you find all this history stuff !

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  21. Wow ! Magic eye what a lovely blog.I am blog rolling you.

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  22. Wow ! Magic eye what a lovely blog.I am blog rolling you.

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  23. Thanks for voting. Loved your photographs. You must have already seen this site, but still, check out www.blindboys.org. A friend runs it.

    Cheers,
    JPK

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  24. Great
    Work

    good
    sources
    of
    Inspiration

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  25. Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

    - Daniel

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