Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sion fort

Mumbai’s history can be seen in its dilapidated forts. One such is the Sion Hillock Fort built between 1669 and 1677 by the British Governor of Bombay, Gerard Aungier, atop a conical hillock.
This hillock is situated a few metres east of the Sion railway station.
Sion was the boundary between British-held Parel island and Portuguese held Salsette Island and the fort marked the northeast boundary of their possession.
Its main purpose was that of a watchtower. However, there is another point of view which states that it was the Portuguese who had built this fort to protect their possession of the seven islands prior to handing them over to King Charles II as dowry on his marriage to Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza in 1662.
Today Sion marks the beginning of the suburbs in the eastern part of Mumbai and the Fort is used by the locals for walks and other physical exercises.
Quite a few students too come to study in the nooks and corners of the fort.
At the base of the hill is the branch office of the Archaeological Survey of India, and a garden – the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Udyan. One has to go through this garden to reach the top of the fort.
The fort is in a dilapidated condition with a collection of broken stone steps and scattered walls.
The walls are decorated with declarations of lovers who wished to immortalize their love.
It has a small room on top with a wooden trussed ceiling of old tree trunks of which only a few remain.
The views from top are worth the time spent to reach there.
There was also a small cannon lying on the hillside, as if it was just thrown there in a hurry by retreating forces.
It sure is an interesting place to visit and satiate ones interest in the history of Mumbai. The best time to visit would be early morning or maybe late evening when the sun would not be at its harshest best. It would not take more than an hour to leisurely explore and revisit Mumbai of yore.
A map to help you get there -


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Very well captured and narrated!! Can't believe that it exists amidst crowded Mumbai...

  3. Great post as always and what a fascinating place! It does seem strangely wonderful to see such in the middle of a city as busy and modern as Mumbai!

  4. Wow Deepak !! What a beautiful fort !!Simply loved the shots !!As you know i am a big time fan of Forts and palaces and your post made me so happy !!Simply amazing !!Looking forward for more !!

  5. Lovely fort! Never could have imagined a fort right in the middle of the city. Have stayed in Mumbai for a few years but was not aware of this fort...

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. A great post - I love the history behind the Sion Fort and it is unbelievable that it still exists today amongst the hustle and bustle of your city. Beautiful pics as well!

  7. I have passed thru that area hundreds of time but never knew it had such a beautiful history to show us.
    Thanks for sharing, will go there definitely.


  8. hey Deepak...beautiful pix and amazing to know that we hve such a beautiful fort right in the heart of the city...and i was unaware of it until now! thank you for the has made me eager to go and chk out the fort.

  9. What the hell!!! I've crossed that Sion Railway station hell'a number of times. How did I miss it..???!!!!!

    In search of Sanjeevani herb to Konganar Cave
    The White Dress to Work

  10. Hi, been reading/ viewing your blogs but never been posting comments. Not much impressed by the fort but always been impressed with your flowing writing style. Probably there was not much scope to write about this site. Saddened by the vandalism (though you have glorified the lovers) and also by the calibre of the agencies chosen to restore the fort. The quality of restoration work is very evident in your pictures. Also a thought on a possible historical distortion: the company govt needed to protect Mumbai from Portugese, very people who gifted it to the Crown in 1662!

  11. not everyday i can see a detail walkthrough to a place together with nice pictures! thank you + keep it up ;)

  12. @Nandan.. At the outset I thank you for your appreciation of my blogs.
    Now i would like to correct your perception that i have glorified the vandalism. No, I have not and I strongly condemn any form of vandalisation. However when I said that lovers had 'decorated' the walls, it was said sarcastically.
    Regarding the 'distortion of history' well the information has been sourced from 'wikipedia' and hence open to debate. For that matter history has always been open to debate due to its subjective interpretation of various historians. However i have no desire to debate this point hence on further research, I did find another point of view which stated that it was the portugese who had built it! Shall edit my blog accordingly.
    Thank you so much for taking my blogs seriously. Sincerely appreciate it.

  13. Simply beautiful and fantastic !!Loved the post !!

  14. What a beautiful place to come and relax. Great photos of them looks like a Pergola in Italy :)

  15. Really awesome pics Deepak uncle. What kind of camera do you use? Cause these pics are tooooooo brilliant to be taken on a regular point and shoot. You know you have the true markings of a photojournalist!

  16. Queste foto indiane sono veramente meravigliose...
    trasmetto pace e ci inducono a riflettere sui problemi del mondo !!
    Stupende !
    Grazie della visita :-)

  17. When will Indians learn that they cannot be a part of history just by scribbling their names in the historical places. *sighs*

    The place seems like an oasis amidst high rise! nice.

  18. Beautiful places and stunning pictures!

  19. These photos speak volume.

  20. A very good reportage! I like too much read and see images about India!
    Ciao Marco

  21. OMG !! I Never knew this fort had a history conacted to the British and the Portugal. i used to live at Sion Railyway qurters and used to hang out at this fort with my freinds and GF's. people used to tell this was built by the great Marata leader Shivaji Maharaj. good old days. nice pictures though brought back old memory.
    Mani Iyer.
    24th Sep 2010

  22. great pics , people will never learn to respect the monuments .

  23. Today I was passing through that area when I noticed th asi board. Tomorrow I intend to go there but in the meantime I wished to equip myself well and in the process discovered this post. Well I would say I have been initiated. Let me see if I could make it. Thanks.