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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Revdanda Fort





We had just finished our visit of Rameshwar temple at Chaul. (You can click on this link to read about our earlier part of the travel)


At Rameshwar Temple, Chaul

As we were leaving the Rameshwar temple, I asked the local villager to guide us to Revdanda Fort. He said Its around 1kms from the temple so we better take an auto and go to Revdanda Fort. Femina just like me, is a travel freak so she said "Aashish why don't we walk the distance, its just one Kilometre" and I too readily agreed to this because when you walk the village roads you often get to see village life more closely, chances of connecting with the local folk is so refreshing and interesting that you never know you make catch up with some local folklore.


Do Bechare

So, do bechare bina Sahare , Uparse Dhoop se mare, apni manzil ki aur chal pade 


Moving little forward on the road outside the temple we saw the road going straight and one village road diverting on the right,Following my intuition we started to  walk on it. little ahead of us one villager was also walking so I stuck a conversation with him and asked him to guide us to Revdanda fort. What followed was a little happy chat and an exchange of ten rupee note 😛 and set of directions.





Following the directions given by the villager we were on our path towards the Revdanda fort. Lonely but lovely path had lots of coconut trees providing the necessary shades, the breeze blowing was very cool and we were dying to rush toward the Revdanda Beach. Beach! did I say Revdanda  beach and not fort.

Well it was not a typo. Its indeed Revdanda beach. The fact is that Revdanda Fort is on the Revdanda beach only.




























 Come lets brush up our history of the fort.


History
Revdanda fort was a beach facing fort built in 1558 by a Portuguese captain Soj to watch over their trading interests. It is located in lower Chaul, which one comes across on the Alibaug-Murud road (17kms away from Alibaug). During the Portuguese times it was called Santa Maria de Castelo, but the locals called it Revdanda after Revati the spouse of the Yadava king Balrama.


(PC Nitin Nimbalkar) 

The Portuguese defended this fort against many invasions namely in 1570-71 and in 1594. It was captured by the Marathas (by the Angres, during the time of Nanasaheb Peshwe) in 1740 (Note.an earlier attempt in 1683, during the time of Ch.Sambhajiraje had failed). In 1806 it was ceded to the East India company and remained in brief control of the Angres in 1817.


(PC Nitin Nimbalkar) 


Revdanda-Chaul (Chenwal in Konkani language) has a history of 2000 years. Chaul (Simul,Champavati were some of its old names) was ruled in the medieval times by kings like Bhoja (12th cen) and Bimbadev (13th cen).Chaul came under Tughluq in the 14th century , the Bahamani sultans in the 15th century, Nizamshahi in 16th century, Portuguese in the 16/17th century (1505 onwards. In 1508, an combined army of Egyptian Mamluks and Gujrat sultanate defeated the Portuguese. The first Portuguese settlements started in 1521 with the permission of Nizamshah), the Marathas in the 18th century and the British in the 19th century. Chaul always remained a major trading port during the rules of all dynasties.


(PC Nitin Nimbalkar) 

There were also other forts in Chaul like Agarkot of the Nizamshah (destroyed by the Portuguese) , Rajkot built by Sambhaji (destroyed by the Angres in 1748) and Korlai (known to the Portuguese as Morro de Chaul or Rock of Chaul) which still exists in the vicinity on a nearby cliff. Korlai was captured by the Portuguse till 1739 until it was seized by the Marathas.

Revdanda had a chapel where St Francis Xaviers delivered one of his earliest sermons in the Indian subcontinent. Revdanda was also the first place in India where Afanasy Nikitin, the first Russian traveler landed .


Deserted Revdanda Beach

One look at the Revdanda beach and I was zapped. not a soul to be seen except for few deserted boats where Femina and myself we took turns to click pictures.Its very rare that we mumbaikar get to see such clean and lonely beach.


Making the most of Lonely beach


Standing on the revdanda beach we can see Korlai fort perched on the hill on the opposite side. We enjoyed a short splash in the sea and after coming out of the sea we started to move towards our right along the beach to go to Revdanda Fort. As we were walking We saw a group of people getting down from the jeep and just behind them I caught a glimpse water scooters.

 Wow so they have water sports here!


Water scooters at Revdanda Beach

We kept walking for another 5 minutes and we were standing near the Revdanda fort. All the crowd that was missing at the Revdanda beach were actually here 😂.


Missing crowd of Revdanda beach found at last


Though Revdanda Fort may have a great history but what lies today is just a dilapidated fort. The walls of the fort is completed eroded due to the sea water.


Broken walls of the Fort

As a fort it may not look so formidable in its present state but its a photographers delight to capture various moods of the fort and the sea. I think this wss the reason that we saw hordes of photographers doing pre-wedding shoots here).

Maine bhi mauke per chauka mara and chupke se ek pre weddind shot ka long shot le dala 😜😜😜



We spent some time clicking the pictures from outside the fort. There was a  small window type opening in the wall so we decided to enter through it so that we can explore the fort from inside.

There is not much to be seen in the fort  and as we went inside the fort we found it was completely covered with coconut trees and bushes.


Dense Vegetation inside the Fort 

Seeing the dense bushes we started to walk carefully and moved towards the tower like structure which we could see at far thru the trees.


Tower like structure within the Fort

 As we were walking through the bushes, towards this tower like structure, we realised our folly that the entrance route was from other side and not from where we were venturing. But then adventurous species that we are, both of us climbed the wall and jumped to the other side.

Pachpan me bachpan yaad aagaya 😜😜😜(of course for me only! because Femina is lot younger and fitter soul.)  

Once inside the compound we saw this tall tower. This tall structure is actually a Franciscan Church Tower inside the fort.


Franciscan Church Tower inside the fort
(PC Nitin Nimbalkar) 

Just outside this tower we find scattered cannons, another reflection of the past glory.



Scattered Cannons
We explored little bit and moved to Jesuit Monastery
(PC Nitin Nimbalkar) 

Ruins of Jesuit Monastery. (PC Nitin Nimbalkar) 


 which is in ruins and neglected state too. Other than this there was not much to be explored so we moved on from here to go to Kulaba Fort.







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