Update: I had first visited Murud Janjira about 10 years ago. I had experienced a beautiful drive by the sea, which is now gone, and sadly the sea side has been bought over and converted into private properties. I am updating this articles with some new photos.
Murud-Janjira is a small beach/town with a famous fort in the sea and a beautiful palace next to the beach. It is full of history. Scroll down for history (source: Wikipedia). The drive to Murud-Janjira is beautiful, but the one from here to Alibagh is even more beautiful with the Arabian Sea constantly on your right (if driving from Mumbai). The town has many a choice of eating places.
From Wikipedia: Murud-Janjira is the local name for a fort situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It was occupied by the Siddis and is famous for being the only fort along India’s Western coast that remained undefeated despite Dutch, Maratha and English East India Company attacks.
The fort was originally built in 15th century on a smaller scale by a local Maratha-Fisherman Chieftain- Ram Patil to protect his people from pirates/ thieves and was known as ” Medhekot”. He was a fearless man with independent bent of mind who was quite popular with the local fishermen. Nizam, the ruler from Ahmadnagar sent one of his Siddi commanders Piram Khan, who came with three ships armed with necessary weapons and soldiers and captured the fort. Piram Khan was succeeded by Burhan Khan, who demolished the original fort and built an impregnable much bigger, 22 acre, stone fort sometime in between 1567 and 1571. The fort was called ‘Jazeere Mahroob Jazeera ‘ which in Arabic means an Island. Siddhi Ambersatak was nominated as Commander of the fort.
Despite their repeated attempts, the Portuguese, the British and the Marathas failed to subdue the power of the Siddi’s, who were themselves allied with the Mughal Empire. Major historical figures from Murud-Janjira include men such as Yahya Saleh and Sidi Yaqub. The fort has a tunnel which opens in Rajpuri. The fort was made by a mixture of lead, sand and gul.
The Marathas led by Shivaji attempted to scale the 12 meters high Granite walls but failed in all his attempts. His son Sambhaji even attempted to tunnel his way into the fort but was unsuccessful in all his attempts.
In the year 1736, Siddis of Murud-Janjira set out to recapture Raigarh from the ravaging forces of Baji Rao, on 19 April 1736, Chimnaji attacked the gathering forces in the encampments of the Siddis during the Battle of Riwas near Riwas, when the confrontation ended 1500 Siddi’s including their leader Siddi Sat were killed. Peace was concluded in September 1736, but the Siddis were confined to Janjira, Gowalkot and Anjanwel.