May 15 2012

Bassein Fort, Vasai, Maharashtra

Roochster

Bassein Fort, also known as Vasai Fort has existed since donkey’s years and it’s so sad that most of us living in Mumbai haven’t even heard about it; or thought of going and seeing it but never really made the effort to venture out. I discovered the fort only 2 yrs ago with Fash but unfortunately had to come back after half seeing it because of a stupid problem I had with my stomach that day! Luckily, I had a chance to go there again with a group of friends that too cause one of them stays at Vasai.

Historical Importance– Bahadur Shah, a Mughal Emperor had built the Bassein Fort in the 1530s. The Portuguese came, conquered and destroyed most of it a year after it was built and started a town which was also used as a trade center for various materials. After that, in the 1700s, the Marathas took over. In the 1800s the British came and conquered it for a hundred years more until in 1917 it was finally declared by the government of Bombay as its own ancient monument that must be preserved. Let’s just say we’re lucky enough to see atleast whatever little exists of it which is a big deal in itself, especially because you wont find tight security like you do at any other popular tourist place.

How to get there? The simplest, fastest and most economical way to get to Vasai Fort would be to get to Churchgate Station, take a train that goes to Virar and get off at Vasai which would be about an hour in a fast train. The train ticket would cost you less than Rs. 10 I think. From there you can take a bus which would cost around Rs. 7 or a rickshaw which would cost more than 60 bucks for sure. If you have your own vehicle, I’ll just say it’s very far from town, around 50 kms. If you’re coming from Pune or some other place, please Google your way there! 😛

What can you expect to see there? The moment you’ll enter the fort area you’ll be surrounded by the beauty of the massive stone structures made thousands of years ago! It’s in a state of ruins but that’s because the government hasn’t really looked after preserving it and when you go there, you’ll find barely any people there, no security or any kind of touristy feel because as I said, not many people know about it. The fort has broken-down churches and huge stone walls with beautiful Portuguese carvings. If you walk down further, you’ll be led to a jetty and a lovely view of the sea! If you’re into doing adventurous things, do try climbing the fort walls. It’s definitely not my thing cause I am a fattu when it comes to doing these things but I’m sure you’ll love it!

Food/Accommodation– There’ll be a nimbu pani/cold drinks guy from whom you can buy something to quench your thirst. If you’re hungry I’ll suggest you carry your own food or go after you’ve finished eating a heavy meal. There might be restaurants within a 2 kms radius which can be easily found otherwise. If you’re coming from far, I suggest you go there in the morning, leave by afternoon and stay somewhere in proper Mumbai.

So yes, Bassein Fort should definitely be on your awesome getaway list because it is a beautiful getaway you must visit as a Mumbaikar!

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