Oct 4, 2010

Mirjan Fort

I was excited and looking forward to visit Mirjan Fort. My last visit to any fort was quite some time back.

The fort has a solid and stylish look. It looks as though it's built over a rock bed... it stands on a raised platform and surrounded by a moat pit... of course it's dry now. These are the steps which let us into the structure. The doorway lets us into the fort.

I'm quoting an article on Mirjan Fort in DH- The historical records that are available state that the place was under the governance of Gerusoppa rulers during Vijayanagara times. Soon after the fall of Gerusoppa rulers, Bijapur sultans are said to have conquered the place and Sharief-ul-mulk, the governor of Goa, is believed to have either built or renovated the fort here. Keladi queen Chennamma conquered the territories at a later stage.

I was mesmerized at the architectural and engineering skill the builders possessed. Absolutely stunning!

We choose to go around the fort... we found another entrance to the interior. This pillar must of Vijayanagara era. I regret not taking a close up shot. We passed by the pillar into the interior. We were standing in an open yard surrounded by high walls.

This must have been a prayer hall. We went exploring behind this wall and heard a voice yelling at some boys who had climbed the slippery walls. Enas, that's his name. I found out that he was the care-taker. That's what I wanted- a guide.

We did not discuss any deal but Enas was enthusiastic to show off his fort. First he took us down the wall to show us a secret underwater passage to get into the fort. The circular whole behind Enas is a well which is connected to the moat and the rectangular opening is the stairway to climb up.

Enas took us up again through a different path to the highest level of the fort.

Now we were looking at a huge yard with a well and palace ruins. First we saw the well, 25 feet in diameter, deep green water. We down the slippery steps leading us into the shaft, close to the water.

Quoting DH again- The remains of some idols, believed to have been found in the fort, have now taken refuge under the shade of a big tree.

An impressive collection of serpents. The broken head of the warrior is carefully balanced on the torso.

Ruins of the palace. We spent some time studying the plan of the palace trying to identify rooms, kitchen, bathroom, etc. We did find some pipelines and water tanks but were not sure if it was the kitchen or the bath.

The main entrance as seen from the a dominating corner turrets on the front.

We climbed on to a wall, one of the highest points of Fort Mrjan. We look down into the courtyard we first entered.

We went back to the lower level... Enas wanted to show another well. The steps leading down to this well looked even more dangerous.

We could touch the water... cool and clear. If I'd chosen to see the well from the top I've missed this view. Let me take a moment to brag- this is my best shot of the year. The scene below was enchanting; water dripping into the water below... plip plip plip plip.

Our next target was this turret- most probably the commander's tower.

View of the main entrance.

The courtyard- probably place where soldiers assembled.

It was getting warm... as it is the weather is humid and I was tiring. We decided we had seen enough for the day. That's the exit passage. Notice the safety feature- anybody coming out of it does not have any cover.

I was imagining how it would be those days surrounded by circle of deep water. Just behind me to the left there's a stairway leading below to another secret underwater passage. We got to see just two, who really knows how many were there originally.

We said bye to Enas, without him we would not have known so few facts about this wonderful fort. This is my first visit but not the last.

Mirjan Fort Coordinates: 14°29'20"N 74°25'3"E



Ace said...

We hardly come across such well maintained forts in Maharashtra.

babu said...

mirjan was a great roman trade centre known as Muziris. In kerala govt. is promoting excavations to prove Kodungalloor as Muziris. Rs. 200 crores project.
I am sure mirjan is Muziris. but some more evidences are required to prove it. If you can find out any relics of an Ancient roman colony and a Roman temple of augustus ,it is possible.
If necessary Ican come there with my archeological friends. Are you ready?

babu said...

I bet Mirjan is the ancient Muziris.Great historians like James Rennel said so.
Interestingly some groups in Kerala are attempting to prove Kodungalloor as Muziris. excavations are going on. with planned effort publicity is created that kodungalloor is muziris. Rs. 200 crores estimate for excavation.
If we make some effort together in the interest of historical studies it can be proved that Mirjan is Muziris.
A roman temple of Augustus and aroman colony are mentioned in Muziris. If you can find out some relics near by it is easy to prove.
I f necessary We will come there with our archeological team. Before that we need some clues regarding them. can you try?
sathees chandran mob. 09947622933