Hidden Gem Korlai Fort and India's Mini Great Ocean Road!

Korlai Fort was not on my original agenda. But while heading to Murud from Alibaug, we stopped at Revdanda Fort. From the coconut plantation behind Revdanda fort, the Korlai fort was visible. When I checked on the map, it was only a short deviation from Revdanda Murud road, so we took an unplanned turn to visit Korlai fort.

The Korlai fort proved to be a hidden gem, along with its approach road. When seen from Revdanda, the detailing of the fort were not very clear, but are glad we went closer.

The last few kms passes through a local village, a bit narrow. I stopped at one point and decided to hike, but a villager told us road goes all the way till the fort. The road itself can be an attraction. With ocean on the left and hill on the right, it was reasonably scenic and reminded me of Australia's great ocean road. Of course great ocean road runs for several hundred kms and this one is not longer than a km, but it was a nice view and experience nevertheless. May be we can call it micro great ocean road? If well developed, the road on its own could be an attraction. Check the photos of the roads approaching Korlai fort.



The approach road is wide enough only for one car, with only select spots with some extra space. If two cars come face to face, one of them will have to move back. While entering, keep an eye on vehicles ahead. Go as early as possible so that you can return before more people and vehicles come in.

As we went closer to the fort we stopped at a building with some construction work was going on. There was a light house behind this building but we were told it is under maintenance. There is a walking path to the Korlai fort from here- about 50 steps/300 meters I guess.

Once we reached on top of the Korlai fort, the view around was amazing. Check the photos of sea below, from top of Korlai fort.




Korlai fort is built by Portuguese administration in 16th century, with permission from local kings to guard their colonies in the area. Eventually Portuguese troops took over the fort and over time, it came under various rulers including Marathas. Wikipedia has complete details if you're interested in detailed history of Korlai fort. I will avoid repeating the same and focus on photos I clicked and my findings.

Korlai fort is very narrow in width but huge by length. From one end to another, it is about 3000 feet or almost a km. Along the border, there're 300+ points for canons. Most of the structures are destroyed, only remains of the walls are surviving. A church building is the most prominent structure inside.


Above; Sea facing end of the Korlai fort
Below; City/land facing end of the Korlai fort
 Narrow fort walls and a church inside
 
More walls and remains. The stone arch, made using stone bricks and mud adhesive, is holding tight even to this day 
 
Above; Steps and lighthouse
Below: Portuguese writings 
 A temple on top, added by Indian rulers I guess
 Drainage/water storage system

We spent about an hour around this fort. Because we had reached there by about 8 AM, we could explore a bit before it got too hot to handle.

Additional information: There is no entry fee, no fixed timing for the Korlai fort- you can visit it any time at your convenience. My guess is Korlai doesn't get enough visitors, so authorities are not finding it viable to deploy some staff (to issue tickets,security etc). There're no shops, no restrooms around the fort. If you're heading to Murud/Alibaug, spare half a day to visit and explore Korlai fort.

11 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic drive. Was there a couple of years ago. And stop by a local tapri to taste the chai etc...

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  2. This is a beautiful place. Making note of it!!

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  3. Wonderful place. Thanks for all pics, Awesome.

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  4. Glad to know more about this fort. Missed out during my visit to Revdanda.

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  5. @Niranjan- THere's always a next time

    @Rupam- Thanks

    @Deepak: Thanks

    @Arvind: Thanks.

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  6. Oh wow! What a scenic drive that must have been. The views from the fort also looks great. :)

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