This is an easy trail to Arnala Sea Fort situated near Vasai. The fort is built on a small island off the Arnala port. One has to go by ferry to reach the island and further explore the fort. We will be starting for this weekend getaway near Mumbai, by boarding a Fast Train from Churchgate to Virar
Since the fort is built on an island and surrounded on all sides by water it is also known as “Jaldurg” or “Janjire Arnala” Portuguese called the island “Ilha das vacas”. Before the Portuguese control of the island, the island was controlled by the Muslim rulers of Gujarat.
The island is near the mouth of Vaitarna river and the Portuguese used it to observe and control shipping and navigation along the western coast. The Portuguese captain of Bassein donated the island to a Portuguese nobleman. The nobleman tore down the old fort and began construction of 700 foot by 700 foot fort. The fort was never completed by the nobleman but remained under Portuguese control. it remained under Portuguese control for two centuries, who used it to control shipping and navigation along the northern Konkan coast.
The Marathas controlled the fort until 1817 when, during the third British-Maratha war, despite successfully defending the fort, they were forced to surrender the fort to the British due to their superior naval power. The Arnala and Bassien forts were returned to the Marathas by the British in the treaty of Salabai, but the forts again changed hands under the treaty of Pune. Today the fort is in a state of disrepair.