This is one of the immortal forts due to its complex design and astrological calculations about the auspicious moment when the fort could be constructed. The main gate of the fort faces Rajapuri on the shore and can be seen only when one is quite close to it. It has a small postern gate towards the open sea for escape which is very difficult to find and it looks like a window.
Timeline -- an interesting history
Janjira fort (originated from Arabic word Jazeera which means island Some of the people also split the name as “Jal Jeera” meaning fort in the water also known as ‘Fort Mehroob’ ) was initially wooden fortification erected by fishermen in 1538 (under Ram Patil leadership) to protect them from Two Nizam warriors Mirza Ali and Kalab Ali.
A Sardar named Piramkhan (dispatched by Nizamshah) disguised as a traveling merchant entered into the fort with 3 ships full of soldiers. And he captured fishermen. In 1567 -- 1571 this fort was replaced by rocks and the strong fortification by Burhan Nizamshah.
In 1587 Alargkhan was appointed here. Then in 1612 his son Ibrahim Khan and then Siddi Surur Khan came to rule on this fort. 20 Siddhi Nawabs enjoyed rule till 1947-1948. And finally it becomes the part of the Indian constitution.
Unsuccessful attempts to win the fort
Shivaji Maharaj (with Shamraj Pant and Baji Gholap in 1659), Shivaji Maharaj (with Nilopant Raghunath Mujumdar and Mayaaji Bhatkar in 1659), Shivaji Maharaj(Vyankoji Datto in 1678), Sambhaji raje (with Dadoji Raghunath in 1682)
When Sambhaji also failed, he built another island fort, known as Kansa or Padmadurg, just 9km north of Janjira.
Structure & position
This is situated in deep in the sea 3 Kms from Murud.
The fort has 19 rounded bastions, still intact. There were 572 cannons on the fort in 1669. There are 22 bastions, on many of which such cannons are seen. There are two water tank inside provides cold and sweet water. It is spread over an area of 22 acres.
Peer Panchayatan : As one enters the main entrance and walks ahead, another door on the left is seen. On the right hand side is a room like structure, which is called the Peer Panchayatan. There are 5 peers in this room. A few graves can be seen in the front yard. 3 rusted anchors lie unmoved here.
Horse Stable : Moving ahead from the Peer Panchayatan along the coastline we come across the stable.
Surulkhan’s Palace : The 3-storey dilapidated structure ahead is the Surulkhan’s palace. It is the tallest building here.
Lake : Northwards from the palace lies a lake. The lake measures about 20 m in diameter.
Citadel : As we walk ahead the steps the along the lake, we reach the citadel. A square for flag hoisting is constructed here.
Royal Courtyard : It is situated behind the citadel.
Western Darwaaja : On the western side o the fort, just below the coast level a small door can be seen. This door was used as an emergency exit. Above the door along the coast is a jail.