- Base Village:
- Arnala Islands
- Pune- Mumbai- Vasai- Arnala
- Distance from Pune:
- 60 Km
- Anara Fort is located at Arnala Islands, which is at a distance of 8 miles north of Vasai in Maharashtra. As it is surrounded on all sides by water, Arnala Fort is also known as 'Jaldurg' or 'Janjire Arnala'. Anara Fort is mainly on the north side of Anara Island. The main entrance is on the northern side, while the fort has broad and strong high walls with three gates.
Steps are made that lead to ramparts (walls), so one can take a walk around the entire boundary wall. To allow entry in the small rooms and storehouses below, the ramparts have number of small openings in its broad walls. Villagers use some of these storehouses to store their paddy crop. One would come across a canon ball still stuck on the inner side of the west side of the wall near the temple.
It is believed that Shivaji built this fort under the leadership of Kanoji Agare. Arnala Fort came under the British control in 1803 after Bajirao II Peshwa signed the infamous Treaty of Vasai. The fort also has a 'Shankar Temple' and a Mosque where religious festivals are celebrated every year. The villagers grow vegetables on plots inside the fort, as well as on the western side out side the fort.
- History The fort was originally constructed in 1516 by a local chieftain of Gujarat, Sultan Mahmud Begda. In 1530s, the Portuguese, after establishing at Bassein (Vasai), conquered this fort, started reconstruction and named it as Ilhas das vocas. The Portuguese retained control of the fort for over 2 centuries.
In 1737, Chimaji Appa, brother of Baji Rao I, took control of Bassein fort in a battle, the Battle of Vasai. Soon after this, Shankarji Pant, Chimaji's general persuaded him to take on Portuguese to get Arnala Fort. The first attack was routed by Portuguese' naval force. Soon it was followed by a second assualt, which took Portuguese by surprise and they lost control of the fort. Marathas controlled the fort till 1817, when they were attacked by British and forced to surrender.