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Kulaba Fort

Encircled by the clear blue waters of the Arabian Sea and offering some of the most gorgeous views, the Kolaba Fort is a historical building located in Alibaug. The keep is nearly 300 years old and used to serve as one of the major naval stations during the times of Shivaji Maharaj’s rule of Maharashtra. This spectacular stronghold was once an isolated military fortification in the middle of the Arabian Sea, and had a strategic geographical importance for the Marathas when it came to warfare. The fort is located just two kilometres away from the Alibaug Beach, and if there is a low tide you can approach it easily on foot. However, if there is a high tide, visiting the Kolaba Fort requires hiring a boat. If you happen to take a walk to this keep, you will be delighted by the serene and tranquil ambiance of the area, as this region is very sparsely populated, with few people strolling in the vicinity of this keep.

History of Kulaba Fort

For hundreds of years, the fort acted as a place of shelter for the Maratha Army as well as an important stronghold for the Shivaji Empire. Later on, it played quite a significant role for the Portuguese invaders and the East India Company. The Kulaba Fort is considered to be one of many strongholds captured by the army of Shivaji Maharaj in the late 17th century and it is also believed to have been one of his final construction projects before his death.

The construction work of the fort itself and its reinforcement was completed by Sambhaji Maharaj, after his father Shivaji passed away in 1680. The Kulaba Fort was later given under the control of Darya Sagar and Manik Bhandari, two sardars of Shivaji’s army, and remained under their command until 1713, when it was taken over by Kanhoji Angre, the admiral of the Navy of the Marathas. The stronghold was under his command until his death in 1729. At that time, the Maratha Navy wreaked havoc on the British ships and looted them. (more in the History section)

Tourist Information

The fort is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day including weekends. The entry is almost free as the charges are very nominal. The government charges only INR 5 per person for visiting the Kolaba Fort. However, there are special charges for other activities, for instance, a horse cart ride to the fort during low tide will cost you INR 70.

You can easily reach the Kolaba Fort from Mumbai by sea. The keep is only 35 km away, and you can hire a motorboat or a ferry from the Gateway of India to the fort without any hussle. The nearest jetty to Alibaug is in Mandawa. The ferry services from Mumbai to these places are provided on a regular basis from sunrise to sunset, while the entire trip takes about 45 minutes.

When it comes to traveling by road, Mumbai is the nearest major city and it is located nearly a hundred kilometres away. You can get a state transport bus to Alibaug from Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Kolhapur.