- 162 Kms
- 3 / 5
Location: Near Alibag
Korlai Fort is situated near the coastal town of Alibag in Maharashta’s Raigad District. It is located on an island just off the Revdanda Creek.
Korlai Fort is situated near the coastal town of Alibag in Maharashta’s Raigad District. It is located on an island just off the Revdanda Creek. It’s picture-perfect settings, impressive sea views and historical background make it one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in the Alibag region.
Korlai Fort was built in 1521 by the Portuguese with the permission of the Ahmednagar Sultanate. The Portuguese tried to gain complete control over the fort, but the Sultan refused and retaliated. Subsequently, a truce was reached, and the sultanate occupied the island. All further fortification was halted. However, in 1594, a Portuguese captain called Abranches captured the fort after battling the Sultanate. The fort was destroyed during this battle, and only its central tower and a battery survived. Later, the fort was conquered by the Marathas. In 1818, it was taken over by the British.
During its heyday, Korlai Fort was described by travelers as a, “magnificent fortress as strong as any other in the world.” Before it was destroyed, the fort could house 7,000 horses and an equal number of soldiers. And as a symbol of its strength, a bronze lion guarded its main entrance, while a bronze eagle safeguarded the fort’s highest watch tower. Today, vestiges of the Portuguese occupation are noticeable in the distinct Korlai-Portuguese or Kristi dialect of the Luso-Indians inhabiting in Korlai village.
Even though it is in ruins, the historical Korlai Fort is a must-visit. Set atop a sloping hill at a height of about 2828 feet above sea level, the fort offers some of the best views of the Arabian Sea. The fort has eleven entrances – four are on the outer side and seven are inside. Its enclosing wall is 5’3’’ high and has 305 battlements for guns. In addition, the fort has seven bastions, each bearing a name of a saint.
As you explore the fort, you will come across a big water cistern called Santa-Cruz. This water tank functioned as the fort’s main water source. The fort premises also contain ruins of a church that was built in 1630 and was functional till 1728. A door located at the fort’s highest part has an ancient Portuguese inscription on it. Similar Portuguese inscriptions are visible on the fort’s main entrance and at an altar in the chapel.
From atop the fort, enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the striking blue sea, the pristine white sands and the entire picturesque area surrounding the hill. The view is especially astounding during sunset, when the sun paints the whole region in a golden hue. Also, make sure to visit the quaint lighthouse situated near the fort. Climb up a spiral staircase to reach the top of the lighthouse. From the lighthouse, capture some stunning shots of the fort and its impressive settings.
There are three paths to enter the fort. The path leading to the fort’s western doorway is the easiest and most-preferred. Another path that leads to the northern doorway is also good. However, the route leading up to the eastern doorway is quite steep and slippery, especially during monsoon. It’s advisable to carry your own snacks and sufficient water while visiting the fort, as there aren’t any food stalls nearby.
- Carry your own food and sufficient water when you visit Korlai Fort.
- There are very few lodgings in Korlai village. So, you may stay in the neighbouring town of Alibag. Alibag is situated 23 km away from the fort, and has several good hotels, restaurants and resorts
- Mode of Transport: Best way to reach Korlai Fort from Pune is by car.
Things to do
- Explore the historical Korlai Fort, one of the most popular tourist attractions near Alibag.
- From atop the fort, enjoy breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea, the golden beaches and the picturesque surroundings.
- Visit the beautiful lighthouse near the fort to enjoy some scenic views of the fort and its beautiful backdrop.
- Get a small glimpse into the region’s history as you explore the ancient remnants located atop the fort.