This weekend after a lazy morning and a sumptuous brunch we suddenly decided to go to Sewri Fort.
But contrary to expectations, it disappointed us.
Dargah near the entrance of fort.
Besides locational advantage, I didn’t see anything that could attract tourists or locals to this fort. It is located right next to the dargah, still people including locals are not aware of its existence. They can easily guide you to all neighboring places like Sewri Jetty, the automobile service centers, the Port Trust Office, the dargah but this Fort.
I could not see a single signboard from Sewri station till this place guiding people. Even after reaching the fort there’s nothing which indicates that this is the Sewri Fort. By looks also it doesn’t look like a Fort, no visible ramparts or fortifications. Although the Sewri Mangrove Park is close by & you get a great view of the creek and the flamingos, unfortunately the fort is in a dilapidated condition.
Stairs to go to the fort and dargah.
I would tell you more about it, but first a bit of history of one of the existing forts of Mumbai.
Sewri Fort or (शिवड़ी किल्ला in Marathi) was built by the British in 1680 to be served as a watch tower and first line of defense against the Portuguese who had held the land across Mithi River (called Salsette Island). They must have learnt from the earlier invasions. The fort is atop a quarried hill overlooking the Mumbai harbour and the Sewri mudflats.
Later, as threats from the sea decreased, the importance of the Sewri Fort too gone and it became a godown of the Mumbai Port Trust. Not to mention, it was in a bad shape when a few years back the Maharashtra State’s Department of Archaeology and Museums took it over for its upkeep and renovation.
The lone tree in totally deserted fort.
This is all what is left of the fort.
Only when you enter the Sewri Fort through the main entrance, you see an inner structure. It does look like a fort albeit very small.
You pass through a dark room and enter into a courtyard which has a lone tree at one end. On one side are domed structures, which were perhaps guard rooms or storage rooms. On the other side you can see out through windows of a room which is roofless.
The place is deserted and I was wondering if it has become a hangout for petty crimes. When I clicked the below photo and some more, one of them saw me and alerted others. The whole thing was so scary that we hurried up and left the place without any delay.
We could see some boys lying on top of a portion having discussion over something.
Directions for going to Sewri fort.
Get off at Sewree station (E), on the harbour line and walk towards north end of the platform as there is no exit from the south end for going to the eastern side. Cross the main road (Mahul Road) through railway crossing, take the Sewri Koliwada Road opposite. Continue on this road and take the left of a ‘Y’ road. This will take you to a T junction where this road meets the Sewri Fort Road.
You can see the stairs going up. Total walking is 10 minutes.
Take the IMAX Wadala road and take the turning for Sewree. If you’re coming from Chembur side, there is a left turn after the salt pan road. Continue along this road until you reach a crossroad near Godrej Foods. Take a right and go straight along this road (Mahul Road) until you reach Sewree Station.
If you’re coming from town or from the Western side, take R.A Kidwai Marg and cross over from West to East when you reach Sewree station. Once you are at Sewree station East, directions are the same as above.
Sewree Bus depot is located in Sewree West and cross over to eastern side. Take any bus that ends at P.Thakeray Udyan/Sewree depot.
Tips:- 1. Remember, the roads are full of oil soaked dust and not very clean, wide or good.
2. Ask for शिवड़ी किल्ला and not for Sewri fort. We asked the policemen on patrolling duty the directions for fort and in turn he asked a rag-picker. Thinking the boy would not understand ‘fort’ I asked for ‘killa’. Even before he could utter, the policeman said, “Achha, killa jana hai? Idhar se jao (Do you want to go to killa? Go from this side.)”. I immediately realized my mistake. 🙂