Bassein Fort feels a lot like Goa

20160116_131053
Entrance to the citadel

 

DSC_0842
Ruins

My first reaction when I saw pictures of the Bassein fort online was ‘ Can this be real? ‘ All I had ever heard about the Bassein Fort  ( aka Vasai Fort ) was that it was in shambles and was not a very safe place to explore . So I had never thought of making a trip down to Vasai until last Friday .

20160116_122259
Arches of Nossa Senhora Da Vida
DSC_0862
Remains of a church

I still had a few reservations and decided to contact a fellow blogger Shahrukh from https://indiadestinationsblog.wordpress.com/ to allay my fears . With a few tips from him , I decided to go and look at the ruins myself .

20160116_122826
Another Church within the citadel

Vasai has been renamed quite a few times  with the Portuguese naming it Baçaim , the Marathas rechristening it as Bajipur and the British calling  it Bassein. The name changing has finally been put to rest with the place now popularly known as ‘ Vasai’.

DSC_0941
Sea Gate of the Fort with a Baobab at the entrance

Vasai was an important trading centre due it is proximity to the Arabian sea , which explains the keen interest of the Portuguese in this area .

DSC_0935
The Jetty near the Sea Gate

 

The Portuguese arrived here when Vasai was under the rule of Bahadur Shah , the Sultan of Gujarat . In 1534 , the Sultan ceded Bassein , along with other provinces , to the Portuguese and in 1739 the Portuguese were forced to leave Bassein when they surrendered to the Marathas .

DSC_0872
Portuguese Seal – Commerce and Religion on their minds

Vasai had flourished under the Portuguese and earned the title ‘ Corte Do Norte ‘ ( Court of North) . The citadel and the churches within the rampart reflect the grandeur that this fortress once boasted of . Today , it is a forgotten bit of history , left to meet its own end .

DSC_0825

DSC_0886

There is no entrance fee and absolutely no information or sign board anywhere . The place attracts filmmakers and even on the day I visited it , one section was out of bounds as the crew of some daily soap was busy setting up their props and getting ready for a shoot.

DSC_0857
Getting ready for a Shoot
DSC_0908
A church which reminded me of the Basilica of Bom Jesu in Goa
DSC_0919
Vaulted ceiling

I should have visited this place , so close to home ( about 55 km from where I live) , much earlier .Better late than never . For half a day I felt like I was transported to Goa and I think I found a place to lose myself in … whenever my Goan heart misses home !

20160116_120701

— that mishmash ( special thanks to Shahrukh )

 

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Bassein Fort feels a lot like Goa

    1. Hi Loretta , this fort is in Vasai which is a suburb in North Mumbai . Thank you and am glad you liked the pictures. I have been to Fort Aguada when I was a child ( sigh !) and I think I need to get back there some day soon for a good session of exploring and photography. Have you been there?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Years ago, it was so beautiful…..I was born in Mumbai, my folks were from Goa…. I was 3yrs old when we left India and grew up in other countries. I’ve probably been back about 3 times only, shame on me 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey , don’t be harsh on yourself. Not a shame at all. It is nice that you grew up in other countries , must have had so much to learn and soak in . although I think that must have been tough too. Next time you find yourself in Mumbai , I will let you in on a few hidden gems that you can explore .

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi , we drove to the fort and it was quite a drive. It took us about an hour and a half . The fastest would be taking a train to Vasai station and then a rickshaw ( seat sharing basis to the fort ) but the best would be a taxi all the way and asking the cab to wait as I didn’t see any autos around the fort area so getting back may be a problem.

      Like

  1. First of all let me tell you that your pictures of the Vasai Fort are light years ahead of mine. Probably because I never went with the same intention. You did a great job with the post and I’m glad you had a great time with your family at the fort. I am honoured that you chose to put my name and blog link in return of the not-so-insightful information I parted with you. Keep writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the compliment Shahrukh . I love ruins and feel like I belong there – among crumbling arches and ramshackle walls ! I loved the fort but only wish there was some information within the citadel which would have added to the fun of exploring . Your tips were helpful, especially on the mosquitoes …I was in splits ! Sorry we couldn’t meet but the next time I am there I will make sure we do . Thanks for everything again .

      Like

      1. Yeah, there is not much information for the tourist and I feel sad that the fort is not so well maintained. So were you still harassed by ‘The Force’ (mosquitoes)? I remember when I used to visit the fort with Sarah riding a scooty is so damn difficult because they just hit your face, get in your mouth, nose, ears and eyes.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s