Bassein Fort feels a lot like Goa

Entrance to the citadel



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 .

Arches of Nossa Senhora Da Vida
Remains of a church

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

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’.

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 .

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 .

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 .



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.

Getting ready for a Shoot
A church which reminded me of the Basilica of Bom Jesu in Goa
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 !


— that mishmash ( special thanks to Shahrukh )



29 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.


  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 .


      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

  2. You have captured the fort so well! I went there two years back with a couple of friends but the pictures I clicked didn’t do justice to the architecture and symmetry of the fort but I did manage to get a few timelapse shots 😀
    Have you been to Revdanda and Korlai forts near Alibaug? They are very similar, which is understandable since all trace back their origins to the Portuguese (if I am not mistaken) and their unique locations along the coast. Do visit them if you haven’t already!
    Keep sharing more such destinations 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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