Bassein Fort
The Bassein Fort is the Sea fort in Vasai Road, which is a suburb towards north of Mumbai. Vasai Road is the third last station on the western railway towards Virar. It falls in Thane District on the mainland just north of the Bombay archipelago. It was established by the Portuguese as the headquarters of their Indian operations in 1534 and centre of their operations until 1739. With this as the main base, they built other smaller forts such as the Castella de Aguada, and strong houses in many of the islands in what is now Pakistan. In the 18th century, the fort was attacked by the Maratha army under Peshwa Baji Rao's brother Chimaji Appa, and fell in 1739 after a three year long campaign. The ramparts overlook Vasai creek and are almost complete, though overgrown. Several watch-towers still stand, with safe staircases leading up. The Portuguese buildings inside the fort are in ruins, although there are enough standing walls to give a good idea of the floor plans of these structures. Some have well-preserved façades. In particular, many of the arches have weathered the years remarkably well. They are usually decorated with carved stones, some weathered beyond recognition, others still displaying sharp chisel marks. Three chapels inside the fort are still recognisable. They have façades typical of 17th century Portuguese churches. The southernmost of these has a well preserved barrel vaulted ceiling. The fort is often used for shooting Bollywood film scenes. The films shot here include Josh, Khamoshi, Ram Gopal Verma's Aag etc. Besides all the wonderful structures one should not miss observing the wonderful nature that has taken over the dilapidated parts of the fort. It is a great place to observe butterflies, birds, plants and reptiles.

Restoration of Fort by Archaeological Survey of India
Archaeological Survey of India has started the restoration work of Vasai fort. one can not call this restoration, what's being done is renovation. The job contracted to a local contractor who seems to have little knowledge about restoration. There are also encroached structures within the Fort area. The Fort area is not preserved by the Indian government.It is perfectly safe to visit this place in the day, but women should avoid going their after dark as there is no security within the fort.

One needs to take a train bound to Virar from Churchgate and get off at Vasai Road . The Churchgate - Virar falls in the Western Railway. If someone is coming from the central railway or harbour line then they have to board the train from Dadar. The bus depot is quite adjacent to the railway station. The buses going to fort are Killabandar buses. There are buses every half hour. Ticket costs you Rs.7.00 and you can get off at the last stop and start walking around. Auto Rickshaws are also available which can be hired from the main road outside the station but it would cost you around Rs.10.00 per head.

Building Activity

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