Fort & Palace/ Historical Palace in Maharashtra
Gateway of India
Mumbai's most famous monument, this is the starting point for most
tourists who want to explore the city. It was built as a triumphal
arch to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary,
complete with four turrets and intricate latticework carved into
the yellow basalt stone. Ironically, when the Raj ended in 1947,
this colonial symbol also became a sort of epitaph: the last of
the British ships that set sail for England left from the Gateway.
Today this symbol of colonialism has got Indianised, drawing
droves of local tourists and citizens. Behind the arch, there are
steps leading down to the water. Here, you can get onto one of the
bobbing little motor launches, for a short cruise through Mumbai's
splendid natural harbour.
A major landmark of Mumbai city is the Victoria Terminus, designed
in Italian Gothic style by Architect F. W. Stevens. Recently
renamed as Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, it is one of Mumbai's most
prominent buildings and architecturally one of the finest stations
in the world. The building construction commenced in 1878 and was
completed in 1885. With a frontage of over 15,00 feet, The
administrative offices form three sides of a rectangle enclosing
an ornamental garden and the entrance gate is guarded by a massive
stone Lion and Tiger. The most prominent feature of this building
is the high 160 feet dome crowning the centre. On top of the giant
dome is a statue of a women with a torch held aloft to symbolise
On Nagar Road, this Palace is also known as Kasturba Gandhi
Memorial or Kasturba Samadhi.
This palace was built in 1892 by Imam Sultan Muhammad Shah Agakhan
III and was donated to India in 1969 by Aga Khan IV.
It was here itself where Kasturba Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi's long
time aide Mahadeobhai Desai passed away. This palace that once
belonged to the Agha Khan, served as quarters for imprisonment of
Gandhi and his wife Kasturba towards the tail end of the British
rule in India. Situated near the River Mula the palace is a simple
memorial to Gandhi and his life and times.
A special cenotaph honours Kasturba who died here. A shop attached
sells khadi or cotton handloomed garments and textiles.
22 Kms. From Aurangabad. Khuldabad is called the "Valley of the
Saints" because of a large-scale Sufi migration to this spot
several hundred years ago. It is a holy shrine for the Muslims and
contains the tomb of the last Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. The Urs
celebrated here for five days is a very famous fair and gathers a
large number of Muslims.
The old British fort was located in the area north of Colaba,
which is known as Mumbai Fort. There are a lot of monumental
buildings from Mumbai's golden period here. St. John's church,
dedicated to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the Sind
campaign of 1838, and the first Afghan war of 1843, is also
located in this area.
This fountain, situated in the heart of the city, was built in
1869 in honour of Sir Bartle Frere, who was governor of Mumbai
from 1862-67. Flora Fountain marks a junction of five streets and
is referred as the 'Piccadilly Circus' of Mumbai. Decorated with
mythological figures, the fountain is a stone structure with a
sculpture of the Roman Goddess of abundance, at the top. Many of
the major banks and offices are located in Flora Fountain. Close
to the fountain is the Cathedral of St. Thomas. The construction
of the chapel began in 1672 and completed in 1718.
Vijaydurg & Sindhudurg Fort
Once naval bases, Vijaydurg and Sindhudurg bear testimony to
Maharashtra's martial supremacy during Shivaji's reign. Vijaydurg
or Victory Fort was strengthened around the seventeenth century by
Shivaji, to whom it owes its finest features -- the triple line of
walls, the numerous towers and the massive interior buildings.
Once seized by the British and renamed Fort Augustus, Sindhudurg
or the Ocean Fort at Malvan port has history etched all over.
Constructed by Shivaji in 1664, at a site personally selected by
him. The construction of a sea fort is a stupendous task, and at
Sindhudurg no efforts were spared. Over 2000 khandis (4000 mounds)
of iron were used for casting and the foundation stones were laid
down firmly in lead.
Even today, as one approaches the fort past a rocky reef,
navigable through a narrow channel, one marvels at the
transportation of such heavy material through such choppy waters.
Within its precincts are temples holding the shrines of Maruti,
Bhavani, Mahadeo, Jarimai, Mahapurush and also of Shivaji -- the
only such shrine in the country. As for Vijaydurg and Sindhudurg
beaches, they offer the visitor one of the most serene and
beautiful coastal views in India.
Sinhagad -- where valour is etched on every stone and the soil has
turned red seeped by the blood of martyrs! From the time when a
Koli chieftain, Nag Naik stoutly defended this fort (AD 1328)
against the might of the Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq for nine months to
Jaswant Singh, Aurangzeb's commander, who dragged his guns up the
fort's steep shoulders to avenge the insult to Shaista Khan, who
was rebuffed by Shivaji, this fort has been infused by tales of
bravery. It was here that Shivaji's general, Tanaji Malusare
launched an attack to recapture the fort. In the ensuing battle,
Tanaji valiantly laid down his life, but captured the fort. A
grieving Shivaji is known to have said,"Gad ala pan sinh gela"
(The fort is won but the lion has gone). And this is how the fort
got its name: sinh (lion's) gad (fort).
This is the very heart of Maratha country -- Raigad, the capital
of Shivaji's kingdom. Strategically perched atop a wedge-shaped
block of hill, split off from the Western Ghats and inaccessible
from three sides. Stories of incredible valour and heroic deeds
are etched on every pebble at Raigad. It was here that Shivaji
built his capital city in the 14th century, and here that he
crowned himself Chhatrapati. For six years upto his death, Raigad
remained the capital of the Marathas with its broad gates and
magnificent monuments. There was only one pathway leading to the
top, and prizes were offered to those who scaled the fort through
unconventional methods. Though parts of Raigad are in ruins, yet
they inspire an aura of grandeur.
Rising dramatically over 600 ft above the Deccan plain is the
arresting sight of Daulatabad. Once known as Devgiri, this fort
served as the head quarters of the powerful Yadava rulers. In the
13th century, Mohammed bin Tughlak, the Sultan of Delhi, made it
his capital and renamed it Daulatabad, or City of Fortune.
One of the world's best preserved forts of medieval times,
surviving virtually unaltered, Daulatabad still displays many of
the internal contrivances that made it invincible. A series of
secret, quizzical subterranean passages lie amidst the fort. Its
defense systems comprised fortifications of double and even triple
rows of massive walls. A fortress conquered only by treachery!
The most notable structures at Daulatabad are the Chand Minar,
Jami Masjid and royal palaces. The tapering 30-metre high tower of
the Chand Minar is divided into four storeys, and was faced with
glazed tiles and carved motifs. The Minar probably served as a
prayer hall or a victory monument in its time. The Jami Masjid was
a mosque built by the Khilji ruler of Delhi, Qutubuddin Mubarak.
The palaces consist of spacious halls, pavilions and courtyards.
The fort is open till 6 pm