Castella de Aguada-Bandra Fort

 Overview:

Type:Fort
Location:Located in Bandra, Mumbai.
District:Mumbai.

Castella de Aguada (Portuguese: Fort of the Waterpoint), also known as the Bandra Fort, is a fort located in Bandra, Mumbai. “Castella” is a misspelling for Portuguese “Castelo” (castle). Properly, it should be called Castelo da Aguada, although it seems its Portuguese builders actually called it Forte de Bandorá (or Bandra Fort). It is located at Land’s End in Bandra. It was built by the Portuguese in 1640 as a watchtower overlooking Mahim Bay, the Arabian Sea and the southern island of Mahim. The strategic value of the fort was enhanced in 1661 after the Portuguese ceded the seven islands of Bombay that lay to the immediate south of Bandra to the English. The name indicates its origin as a place where fresh water was available in the form of a fountain (“Aguada”) for Portuguese ships cruising the coasts in the initial period of Portuguese presence. The fort lies over several levels, from sea level to an altitude of 24 metres (79 ft).

History:

The Portuguese, who had established a base in the area in 1534 after defeating Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, built several sea forts along the western Indian coastline. Castella de Aguada was one such strategically located fort, overlooking the Mahim Bay to the south, the Arabian Sea to the west, the islands of Worli to the south and the town of Mahim to the south west. The fort also guarded the northern sea route into Mumbai Harbour. This sea route, a large estuary, was later reclaimed from the sea in the nineteenth century. During the Portuguese rule, it was armed with seven cannons and other smaller guns as defence. A freshwater spring in the vicinity supplied potable water to passing ships, thus lending the fort its name.

After the decline of the Portuguese in the early 18th century, the Marathas became the largest threat to British possessions. Sensing an impending Portuguese defeat, the British partially demolished the fort as a precautionary measure. The demolition would obviate the possibility of the fort being captured by the Marathas, with the possibility of it being used as a forward military base to attack British Bombay.

In 1739 the island was invaded by the Marathas; it was ruled by them until 1774 when the British gained possession of the area during the First Anglo-Maratha War. In 1830, the British donated large parts of Salsette Island, including Land’s End (Click to view the Photosphere), to Byramjee Jeejeebhoy, a Parsi philanthropist. Jeejeeboy then established his residence on the hill where the fort is located, and the cape was renamed Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Point.

Places to Visit on Fort:

The fort is owned by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Included in the fort makeover are the preservation of the natural rock formations, providing pathways, and the creation of an amphitheatre.

Today, the fort is frequented by locals who come here to relax and spend romantic moments with their better halves. The fort offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea and the neighbouring Bandra-Worli Sea Link. The fort is favourite shooting spot for Bollywood, there have been many films shot here.

How to reach:

Bandra Fort is accessible by road. It is at a distance of around 18 kilometers from the Gateway of India. Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport is at around 8.5 kilometers from the historic fort, Castella de Aguada Alias Bandra Fort. Distance from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is 17 Kms and 1 km from Mount Mary Church.

Related Video ( Bandra Fort):

Best time to visit:

You can visit Bandra Fort  all days of the week between 10.00 am to 8.00 pm.

Ravi

About Ravi

I love history and also like to read about the history of forts in Maharashtra. Graduate from Mumbai, Maharashtra.

View all posts by Ravi →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *