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Kolaba Fort (Raigad)

Kolaba is a sea fort at a distance of 2 KM from the beach at Alibag, Maharashtra. It was a fortified maritime base of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Today it is a protected monument with a pleasant sea view of the Arabian sea. 

Lying at a distance of 2 kms from the shores of Alibag, is the Kolaba Fort also known as Kulaba fort after the Kamaludin Shah baba (Ku-La-ba). Said to be 300 years old, the fort is surrounded by sea and has two chief entrances, one on the seaside and the other in the direction of Alibag. The walls of the fort are said to be 25 feet high. 
Carvings of animals like tigers, peacocks, and elephants can be seen on the entrance arch. Close to the gate, there are temples of Padmavathi and a Mahishasura and other gods along with castle’s main deity. In 1662, Shivaji Maharaj toughened and fortified Kolaba fort and made the fort one of his main naval centres. The charge of the fortress was given to Darya Sagar and Manik Bhandari under whom Kolaba fortification became the heart of Maratha assaults on British ships.In 1759 Raghoji Angre even built a Siddhivinayak temple inside the fort

Districts/Region

Raigad district, Maharashtra, India.

History

After Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured the entire region of Konkan south to Kalyan in the seventeenth century, he made this fort one of his naval bases and reconstructed it in 1662 CE. There are two main entrance gates which are located on the seaside and towards Alibag respectively. There is a small enclosure situated at the landside known as Sarjekot. Though it is a sea-fort, it has freshwater wells, and tanks inside that have water throughout the year. There are few temples, and a Dargah of Haji Kamaluddin Shah is inside the fort. Two English Cannons lie near the northern wall of the fort. These cannons are mounted on wheels. The fort was led by Kanhoji Angre, a skilled warrior who defeated English and Portuguese several times. The fort was attacked by Siddi of Janjira in 1747 but it was successfully refuted with the help of the Peshwa. Alibag had seen prosperity during the rule of Raghoji Angre. However, it had to go through times of uncertainty after the death of Raghoji Angre. Finally, the fort came under British rule in 1840 after the death of Kanhoji II.

Geography

Kolaba is a sea fort that is two kilometres from the shore of Alibag. During low tide, one may walk to the fort whereas during high tide one has to access the fort by boat.

Weather/Climate

●    The prominent weather in the region is rainfall, the Konkan belt experiences High Rainfall (ranges around 2500 mm to 4500 mm), and the climate remains Humid and warm. The temperature reaches up to 30 degrees Celsius during this season.
●    Summers are hot and humid, and the temperature touches 40 degrees Celsius.
●    Winters have a milder climate (around 28 degrees Celsius), and the weather remains Cool and Dry

Things to do

The following are the attractions on Kolaba fort,
1.    Siddhivinayak temple
2.    Mahishasura temple
3.    Padmavati temple
4.    Haji Kamaluddin Shah Dargah
5.    Freshwater well
6.    The fort has magnificent architecture and there are beautiful carvings of elephants, peacocks, tigers and a lot more.
7.    This being a sea fort gives a mesmerizing sight of the sea.

Nearest tourist places

The nearest tourist places to Kolaba fort are,
●    Alibag beach (0.1 KM)
●    Kanhoji Angre Samadhi (1 KM)
●    Kanakeshwar temple (15 KM)
●    Magnetic observatory (1 KM)

Special food speciality and hotel

There are no restaurants or hotels available on the fort.
Several restaurants are in Alibag city. Being a coastal tourist destination, it is famous for seafood.

Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station

One may easily find suitable accommodation as per one's budget near the fort or Alibaug beach as there are many options.
The closest Hospital to the fort is the Alibag Civil Hospital which is in the vicinity of Alibaug beach. (0.3 KM)
The Alibag Police station is closest to the fort and is easily accessible from the Alibaug beach. (1.1 KM)
The Alibaug head post office is at a walkable distance from Alibaug beach.

Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit

The best months to visit the fort are from October to February.
The following are a few instructions advised to follow-
●    Carry your water and snacks onto the fort.
●    Wear suitable clothing as per the season.
●    Make sure that there is time for the high tide to come if one plans on walking to the fort.
●    If one is walking to the fort make sure to wear waterproof footwear.
●    It is advised to leave the fort before sunset.

Language spoken in area 

English, Hindi, Marathi.