JANJIRA FORT History

Janjira Fort (Murud peta, p. 992), having an excellent command over the Arabian Sea, served as an observation post and a naval base for the rulers in the past. Situated not too far from the shore to maintain communications with land and not too near to obstruct view of the inner sea this fort served as an ideal model both from the point of view of defence and attack. To keep the fort defendable in case of surprise attack, it was at all times equipped with big guns and long range cannons. [Interesting details about their description as given in the old Gazetteer (1883) are as follows:-In the bastions and on the walls are ten guns, three of local and seven of European make. Of the three local guns on the main gate, the largest was eighteen feet long with a circumference of seven feet eight inches at the muzzle and a bore of fourteen inches diameter. It was known as the Kallal Bangdi, apparently from eight large rings that are attached to either side, and is said to have been brought by the Peshva’s army, probably in 1735, and abandoned on its retreat. It is of great weight and is said to have been raised by being gradually built up. Of the seven European, guns, three were made in Sweden, one in Spain, one in Holland, and one in France. There is nothing on the seventh by which its original owners can be traced. The three Swedish brass guns, which are on three separate towers, are of very handsome make and are precisely alike in size and pattern. The gun is ten feet long with a breech three feet in circumference and a bore four inches in diameter. It bears the letters C. R. S., and below the letters are the Royal Arms of Sweden with the date Anno 166′. Round the breech there is engraved “Goos-Mich Iohan-Meyer in Stockholm”. At the breech is a power-pan supported by twisted snakes. The Spanish brass gun is ten feet three inches long, and has a bore five inches in diameter. It bears the words “Don Phillipe III Rev D’ Espana” with the golden fleece below, and the Spanish arms. This gun was till recently used in firing salutes. The Dutch brass gun is seven feet five inches long and has a bore four inches in diameter. It has engraved round the breech “Hans Noorden ET Ian Alberte de Grave Amsterdam”, and the date 1672 blow two as, the second A being placed in an inverted form below the first A. The French brass gun is nine feet long with a 6 ¾ inch bore and has a coat of arms surmounted by a fleur-de-lys crown. It bears neither date nor name. The seventh unknown gun is also of brass. It is twelve feet ten inches long and has a six-inch bore. Except two fishes engraved on the muzzle the gun has no distinguishing marks. Besides these guns there are two brass mortar and a brass four-barrelled gun about 3½feet long. On the walls and interior of the fortress lie scattered pieces of cannon of various calibre, serviceable and unserviceable. There is also a scimitar-shaped sword four feet long and one foot broad.] These guns have either been removed or destroyed from time to time, and all that remains of these, are the stray pieces of cannons and the rusted barrels of guns without their carriages.

Merger of the Murud State in the Indian Union in 1947-48 resulted in depriving the local people of the subsidy they were getting from the Navab. Since then people have been migrating in search of their livelihood. The ruined buildings, half fallen girt-walls coupled with the desolation by he local people, has made the scene gloomy and forlorn. At high tides, waves dashing against the rock-walls make an alarming sound.

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