Mirjan Fort, Kumta – an unplanned visit to Fort of Pepper Queen
It was early September, as usual we were travelling to hometown for Ganesh Chaturthi festival. Around 4.30 in the evening, we were on NH 66. When we have a kid who loves to go around and wants to explore new places, then we have to be ready for the sudden change of plans. That’s how we ended up going to the Mirjan Fort. But I must say this.. It was worth it during the rainy season, with the greenery all-around.
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Uttara kannada(North Canara) has a lot to offer to tourists, be it the dense forests of western ghats, waterfalls, hills, beaches, temples, forts and not to forget the delicious foods.
Firstly, for a tourist there are many other tourist places like Gokarna, Om beach,Yana, Sharavathi Kandla Mangrove boardwalk, Murdeshwar, which you can plan and visit along with Mirjan Fort.
Furthermore, Mirjan Fort is spread across an area of 11.8 acres and many parts of the fort has vanished over time. There are 4 entrances to the fort but only one entrance is accessible now. Fort was built by contemporary Islamic and Portuguese technology. Fort displays the architectural skills possessed when technology was unheard of. The wells, secret doors, tunnels, kitchen, dwellings, watch tower, flag poles and other such ruins make visitors ponder over the lost historical significance of the place.
Overall, Mirjan Fort is a ‘hidden wonder’ for sure! In fact, it looks like beautiful when covered by greenish algae during the monsoon and post-monsoon season. A trip to Mirjan Fort is definitely rejuvenating and worth your visit for the great photos too. The fort has been declared protected monument by the Archaeological Summit.
Although, no reference to the construction of this fort is found, yet it is known from the contemporary sources that fort at Mirjan was constructed by Shareef-UI-Mulk (1608-1640 CE) who was ruling Ponda as the feudatory of the Adil Shahi Sultan of Bijapur.
LET’S GO THROUGH SOME HISTORY:
According to the available history, Queen Chennabhairadevi of Gersoppa (under the Vijayanagara Empire) was initially credited with building the Mirjan Fort in the 16th century. She ruled for about 54 years and also lived in the fort. During her reign, the port at Mirjan, which is 32 kilometres (20 mi) to the south east of Karwar, was used for shipping pepper, saltpetre and betel nut to Surat.
Contemporary writings reveal that this fort served as an important port for overseas trade and commerce during the Medieval period. It played a dominant role during the Vijayanagara period. After the fall of Vijayanagara Empire, this port successively went into the hands of the Bahamani Sultans, Adilshahis of Bijapur, a small ruling family of the Uttarakannada Region. The Portugese, Hyder and Tippu and at last after the death of Tippu, the British held this fort town.
Suggested Read : Sakleshpur – Weekend Travelogue – A road trip to Sakleshpur
WHERE IS MIRJAN FORT?
Mirjan Fort is around 12 km from the town of Kumta. It is 22.5 km from Gokarna and around 30 km from Honnavar.
HOW TO REACH?
Mirjan Fort is around 12 km from the town of Kumta. It is 22.5 km from Gokarna and around 30 km from Honnavar. Mirjan Fort is nearby to Aghanashini River. The town of Kumta is well-connected to the other parts of the state.
A road trip is a good idea as you can experience the beauty of North Canara (Uttara Kannada) !
You can also take KSRTC buses from major cities like Bengaluru, Mangalore and Hubli to Kumta. Later, local transports like auto rickshaws and local buses can be taken to reach Mirjan Fort.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MIRJAN FORT
Fort is open all through the year. Best time to visit is during monsoon or post monsoon to get good view of greenery all around.
MIRJAN FORT TIMINGS:
Mirjan Fort is open from 8 am to 5.30 pm everyday.
ENTRY FEE : FREE
Please note: NO REST ROOMS NEARBY. ONLY SMALL SHOPS TO BUY SNACKS AND WATER BOTTLES OUTSIDE THE FORT.
And you cannot fly a drone here.
WHERE TO STAY?
You can either stay in Gokarna or Kumta as they are nearby to the Mirjan Fort and you get good hotels too.