Known for its architectural beauty and rich history, the Mirjan Fort is a must-visit. The 16th-century fort in Uttara Kannada is just about 22km away from Gokarna. It’s the perfect weekend getaway destination.
Mirjan Fort – Quick Facts
- Timing: 8 am to 6 pm
- Entry Fee: Free entry
- Best time to visit: September to February
- The average time taken for a visit: 1-2 hours
- Address: FCQ9+P2P, talluk, Mirjan Fort Road, Mirjan, Karnataka – 581333 (MAP)
Read: Forts in Karnataka
History Of Mirjan Fort
The fort has many origin stories. According to some, it was built by Ibn Battuta, a Nawayath asper in the early 1200s. It was then captured by the Vijayanagara Empire and refurnished in 1608.
According to another story, the fort was built by Queen Chennabhairadevi sometime in the late 1500s to early 1600s. Queen Chennabhairadevi was also known as the pepper queen.
She lived in the fort for many years until the Talikota war after which she moved to an island in the Sharavathi river. Yet another story talks of the fort being built by a Bijapur noble named Sherif-ul Mulk to protect the Kumta town.
In the 17th century, the fort was captured by Keladi queen Chennamma. In 1757, it was seized by the Marathas and a few laters, by the British empire. At the time, it was a minor port used to export spices like pepper, wild nutmeg, cassia, and saltpetre.
The Beauty of the Mirjan Fort
The Mirjan fort stands on the banks of the Aganashini River near the Mirjan village. A series of laterite steps lead up to the double-walled stone fort.
The fort is spread across 10 acres. It has four main entrances with a number of canals, moats and secret passageways along with interconnected wells and a circular moat.
The fort is renowned for its high ceilings, bastions and watchtowers that offer a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. Unfortunately, today, most of the fort stands in ruins.
Efforts are being made by the ASI to restore the fort to its earlier glory. Dressed laterite stones are being used to repair the damaged fort walls. It is also being given a waterproof coating.
As part of the restoration, the ASI also excavated land around the fort. This has unearthed several structures dating back to the medieval period. They also found a gold coin from 1652, clay tablets with Islamic inscriptions, cannon balls, bullets and earthen pots.
How To Reach Mirjan Fort
The Dabolim International Airport in Goa is the closest airport to the Mirjan Fort. The 150km distance from the airport to the fort can be covered by road. You can get a self-drive car or a taxi quite easily in Goa.
The Kumta Railway Station is about 12km away from the fort. You can take a bus or a taxi from the station to the fort.
Mirjan Fort is well connected by road to many of the neighboring towns and cities. You can drive your own vehicle or hire a taxi. Buses also ply to the Mirjan village.