Murud, Raigad

Murud
—  city  —
Murud
Location of Murud
in Maharashtra and India
Coordinates 17°46′N 73°07′E / 17.77°N 73.12°E / 17.77; 73.12Coordinates: 17°46′N 73°07′E / 17.77°N 73.12°E / 17.77; 73.12
Country India
State Maharashtra
District(s) Raigad
Population 12,551 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area

Elevation


159 metres (522 ft)

Murud is a city and a municipal council in Raigad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

Situated at a distance of 42 km. from Alibag, Murud is fast becoming a hot tourist destination with equal number of tourists choosing to stay in and around Murud. While entering Murud you come across the Palace of Nawab on the left had side of the road. The palace was built in 1885 for administration purposes. However you can see the Palace only from outside as the palace is still owned by the descendants of the Nawab and is a private property.

There is a very beautiful beach at Murud and a lot of Hotels and Resorts along the beach to choose from. The Murud beach is very beautiful, clean and safe for swimming. Apart from the beach Murud is more famous for its proximity to Janjira off the coast of Rajapuri - The majestic sea fort which remained unconquered till the end. Murud-Janjira is the local name for a fort situated at the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It is famous for being the only fort along India's western coast that remained undefeated despite Maratha, Dutch and English East India Company attacks.

Murud Janjira - The word Janjira is not native to India, and may have originated after the Arabic word Jazeera, which means an island. Similarly, the Marathi word Habshi is thought to be a corruption of Abyssinian. Murud was once known in Marathi as Habsan, or Abyssinian's land.

The term Siddi is an expression of respectful address commonly used in North Africa. The ruler of the Habshi state of Murud-Janjira was known as the Siddi. Others believe that Habshis that converted to Islam called themselves "Sayyadis" (descendants of Muhammad); from which came the term "Siddi".

Main Land to Murud JangiraAt the time they seized the fort, the Siddis were employed by the Bahamani Sultan of Ahmednagar and a Habshi, Malik Ambar (1550–1626), held a prominent position in that government. Before the rise of the Maratha sardars, the courts of the Bahamani sultanates were rent by rivalry between the Indian Muslims and the foreign Muslims, as a result of which, the Sultans began to patronize the Marathas as a third force, leading to the rise of Shivaji and the Maratha Empire.

Malik Amber initially rose to great prominence as the Prime Minister of Ahmednagar. He is credited with having carried out a systematic revenue settlement of major portions of the Deccan, which formed the basis for many subsequent settlements.

When the Ahmadnagar kingdom was conquered by Bijapur and the Mughals in alliance, the Siddis switched their allegiance to the Sultanate of Bijapur; when the Bijapur kingdom was conquered by the Mughal Empire, the Habshis switched their allegiance to the Mughal Empire.

As clients of these Muslim states, the Siddis were nominally part of their navies, and fulfilled the role of defending Muslim interests in the sea, and particularly, access by sea for the Hajj and Umrah, for which reason, the interior Muslim states felt compelled to aid and rescue the Siddis from their enemies.

Despite being feudatories, first of Bijapur and then of the Mughals, the Siddis acted as if they were independent, and lived mainly by piracy on coastal shipping.

The piracy of the Siddis provoked the various local powers to attempt to suppress them, but despite efforts by the Portuguese, Dutch, English and the Marathas, the fort was never conquered. The fort thus earned a reputation for being impregnable.

The reputation may be false. Mass mobilizations by the English and Marathas were always forced off before they could complete the task by the intervention of another power, such as the Mughals, creating a diversion in order to prevent the fall of Murud-Janjira. It must be noted that the same happened with Goa, with the Mughals invading Maratha lands in order to divert Maratha attempts to conquer Goa.

The name of the fort is a concatenation of the Konkani and Arabic words for Island, "morod" and "jazeera". The word "morod" is peculiar to Konkani and is absent in Marathi. In Goa, the word is now more generally used for those parts of the village which were originally dry land as against the fields, which were swamps. Thus, during the rains, the fields get flooded, but the morods never flood.

The State of Murud-Janjira was known to the Maratha Empire as Habsan, the land of the Habshis.

The founder of what later developed into the Maratha Empire, Shivaji Bhosale, sent his Prime Minister or Peshwa, Moropant Pingle to conquer the Siddis and end their piracy during August, 1676, albeit unsuccessfully. Shivaji's inability to capture this fort led him to build the Vijaydurg fort down the coast, and also a fort named Sindhudurg on the island of Padmagad, near the town of Malvan. The Siddis remained a formidable foe to him until his death.

Several further attempts were made by the Marathas to conquer the Siddi principality, but in vain.

The English too strived in vain to suppress the Siddis, and the Siddis even succeeded in seizing Bombay for a day, overwhelming the English garrison, before being driven away by a militia organized by a Parsi from his fellow-immigrants from Surat.

As the Muslim powers of the interior waned in the face of rising English power, the Siddi state submitted to England under the system of Subsidiary Alliance, becoming a dependency under paramountcy of the Kings of England. HH Nawab Sidi Muhammed Khan II Sidi Ahmad Khan was the last Ruler of Murud-Janjira. A patron of arts and culture, he supported such musicians as Beenkar Abid Hussain Khan. The state continued in this condition until late 1947, when the last prince acceded his state to the Indian Union, and his state was merged into the Bombay Presidency which was later transformed into the State of Bombay and the State of Maharashtra.

Contents

Geography

Murud is located at 17°46′N 73°07′E / 17.77°N 73.12°E / 17.77; 73.12.[1] It has an average elevation of 159 metres (521 feet).

Demographics

As of 2001 India census,[2] Murud had a population of 12,551. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Murud has an average literacy rate of 78%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 84%, and female literacy is 74%. In Murud, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Religion

Hinduism is the first religion in Murud, followed by Islam.

Local food productions

Seafood: prawns, surumai, pomfret, kingfish, mackerel, crab, lobster. Vegetables: eggplant (brinjal), sweet potato, sugarcane, onions, garlic. Cereals: rice. Fruits: coconut, mango, watermelon, bananas, jack fruit, kokum. Nuts: Betel nut, cashew nut. Spices: black pepper.

Places of interest

  • Janjira fort (5 km south)
  • Kasa Fort
  • Korlai fort (30 km north)
  • Khokari Tombs (5 km south)
  • Victoria water works, at Gambari (8 km)
  • Phansad wildlife sanctuary, near Nandgaon (20 km north)
  • Kude Buddhist caves (28 km south east)
  • Sawat Kada waterfalls (7 km)
  • Datta Mandir temple (1.5 km)
  • Eidgah open mosque (1.5 km north)
  • Sir Sidi Ahmed Khan Palace (1.5 km north)
  • Siddhi Vinayak mandir temple (9 km north)
  • Birla mandir temple (33 km north east)
File:Murud beach.jpg
Murud beach
Sunset over Kasa fort

Directions

To reach Murud from Mumbai, you can go via Alibag-Revdanda-Kashid route. You can also reach it via Roha. You can either come by state transport bus or by private vehicle. From Mumbai, you can also take a catamaran from the Gate of India to the town of Mandwa, then take a free bus from Mandwa to Alibag, then take a local bus from Alibag to Murud (trip duration approx. 4hrs).

From Pune, there are two main routes. First Pune-Paud-Mulshi-Kolad-Roha-Murud and second Pune-Expressway-Khalapur-Pen-Alibag-Revdanda-Kashid-Murud. The first route is very scenic, but takes more time because of ghats. It is also preferred for two-wheelers. The second route is faster because till Khalapur one rides on the Mumbai Expressway. On Expressway, go till Khalapur toll plaza, take U-turn just before plaza (have to pay toll till Khalapur), take Khopoli exit, when exit curve ends immediately take a U-turn onto the bridge towards Pen.

References


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