The city of Alibag gained prominence under the rule of ‘Darya Sarkhel’ Kanhoji Angre in the 17th century who was Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s famous naval chief. The city became important after the fort of Kulaba was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The places you can see in and around Alibag are Kulaba Fort, magnetic Observatory, Kanhoji Angre's residence, his samadhi and the Hirakot fort. Alibag also has a beautiful beach where you can enjoy the sunset with Kulaba Fort in the background.
The fort of Kulaba was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1652 to keep a check on the activities of the foreign naval powers of English, Portuguese and the Siddhi of Janjira. It is a testimony to the foresight of the great maratha king. The Kulaba fort is still in good condition and one can go to visit the fort by walking across the seashore at low tide or by taking a buggy ride @ 25 / 30 Rs. Per person. However be sure to check the proper timings to visit the fort as it is dangerous to try to go to the fort at high tide. You get approximately 3 to 4 hours to see the fort and come back.
The fort has two main entrances, one at the sea side and other towards Alibag. The average height of the fort walls is 25 feet. The fort has sweet water wells and some buildings inside its premises. The Siddhivinayak temple inside the fort was built by Raghoji Angre in 1759. The Ganpati Idol in the temple is very beautiful and many people worship it.
Alibag Beach at Sunset with Kulaba fort in the background
Located on Alibag - Revdanda road at 8/9 kms. From Alibag, the beach at Akshi is a beautiful White sand beach with suru trees dotting the coast. The water is clean and safe for swimming. You can see the Kulaba fort and Alibag at a distance from the beach. The beach further extends to Nagaon. The Nagaon beach is also very beautiful. Both the beaches are a favorite of the tourists. You can also visit the nearby ‘Satad Bunder’ a small fishing hamlet.
Kashid beach is located approximately 20/25 kms from Alibag on the road to Murud. It is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Konkan coast with pristine white sands and stretches for 3 kms.. there are quiet a few good Resorts along the Beach.
Mandwa is a natural port located at 20 Kms. from Alibag. Launches and Catamarans come here from Gateway of India, Mumbai. Rewas is also an important port near Mandwa located at 23 Kms. from Alibag. There is a considerable traffic of passengers, with Launches and Catamarans coming here from Mumbai and ferries coming from Uran.
Located at 12 kms. From Alibag, on the Mandwa-Alibag road Kihim is a very beautiful place to stay, it has a long beach which is excellent and clean. To come to Kihim from Alibag you have to turn left at Chondhi And if you come by Launch from Mumbai to Mandwa it is on Mandwa Alibag road. It is a favorite weekend getaway of mumbaikars as it is quiet convenient for them to come to Kihim on a Saturday, stay there and go back on Sunday. MTDC has also a resort at Kihim with tents for staying on the beach.
Chaul on the way to Revdanda is an ancient city which was capital of the Shilahar kings. You can visit the Rameshwar and Datta temple here, both the temples are worth your visit.
located at 17 Kms. From Alibag Revdanda is an important port. The Salav bridge at Revdanda which joins Murud and Alibag gives a cool view of the surroundings, You can see a beautiful sight of Revdanda port, beach and The Vikram Ispat factory from the bridge. A walk to the adjoining beach will give you a breathtaking view of the Revdanda Fort. The fort was built by a Portuguese Captain by the name of Soj in 1558.
A visit to the fort is a must as it is a very beautiful ancient fort, though in ruins it is worth your visit. The view of the fort from Revdanda beach is quiet picturesque. You can see some buildings inside the fort. A walk along the fort will give beautiful views of the sea and also the Korlai fort.
View from Salav bridge at Revdanda
Korlai fort can be seen from the bridge at Salav, located at three Kms. from Revdanda, on the Revdanda - Kashid road. The fort is an Old Portuguese outpost guarding the entrance to the river. A small road leads up to the top of the fort. There is a Lighthouse on the fort and a small climb from behind the lighthouse will take you to the fort. The fort is in ruins, but the view from the lighthouse is beautiful and the rocky beach at Korlai is also good.
The sea forts of Khanderi and Underi are Located three kms. in the sea near Thal. You can take a boat ride from Thal to visit the forts. However there is no permanent ferry to the forts and you have to hire a boat from the local fishermen. Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj built the fort of Khanderi and the fort was most of the time in possession of the Marathas barring a few years of English possession. The fort of Underi is at a distance of ½ kms. From Khanderi. There were continues fights taking place between the Marathas and the Siddhi of Janjira for the possession of these forts.
The ancient temple of Kanakeshwar is located on Kanakgiri mountains at a distance of 13 kms. from Alibag. One has to climb some 700 steps to go to the temple and the trip is not for the faint hearted. The Temple is very beautiful with stone carvings and a water fountain. You also get a beautiful view of the surroundings from the top.
The forts of khanderi and Underi
The beautiful temple of Shree Vikram Vinayak also known as ‘Birla temple’ is located at Salav, 20 kms. from Alibag. The Temple is built by the Birla Group of companies which have their Vikram Ispat plant located here. The temple surroundings are very beautiful and the temple has Idols of Ganpati, Radha - Krishna, Shankar - Parvati, Bhavani Mata and Surya. The Temple is only open in the mornings and evenings.
The trip to Alibag is incomplete without a visit to Murud Janjira, Situated at a distance of 42 kms. 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 at Rajpuri - The majestic sea fort which remained unconquered till the end.
The Majestic Janjira fort
Located near Rajapur, Janjira is a majestic sea fort which remained unconquered till the end. The fort was built by Siddhi Amber who came from Abyssinia, the fort is an excellent example of fort building architecture and its outer walls are still in a good condition. I am sure you will be awed looking at the fort by thinking how the hell people would have built a fort in the middle of the sea? You have to take a boat ride to go to the fort, and there is a lot to see on the fort.
There are guides available who tour you through the fort while giving you an interesting version of the forts history. The inside premises of the fort are in ruins but still give you a glimpse of its glorious past. The Huge cannons by the names Kalal bangdi, Chavri and Landa Kasam are worth a mention, it is said that these guns could fire at a distance of two Kms. from the fort, making it impossible for enemy ships to come near. From the fort you can see the sea fort of Kasa or Padmadurg which was built by Shivaji Maharaj to counter the might of Siddhi.