A ferry ride from Tavsal (approx. 50 km from Guhaghar) took us to Jaigad, a village famous for the fort situated on a hillock. The coastal fort is 750mts above sea level and overlooks the Arabian Sea. The towering walls of the fort are made of stones and are still strong, especially on the coastal side. The study reveals that materials used for construction are a combination of laterite and limestones. The fort is guarded by the moats and has 20 bastions. There is Ganesh temple at the center, a dilapidated building, a storage house and 3 wells within the precincts of the fort.
The mosses, plants, and wildflowers growing on the stones speak about its age. The fort is said to be built in 13th century by King Bhoj of Shilahar dynasty and is now protected under Indian archeological department. The local workers were appointed for the construction of the fort. It was believed that the human sacrifice was needed for the successful development of the fort and hence one of the workers named Khemraj sacrificed his own life. A tomb is built in his memory popularly known as ‘Babaji ki Samadhi’ and is still revered by the villagers. The fort was later captured by Sultan of Bijapur in the 16th century and renewed to prevent the enemies entering from the estuary. It fell into the hands of many rulers- from Naiks of Sangameshwar to Kanoji Angre in 1713, until it was finally surrendered to British in 1818.
Read: Banaras through my eyes
6kms from the Jaigad Fort lies a temple bathed with untouched beauty of nature. The cool breeze brought by the sea was a welcoming gesture as we escalated down the steps to the temple. The occasional ringing of the temple bell, the rustling leaves and the roaring sea at the foot of the hill were the only noise disturbing the tranquility of the surroundings.
The temple, situated on a hill slope is more than 500 years old and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It’s a simple wooden structure with Deepstambh situated in front and a small Ganesh temple beside the main temple.
The temple holds importance amongst the particular clans of the society and is revered by all the surrounding villages as well. One must also visit the famous lighthouse which is a few meters walk from the temple.
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