Mirjan Fort


Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Gokarna): 22 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2 Hours

Place Location: Between Gokarna & Kumta

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 11 km from Kumta, 22 km from Gokarna, 31 km from Honavar, 59 km from Karwar and 56 km from Murudeshwar, Mirjan Fort is a beautiful fort located in the village of Mirjan on the west coast of the Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka.

The Mirjan Fort has rich history and there are many versions on the origin of the fort. According to one version, the fort was built in 16th century by Chennabhairav Devi, Queen of Gersoppa, a subordinate of Vijayanagar kings. Rani Chennabhairav Devi was also known as the Pepper Queen. Her reign was one of the longest in the history of female domination in Indian history, from 1552 - 1606. The strong hold of her territory was centered on North and South Kanara districts and south Goa. After the battle of Tallikota in 1565, the territory was attacked by Bijapur Sultans. She shifted the base from Mirjan Fort to a safe location in an island in the middle of the Sharavathi River. She then converted to Jainism and constructed many Jain basadis. In 1757, the Marathas gained control of the fort and later in 1784 it was seized by the British.

Located on the banks of Aganashini River, tributary of Sharavathi River, the fort is known for its architectural elegance. The fort is. Built over an area of about 10 acres, the fort is approached through a series of wide steps that lead to the interior of the fort. It is a double walled fort built using laterite stones and has high walls and bastions with high turrets. The fort has four entrances and is surrounded by a moat with interconnected wells.

Currently, the fort is being restored by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). In 2001, the ASI carried excavations in the fort and unearthed several laterite structures belonging to the medieval period. Antiquarian findings such as a gold coins attributed to Portuguese Viceroy Conde De Sarzedas have been found with cannon balls, Chinese porcelain, clay tablets with Islamic inscriptions.

Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM