In the year 1837, Bajirao Peshwa constructed the Dharavi Fort ( now in chowk village) during excavation in the mountainous terrain containing basalt rocks, he found the present idol which is made of basalt rock. (The said fort was earlier known as Dongri Fort but after the said findings it came to be known as Dharavi Fort) Chimaji Appa was an able military commander who played an important role in liberating the western coast of India from Portuguese rule. The crowning glory of Chimaji Appa’s career was that he valiantly captured Vasai Fort in an intense battle in 1739. To secure the Vasai Fort from sea invasions and to launch attacks in times of war, Chimaji Appa built a 'buruj' (watch-tower), kissing the Arabian Sea and allowing for a 360 degree view.
Location : This fort which is near Bhayander is considered as the nose of Vasai fort. Many people mistake it for “Kala Killa” of Dharavi. The island of Dharavi proved to be of vital importance during the battle of Marathas and Portuguese in 1737 A.D. This fort stands opposite Vasai fort with Vasai creek on one side and Arabian sea on the other. Due to such typical location it was possible to cut off trade and supplies to the Portuguese and also to keep a vigil on Vasai fort. this fort played a significant role in the Vasai mission led by Chimaji Appa. This fort was constructed in a state of hurry during the attack on Dharavi island on 12th April, 1737. In one of the letters from Shankarji Keshav to Chimaji Appa it is stated that 2200 labourers were employed for its construction at a daily wage of Rs. 5/-. Later, when the Portuguese came to know about the construction of the fort by Marathas, they attacked the Dharavi island and took control over the fort which they later completed building it. To conquer Vasai fort it was must for the Marathas to build Dharavi fort. On 30th November 1737, Marathas with 4,000 Hashams and 100 Horsemen conquered Dharavi fort. The Portuguese won back the fort on 28th February, 1737. On 9th March, 1738, Chimaji Appa attempted to conquer the same but in vain. This battle went on for a year after which on 6th March 1739, Marathas won the fort to their territory. Lastly, the British conquered the fort in 1818 A.D. This fort which had witnessed many battles during its time is sadly in ruins at present. On the Bhayander-Uttan bus route, alight at “Dharavi Devi Road” stop. There is a Church built by the Portuguese named “Belan Mauli Church” nearby. Moving ahead from here we come across Dharavi Devi temple. After a short walk from the temple one can see a rock cut mountain to the right. During 1536 to 1600, the Portuguese used the rocks from this mountain to construct Vasai fort and churches in Goa. Further from this mountain the path reaches the hill top where one can see the ruins of a bastion on which contained the office of the Portuguese. There is a garden and remnants of fortification wall on the hill top. From the top one can see Arabian sea, Vasai Creek and Vasai fort to the North. A visit to the fort is a must to study its strategic location.
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