Fort Bassein Mumbai is also known as Vasai or Bakaim Fort. It is a large fort in the Konkan region of India at the city of Vasai, Palgar district of Maharashtra. in the Konkan region of India.
It is a 500-year-old Portuguese fort near Vasai Virar, surrounded by picturesque surroundings and protected from the sea on three sides.
It is also known as Vasai cha killa or Corte de Bakaim, which means “Court of the Bassein” in Indo-Portuguese Creole, is a ruined fort in the city of Vasai (Bassein).
The full Portuguese name is “Fortaleza de San Sebastian de Bacaim”, which means “Fort San Sebastian in Vasai Village” in English.
Its full Portuguese name is Fortaleza de San Sebastiao de Bacaim (or Fort San Sebastian Vasai). One gets the impression that only the Portuguese ruled the area.
The Portuguese bombed the imposing Bassein fortress and built Fortaleza San Sebastian de Bacem or San Sebastian Vasai fortress.
In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese built a new fortress, enclosing the entire city within the fortress walls. The fort and Vasai were ceded to the British in 1817 AD.
Before the arrival of foreign powers, the Vasai controlled the Bongle Raja in 1414, who built the Nageshwara temple on the fort’s grounds.
Bassein became the headquarters of the northern territories after a 16th-century treaty with the Sultan of Gujrat.
The city of Vasai was the capital of northern Portugal during the 16th century.
According to historian José Gerson da Cunha, in the pre-Portuguese era, the city of Vasai and its environs were ruled by the Chalukya dynasty from Karnataka.
The name was changed to Bassein by the Muslims who occupied Vasai before the Portuguese.
In modern history, the area was known as the Bassein today. It bears the alternative official name of Vasai. Today, the ruins of the imposing Bassein Fort, some churches, and indigenous villages mark the northern suburbs of Vasai.
This fort is still standing today with its outer shell and ruins of churches.
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Structure Of The Bassein Fort In Mumbai
The Portuguese buildings in the fort lie in ruins, although there are enough standing walls to give a good idea of the plans of these buildings.
The imprint of Portuguese architecture is strongly reflected in the plan and internal structures of the decagonal fort.
Inside the fort, the Portuguese built seven churches, four monasteries, two colleges, a citadel, two palaces, a pond, a cistern, temples, and several small buildings.
During the two centuries, the Portuguese ruled Vasai Fort. The Portuguese turned the fort into an autonomous city with Colleges.
- A library
- A Hospital
- A Granary
- A Townhall
- International market
These are where enslaved people are believed to be sold.
It has churches, hospitals, administrative blocks and was used by the Portuguese to control the region in and around Mumbai.
It was also the official quarters of the Portuguese Governor when he visited the region.
History Of The Vasai Fort
Built by the Portuguese in 1536, the 110-acre Bassein Fort, also known as the Vasai Fort, is one of the finest examples of Indo-European defensive architecture.
Bassein, protected by bodies of water on three sides – the Uras River, the Vaytarna River, and the Arabian Sea to the west stands this beautiful fortress.
The Bassein Fort Mumbai is a national monument protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Much of the Bassein has fallen into disrepair, with a few watchtowers still standing with safety ladders.
How Can A Person Reach The Fort?
A person can reach via the Vasai Road Railway Station. It is located in Navghar Manikpur, Mira Road to Bhayandar.
Take the Western Railways train to Virar from Churchgate in Mumbai (Bombay) and get off at Vasai Road railway station.
One of the many forts in the Bassein Vasai Fort is of great military importance for protecting the Mumbai, Thane, and Saashti areas.
Mumbai is the main island of northern Konkan, and many forts have been built to protect it. Few people know that Mumbai was fortified to resist enemy attacks, and several regiments were made for this purpose.
It’s hard to believe this area is a busy city and Mumbai is still a bunch of swampy islands. Fort was once a living city, more critical than the backwaters of Mumbai at the time, which was still a collection of seven islands.
The ruins of Fort Vasai tell the story of one of the most important Portuguese forts on the west coast of India in the 16th and 17th centuries.
During the Portuguese acquisition of land under the Watershed Treaty (1534 AD), Fort Bakeem (the name given to it by the Portuguese) was revived.
The Portuguese landed north of the Bassein and invaded the fortifications.
After more systematic efforts, the Sultanate of Cambay ceded the fort to Portugal under the Treaty of St. Matthew.
It signed on the Portuguese brig San Mattheus, anchored in Bhayander Creek or the port of Vasai.
Written by Sumit Tripathi. A Content Writer who loves to write about different topics. I like to share my knowledge with others. Connect with me on Linkedin.
- When was Bassein changed to Vasai?
In 1802 AD, Vasai was a Ship Building Centre and the main naval base of the Portuguese. Treaty Of Bassein was signed by Peshwa Bajirav, which later dissolved the Maratha Confederacy.
- Who Built The Bassein Fort?
It was built by Yadavas of Devagiri in 1184.
- Why was Vasai Fort built?
The Portuguese in Goa and Damaon built the Bassein Fort to defend their colony and participate in the lucrative spice trade and the silk route that converged in the area. Much of Portuguese Bombay and Bassein was seized by Marathas during Peshwa rule, after the Battle of Vasai in 1739.
- Who lived in Vasai Fort?
During Portuguese rule, reportedly, 60,000 people lived in and around Vasai Fort. Of this, 2,000 were Portuguese, and the rest were Christian Indians. Inside the fort were houses, convents, town halls, colleges, and churches. Portuguese tombstones can be spotted in the church, with inscriptions and symbols.
- How big is Vasai Fort?
110-acre in its existence of over four centuries, Vasai Fort, better known today, had seen several rulers and was initially built by the Portuguese in 1536. The 110-acre fort was captured by the Marathas in 1739 and eventually by the British after the First Anglo-Maratha War in 1802.
- How many kirks are there in Vasai Fort?
It has seven churches, temples, convents, colleges, hospitals, and administrative centers.
- Where are Salsette and Bassein?
Bassein and Salsette were situated in Maharashtra. Salsette is an island. This war is popularly known as the Battle of Vasai.
- Who conquered the fort of Vasai from the Portuguese?
Manaji Angre captured the small fort at Uran, and the noose around Vasai was complete! Chimaji Appa moved in to free it from Portuguese rule on May 1, 1739. More than 1 lakh soldiers were assembled. Mines and canons have attacked the fort.
- Where is the Island of Bassein?
Bassein-Vasai (Baçaim) is about 70 kilometers north of Bombay on the Arabian Sea. It lay on an island at the mouth of a river and was easily defensible thanks to this position. The city, which belonged to the Kingdom of Cambay, was a significant one before the Portuguese conquest.