Mirjan Fort: The 16th century structure that is taken over by moss during the monsoons - Be On The Road | Live your Travel Dream!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Mirjan Fort: The 16th century structure that is taken over by moss during the monsoons

Mirjan Fort taken over by moss

It was an important trading center for pepper, cassia and nutmeg between the 16th and the 19th century. It has stood the test of time in spite of countless battles. While there are many theories regarding its exact history, it is clear that it has seen the rule of Vijayanagara kings, Bijapur sultans, Keladi kings, the Marathas and the British. I am talking about the laterite rock structure called Mirjan Fort that is located by the banks of the Aghanashini river between Kumta and Gokarna in the Uttara Kannada region of Karnataka.

Entering Mirjan Fort near Kumta, Karnataka

While this 16th century monument enjoys a rich past, I like it for its vibrant green colour that it dons during the monsoon season. The high humidity, the bright sunshine and the consistent heavy showers ensures that moss takes over this reddish brown laterite rock structure and turns it into a green paradise that is surrounded by even more greenery. The swaying coconut palms, the tropical forests and the Western Ghats in the background complete this magical green concoction.

The lush green setting of Mirjan Fort, Karnataka

In its hey days, Mirjan fort enjoyed a protective circular moat, high turrets on its bastions, secret passages, darbar halls, markets, water management, prayer halls, watch towers and more. Today, the structure stands tall in all its glory minus the internal structures and allows nature to decorate it the way it pleases. This decoration by mother nature is very pleasing to the eye and is the main reason for you to visit Mirjan fort in the monsoons and may be right after.

History lovers and archaeology students might see way more details in this historical structure, but to the eye of the regular visitor, it is this green world that completely mesmerizes them. I highly recommend visiting this historical gem in the monsoons.

Mirjan Fort in the monsoons

Best season to visit:

The monsoons and the post winter months are best to see the Mirjan fort decked completely in green. They also happen to have the most pleasant weather.

One can also visit in the spring and summer months, but mostly in the cooler times of the morning and late evening. High humidity might be an issue in this season.

The 16th century Mirjan Fort decked in green

How to reach here:

The nearest railway station would be Kumta. The nearest airport would either be Hubli in Karnataka or Panjim in Goa.

Mirajn Fort is about 12 kms north of Kumta and 21 kms south of Gokarna. Buses playing between Kumta and Gokarna or Karwar will drop you on the NH 66 highway point that leads to the Mirjan Fort. From this point, it should be a 5 to 10 minute walk on flat land.

Enjoying the lush green environment at Mirjan Fort during the monsoons

Where to stay:

If beach resorts are on your mind, the beach cottages at Gokarna would be your best bet. South Goa and Maravanthe beach, though a bit far away would also be good choices.

If forest stays are on your mind, you should try the homestays located in the Sirsi – Yellapur region. My favorite is the Tavarumane homestay that is located near Jajjigudde village.

If good quality budget accommodation is on your mind, try the hotels at Kumta, Sirsi or Honavara.

If luxury accommodation is what you crave, try the ones at Kundapura, Goa, Hubli, Udupi or Mangalore.

Paddyfield and Aghanashini river as seen from the top of Mirjan Fort

Where to eat:

The nearest place to eat would be either Kumta or Gokarna. While Gokarna might have more beach facing restaurants, Kumta has slightly larger restaurants.

If you prefer to stick to the highway, there are various highway restaurants catering to different needs of their visitors.

A monsoon day at Mirjan Fort, Karnataka

Other nearby tourist attractions:

1) Gokarna: The coastal town known for its temples and pristine beaches

2) Karwar: The town on the Karnataka-Goa border known for its offshore islands, black sandy beaches and Kali river estuary

3) Apsarakonda Falls: A gorgeous waterfall located real close to the Arabian Sea

4) Sharavati river valley: The view of Shola forests surrounding the Linganamkki reservoir on the Sagara – Honavara highway

5) Jog Falls: One of the highest waterfalls of India and an iconic landmark of Karnataka

6) Yana rocks and caves: A magical place in the forests of Karnataka

7) Vibhooti Falls: Karnataka’s jungle waterfall with a natural swimming pool

8) Unchalli Falls: Stunning monsoon holiday destination of Karnataka

9) Magod Falls: One of the most magnificent waterfalls of Karnataka

10) Sathodi Falls: Karnataka’s prettiest jungle waterfall

11) Bilihole Falls: Hidden waterfall amidst the untouched forests of the Western Ghats in Karnataka

12) Sirsi Marikamba Temple: A 16th century temple dedicated to goddess Durga and that is an iconic landmark of Uttara Kannada

13) Maravanthe Beach: The highway rider’s favorite pitstop

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