Culture & Heritage

jay Vilas Palace


Jawhar is a small hill station municipal council situated on a plateau of sahyadris between rift valleys in Palghar district.It is located at a distance of 42 km from Palghar district. it is also known as the ‘Mahabaleshwar of Palghar District’. As one of the lesser known hill stations of Maharashtra, the place is gifted with exotic valleys, thick rich forests and pleasant climate. The monsoons are the best time to visit Jawhar when a thick fog envelopes the village and the surrounding hills. Jawhar is popular for its lively Warli paintings. This hill station is one of the few tribal kingdoms in Maharashtra that offers a unique opportunity to expose and enlighten with the tribal way of life. Unspoiled and mostly unexplored waterfalls are the prominent tourist attractions in Jawhar. Jawhar is highly enriched with natural beauties and manmade marvels.


Arnala is one of the best forts from coastal forts. it is located in Arnala village, of Vasai taluka. Arnala Fort is also known as ‘Jaldurg’ or ‘Janjire Arnala’. The Arnala was captured by many empires such as Mughals, Marathas, Portuguese, and lastly Peshwas. The sultan Mahmud Begda originally constructed the fort in 1516. There is no source of food but water is available in the well on the fort.

This fort is rectangular in shape and almost surrounded by water. There are many temples such as Tryambakeshwar, Bhavani Mata, Kalika Mata, and also of Mahadev. There are three entrances out of which one entrance has big bastions on both sides which are at north side of fort.

arnala Fort
vasai Fort


Vasai, also called Bassein, lies about 45 kms of Palghar City. it is located in Vasai taluka. The fort in the old city was headquarter of the Portuguese in the north, next in importance to Goa. The coastal land-fort of Vasai was surrounded by sea on three sides and to the landslide it had a moat which was filled by sea-water. its 4.5 kms long strong stone wall had 11 bastions. The fort had two gates- the westward land-gate. There was also a small citadel in the fort well-equipped with water-tanks, store-houses, armory, etc., the fort also had fields for growing grains and vegetables. All the old structures inside the wall are now in ruins.

Vasai was the main naval base and sort of ship-building centre of the Portuguese. it was here in 1802 AD, the Peshwa Bajirav signed the infamous ‘Treaty of Bassein’ which virtually dissolved the Maratha Confederacy. Finally, the fort and the city of Vasai were ceded to the British in 1817 AD.


Gambhir in marathi means ‘serious’. So, Gambhirgad and its environment is according to its name quite ‘serious’. it is situated in Dahanu taluka of Palghar district and on Gujrat border. Approaching the fort, one first reaches the plateau which is the machi of the fort. it has lot of uncontrolled growth of wild plants. There is nothing much to see on the machi. A beautiful water tank comes along the way to climb the fort.There is a temple of a goddess located here. Mahalakshmi pinnacle and forts namely Asheri and Adsul are visible from this fort.

gambhir Gad
tarapur Fort


The Tarapur Fort, with wells and gardens within, was given in gift by the Peshwa to Vikaji Mehrji, for a hundred years, and is still held by his heirs, and is currently in custody of Chorge family. it is located in Boisar village of Palghar taluka. Another beautiful site is the Chinchani beach, one and a half kilometers north of the fort. The fort was surrounded by a wall with round bastions, and, besides quarters for the garrison, it had a church, a Dominican monastery, and a hospital. in 1739, the fort was attacked by the Marathas under Chimnaji Apa. Four mines were laid, of which two succeeded in making great breaches in a bastion and curtain. inside the fort were some inferior buildings. There were besides two granaries and a guard-room, with some inferior buildings and several wells containing abundant and excellent water.

Vasai was the main naval base and sort of ship-building centre of the Portuguese. it was here in 1802 AD, the Peshwa Bajirav signed the infamous ‘Treaty of Bassein’ which virtually dissolved the Maratha Confederacy. Finally, the fort and the city of Vasai were ceded to the British in 1817 AD.


Kaldurga fort is hill type fort and is located in Palghar taluka, of Palghar District. The height of this fort is about 1550 feet. The fort range is Palghar range contains many hill forts and Kaldurg is one of them.

The top of the fort is rectangular. Due to this rectangular shape of fort one can easily locate it from a distance. There is no sign which states that this is a fort. There are large numbers of forest trees on thefort so healthy population of tribes is on the fort. But standard of living is poor. The fort is divided due to this rectangular rock as fort above the rock and fort below the rock. There are two to three steps which separate these two parts.

gambhir Gad
kelve Fort


Kelva Fort, a historically important fort constructed by Portuguese during 16th century, is located at the southern end of the beautiful and serene Kelva Lake. The fort is situated in Palghar taluka. The fort was used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja during his Maratha rule. The fort offer exquisite panoramic views of the natural surroundings covered by greenish Suru trees. The fort, surrounded all the sides by the water, provide enchanting eye catching experience during the tidal procession and recessions. During low tide periods this is accessible and visible perfectly and local country boat facility is available to approach the fort.


Kamandurg is situated in Vasai taluka of Palghar district. People residing in Belkadi belong to Adivasi community-Varli and are very helpful. One has to cross 4 water streams and the 3rd stream is 40feet wide. There are 5 water cisterns on the plateau and a stone with image of an idol carved on it. The entire region is covered with thick forest and looks green. A beautiful view of Vasai creak can be seen. There are 2 peaks and one hasto descend and make a traverse and then climb from the other side to reach on the second peak.



Shirgaon fort is located at one side of Shirgaon beach in Palghar taluka. The fort was used by great Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji as a place to keep a watch on enemies coming through Arabian Sea. The ancient fort is in ruins now.The Portuguese had dominance over this fort before Marathas.In 1818,the British captured this fort from the Marathas. The fort stands about 200 feet tall and spans more than 150 feet.The Portugue renovated this fort and increased its area while keeping the original brick and red stone construction intact.The five feet cannon on the northwest of citadel marks the history of the battles that took place over here. The picturesque environs of the fort and cleanliness attract many historians apart from the regular tourists.The most exciting bit is the palm tree with six to seven branches,a rarity.Shirgaon fort is well fortified and the walls are in good condition.There are many hidden caves in the walls of the fort.