Korlai Fort (Raigad – Maharashtra – India)


 Korlai Fort is a colonial fort in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. Formerly a part of the Chaul in Portuguese India, the structure is a specimen of Portuguese colonial architecture. It was built as a companion to the fort at Chaul, at this strategic position the Portuguese could use it to defend their province which stretched from Korlai to the Fort Bassein. Vestiges of the Portuguese occupation are manifested in the distinct dialect of the Korlai villages inhabitants which is a Luso-Indian creole called Korlai Portuguese Creole.

The fort is 2828 feet long, and its average breadth is eighty-nine feet. The enclosing wall is 5' 3" high and has 305 battlements for guns. It is entered by eleven gates - four are outer and seven are inner. At the north point, within pistol-shot of main battery is the water cistern named Santa Cruz - major source of water. The area within the fort walls is divided into three enclosures by two lines of bastioned fortifications. Each of the seven bastions bears the name of a saint. The two westward bastions are named São Diego(after Didacus of Alcalá) and São Francisco (after Francis of Assisi). The others are São Pedro, São Inácio, and São Filipe.

The top of the hill is bastioned as well and is surrounded by a parapet. It has a large rainwater cistern with three mouths, each one foot wide, and the ruins of the magazine and a church. The church was built in 1630 for the use of the army and was functional until 1728.

There are three Portuguese inscriptions. One, over a doorway in the centre and highest part of the fort (see picture), reads as follows:

    This castle was commanded to be built by the Viceroy of India Dom Filipe Mascarenhas in November of the year 1646 and Fernão Miranda Henriques being Captain of Chaul, and was finished in May 1680, Cristóvão de Abreu de Azevedo being Captain of this fort.

The inscription is surmounted by a cross with a coat of arms having the Portuguese stars in the centre and surrounded by seven castles. Other inscriptions over the main entrance and over an altar in the chapel are worn out and undecipherable. During the brief Maratha rule, some of the names of the bastions were changed but now the only indication of their presence is some dismantled shrines.

Veeranpuzha Beach (Ernakulam – Kerala – India)

  Veeranpuzha is a lake in Kochi, Kerala, India. It is the northern extension of Vembanad Lake.