Bankot Fort (Himmatgad Fort)

Bankot is a town in India. It was made part of the Bombay Presidency in 1756. Its most famous structure is Bankot Fort (pictured). This was the first residency of the British Raj in Southern Konkan.

Bankot fort is still eluding us and the origin of this fort is still speculative, a brief history can still be traced about this fort. The fort was known to be under the control of Adilshahi and later in 1548, the Portuguese took control over it. Later, Marathas, under the able leadership of the great Kanhoji Angre took control over Bankot. They rechristened the fort as Himmatgad. It is a historical place because it was the first residency in the Southern part of Konkan coast of British.In the year 1756 Bankot became the part of Bombay Presidency. Bankot fort is the main attraction here. Apart from this historic fort the nearby village of Velas village can be a treat to your eyes. The actual creator of this fort is not known to anyone but it is standing here since a long time and what is known is that it was under the ownership of Adilshahi till mid sixteenth century and after that in the year 1548 Portuguese captured this fort from Adilshahi dynasty as Portuguese were strengthening throughout the coast line. But Marathas then fought with Portuguese and took over the fort under the brave leader named Kanhoji Angre. The Marathas renamed the fort as Himmatgad. After Angre for some time the fort came under the control of British due to some internal divide and the fort was again named Fort Victoria by British. But when British saw no benefits to retain the ownership of this fort in terms of business or ruling they gave its ownership back to Peshwas. Due to its location this place could never witness any significant historical events during its lifetime except seeing various ownerships.If we see the structure of the fort it is in square shape. There a well in the premises that is said to be very deep. Like other forts in the region this fort also has a grand entrance gate decorated with multiple designs. As you enter the gate you proceed to a porch that is said to be the place where performance by musicians performed for the ruler of the fort. Now the remains of the fort can be explored as most of the structure is now damaged due to its age, lack of maintenance and usage.

Bankot is a nice place to visit in any season. The temperatures range from a minimum of 20°C and can go up to around the 34°C mark. Heavy rain & thunderstorms can be expected in monsoon season.

Accommodation :
No accommodation facility available on the fort.

Getting There :
By Air : Mumbai is nearest airport.
By Rail : Karanjadi - 59 km. Veer - 67 km. Mangaon - 87 km are the nearest railway stations.
By Road : To reach Bankot village, we have to go from Mumbai Goa Highway. Before Mahad, there is Toll phata, and the route is via Ambet-Mandangad-Bankot (about 248 km). It takes around one hour to reach the fort from village by walk. Lohagaon, Pune - 139 km. Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai - 180 km. Kolhapur - 240 km

Places to see nearby : 
There is a Ganesh temple at the base of the fort. The fort is surrounded by moats dug up in the red laterite. The main entrance faces north and is decorated with stone carvings. Near the entrance are vestibules for gate keepers. In the vestibule on right side there are 6 water tanks. Going ahead we come across Nagarkhana, where we find decorative steps to ascend it. From here we can have a glimpse of Savitri River and the surrounding region. To walk on the ramparts, there are stairs from eastern and western side. From the western doorway we can go the bastion outside the ramparts. Here we find a deep well and a room for the patrolling soldiers. There is a secret entrance near this bastion. This bastion lies on the way from Bankot to Velas, and was built by Siddis to strengthen Bankot fort.

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