On a sheer count, I opine that the island city of Mumbai has more forts in its geographical boundaries than any other city in the Republic of India.
The richest city of the nation has obviously had much to defend by the powers that controlled. (Almost) all of the islands that constitute the metropolis have a fort dotting the landscape.
Fort, Worli, Mahim, Bandra, Sewri and Sion are the localities home to the forts and the structures themselves are named after the place. (Vasai has a fort as well in addition to a few in Navi Mumbai.)
The locality known as Fort in South Bombay is the center of power, money and influence in the city. The prestigious locality dates to colonial times and the youngest artifact down south is possibly the oldest living Parsi lady.
The locality maybe known as Fort, but as many Mumbaikars quip, there is no Fort in Fort. Perhaps it is like there is no Gate in Churchgate. However, they are mistaken.
A fort named Fort St George was built by the British but it was almost wholly demolished to make way for other structures. Nevertheless, a small section of the original wall fort exists as part of the St George Hospital, opposite Indira Docks and adjacent to the Mumbai General Post Office on P D’Mello Road.
Of the forts I have been to, Worli is my favorite. It is surrounded by an unparalleled view in Mumbai (provided you close to your nose for the smell) that has not changed in 400 years. Adjacent to the fort, passes the Bandra-Worli Sea Link above.
It is easy to miss the fort which is situated towards the sea end of Worli village. I ended up taking a wrong turn while approaching the fort and had to walk through streets typical of a Konkan Koli settlement (Again, not the smell).
The fort breaks out in the silhouette and is completely ignored by its neighbors. It is a tiny fort that was quite obviously as deadly as quaint.
The most well known and abused fort in Mumbai. It is just down the road from Mannat & Galaxy Apartments and I do not think anything further needs to be told.
It took me three years to get to Sion Fort and the this one is on the Central Line, so as to speak. Sion is a very old area indeed and it forms the boundary of Mumbai Urban district.
It is special in where you get to to see the skyline of Mumbai that is not full of high rises. Instead, you see the Wadala oil refineries.
Mahim is the other boundary of Mumbai Urban and one of the two forts I have not yet visited. Mahim was the place where the Mithi River meets the Arabian Sea and where locals used boats to reach Bandra across the bay. Worli and Mahim forts protected the bay itself while Bandra was at the head of it.
Sewri is clearly one of the most underrated localities of Mumbai, surely. Home to a fort, a war cemetery and an abandoned jetty where flamingoes are spotted, Sewri has a fascinating history besides.
Within the Konkan and Western Maharashtra regions of the state are many forts built in the times of Shivaji Maharaja and the various sultanates (including Vasai) but the forts within Mumbai proper are all the result of colonial effort.
Aamchi Heritage, Aamchi History, Aamchi Mumbai