Murud-Janjira: An Island Fortress in Maharashtra, India

I made an annotated version of this map, which was only possible with the help of Aditya, who translated the only labeled map of this fort I was able to find, which was in Hindi. I’m very grateful for the help and the least I can do is pay it forward and give the annotated version away to everyone.

Murud-Janjira was built in the 1400s and was only taken by force once. The Maratha Empire assaulted it about a dozen times. They climbed the walls, they tried to dig their way in, they even built a fort nearby called Padmadurg to use as a staging ground for an attack. None of this succeeded. The Virgin Padmadurg was no match for the Chad Murud-Janjira.

So how was it taken? With booze. Let me explain. The fort was built by Ram Patil, the Admiral of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. Once it was finished, Patil and the Sultan had a little falling out, Patil stopped taking the Sultan’s orders and they unfriended each other on facebook. The Sultan appointed a new admiral named Piram Khan and ordered him to take back the fort.

So Khan dresses up as a merchant and sails to the fort. He says he’d like to leave some crates of silks and wine inside for safekeeping. You know, temporarily. “Sure,” says Ram Patil, “You can leave your booze and loot with us. We’ll be happy to hang onto it for you. You know, temporarily.”

So they start bringing in the crates and Khan decides to throw a little party for Patil and his men for doing him this favor. At this point, you have to imagine that Ram Patil thinks he’s talking to the dumbest man alive. Still, Khan cracks open a few casks of wine and everyone spends the evening getting drunk. Later that night, once Patil and his men are completely hammered, Khan goes back to those crates they brought in earlier and starts opening them up to let out the soldiers hiding inside.

You can probably guess where it goes from here. They attack the drunken garrison and take back the fort. The moral of the story is that sometimes thinking outside the box means literally getting into a box.

Anyway, I’m gonna go to bed. I hope you like the map!

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