Murud-Janjira is the local name for a fort situated at the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It is famous for being the only fort along India's western coast that remained undefeated despite Maratha, Dutch and English East India Company attacks. The word Janjira is not native to India, and may have originated after the Arabic word Jazeera, which means an island. Murud was once known in Marathi as Habsan ("of Habshi" or Abyssinian). Some of the people also split the name as "Jal Jeera" meaning fort in the water.
The Janjira fort has a colorful history. In the 15th century the Rajpuri village was inhabited by fisherfolk and the Nizams ruled the entire shoreline. Shivaji Maharaj made six unsuccessful attempts to conquer this fort. Later Sambhaji and even the Peshwas tried to conquer Mehroob, but in vain. The fort Janjira, thus remained unconquered and labeled as impregnable. The splendour of the fort is evident even today. There are a few majestic cannons, which have their own names, and remind you of the many ships they must have destroyed in wars.
The name of the fort is a concatenation of the Konkani and Arabic words for Island, "morod" and "jazeera". The word "morod" is peculiar to Konkani and is absent in Marathi. Thus, during the rains, the fields get flooded, but the morods never flood. The State of Murud-Janjira was known to the Maratha Empire as Habsan, the land of the Habshis. Sambhaji (the son of Shivaji) constructed a fort on a nearby island (Padmadurg Fort, now known as Kasa). Kasa is not accessible to the public and requires special permission from the Navy.
The fort also boasts of a sweet water lake inside it. It is considered to be a miracle that the Fort surrounded by the salty water of the sea has a lake full of sweet water. Also the cannons in the fort are quite unique. The biggest cannon boasts a range of around 18 km. It is said that since the entire cannon could not have been transported at once they had to be brought in pieces and they were then assembled inside the fort. When the rulers of the fort gave up their rule they settled in a near by village and named it Rajpuri.