Mirjan Fort, Gokarna

Mirjan Fort is a historic site located in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka, India. It is known for its architectural beauty and has been the site of several battles throughout history. The fort is situated about 0.5 kilometers from National Highway 66 and 21 kilometers from the Hindu pilgrimage center of Gokarna.

According to historical accounts, the fort was built in the 16th century by Rani Chennabhairadevi of Gersoppa, who ruled the region under the Vijayanagara Empire. The queen is said to have resided in the fort for several years, and during her reign, the port at Mirjan was an important center for the export of pepper, saltpetre, and betel nut to Surat. The region of Gersoppa, which was annexed to Bednur, was particularly famous for its pepper, and the Portuguese even called the queen “Rainha de Pimenta” or “Pepper Queen.”

The fort has a rich history and has been the site of many battles between various rulers and armies. It was captured by Hyder Ali of Mysore in the 18th century and later fell under the control of the British. Today, the fort is a popular tourist attraction and a testament to the region’s rich history and cultural heritage. Another interesting location to explore Mahabaleshwara temple

Another version that is traced to the period 1552–1606 is that the Mirjan Fort was built initially by Queen Chennabhairadevi. She was from the Tuluva-Saluva clan and ruled for a long period (for 54 years) under the protection of the Vijayanagara Empire (the queen preferred to be subordinate (mahamandaleshwara) of Vijayanagar rulers), as the queen of Gersoppa (a small town on the northern banks of the Sharavati River). She was given the epithet “the Pepper Queen or Raina da Pimenta’. She devoutly practiced Jainism and during her rule constructed many Jain basadis. She ruled “in conformity with the doctrine of succession Aliyasantana or Matriarchal, a tradition followed in coastal belt of Konkan and Kerala”. Her domain covered North and South Kanara districts and south Goa, which had important ports such as Malpe, Bidnoor, Mirjan, Honnavar, Ankola and Karwar from where the pepper, the most important produce of the region, was shipped to Europe. However, she suffered reverses after the Talikota war in which the Vijayanagar Empire was routed. She then shifted from Mirjan Fort to a safe location in an island in the middle of the Sharavathi

Gokarna is home to several temples, including the famous Mahabaleshwar Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is believed to have been built in the 4th century and is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. Other popular temples in Gokarna include the Maha Ganapati Temple and the Tamra Gowri Temple.

The town is also known for its beautiful beaches, including Om Beach, Kudle Beach, and Half Moon Beach. These beaches are popular among tourists and offer breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea. Read more about Mirjan Fort

In conclusion, Mirjan Fort and Gokarna are two important tourist attractions in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. While the fort is a testament to the region’s rich history and cultural heritage, Gokarna is an important Hindu pilgrimage center that is known for its beautiful beaches and temples.


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