Mirjan Fort Overview

Mirjan Fort is a majestic masterpiece of architecture that one can find standing gloriously on the banks of Aghanashini river. The fort has many historical events associated with it which makes it a delight for history buffs in Gokarna.

It is believed to be built under the patronage of Queen Chennabharadevi, famously known as pepper queen of India in the 16th century. This fort which was once an important centre the spice trade was later captured by the British who used it for their armoury.

It is encompassed by a mesmerising landscape and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. This magnificent fort in Mirjan speaks of the great history of the region and housed some intriguing artefacts like Chinese Porcelain, clay tablets with Islamic inscriptions and gold coins attributed to Portuguese Viceroy Conde De Sarzedas that were excavated by ASI in 2001.

Mirjan Fort, talluk, Mirjan Fort Road, Mirjan, Karnataka

Best Time to visit:
The fort can be visited throughout the year by tourists. However, the monsoon months are preferred to witness the breathtaking greenery around the fort.

9:00 am to 5:00 pm are the visiting hours at Mirjan Fort

Distance from Gokarna Bus Main Stand, Banglegudda:
It is 22 kilometres away from Gokarna bus station.

Mirjan Fort is a trademark of cultural glory, and is situated on National Highway 66, about 11 kilometers from Gomarna. The 16th century architecture and cultural marvels of this place has made it a popular tourist attraction. 

There are various mythic tales behind who constructed the fort, or how it came to be the way we see it today. The most popular and widely accepted of all those stories is that of Queen Chennabhairadevi. She is a prominent historical figure as she built the fort under her matriarchal reign of 54 years in the 16th century. 

The Mirjan Fort is flanked by the banks of Agnanishi River and is filled with high ceilings and bastions. There are four main entrances to the fort, each of which is laid out with steps made out of laterite stone, which is the material used for constructing the rest of the fort too. It is interspersed with several wells linked to the moat. 

This interlinking is said to be a part of a defense mechanism used to protect the fort from external attacks. Thus, the fort has been a site of many battalions within its periphery and yet withstood the test of time.

How To Reach

Mirjan Fort is located at a distance of 11 km from the city center, and the time required to cover this distance is 35 minutes on average. Being a small town, Gokarna does not have many options for commutation. Online Taxicab services do not operate here, which narrows the options to reach the fort to two:

Via Buses: Several buses drop you at the bus stand which is only at a distance of 5-minute walk to the fort. They get to the city bus station in periodic intervals and take about 45 minutes to reach the bus stand. This is the cheapest mode of commutation in Gokarna.

Via bike rentals: Another mode of commutation is via hiring bikes, cars, or cabs from the city. This is a better and more convenient option as you can roam about wherever you please after visiting the fort.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Mirjan Fort is from September to February. You may encounter unpredictable showers till mid-September, but after that, the surrounding area is blooming with flowers and a lush green atmosphere. Even within the fort, there are several open-spaced grasslands with new vegetation budding across. 

You can also visit the fort in summers, but the heat of the sun may tear you down, so carry umbrellas, hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen for protection. Monsoon is usually accompanied by thunderous rainfall, which makes it difficult to sightsee the open spaces of the fort.

Other Essential Information

Location: Mirjan Fort is located in the southern state of Gokharna. It lies on the National Highway 17.

Address: 0.5 kilometers from the National Highway 66 and 11 kilometers from Gokarna, Gokarna 581326, India

Timings: Mirjan Fort is open throughout the week for public visits. The timings for which it stays open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Entry Fee: In order to promote tourism and cultural heritage of Karnataka, there is no entry fee required to enter Mirjan Fort. It is under the authority of the Archaeological Survey of India and is therefore free for public visits by the government.

Tour Duration: In order to cover the entire fort, you would take approximately 1 – 2 hours. This is primarily due to the reason that the fort is subdivided into various sections and is spread over an area of 10 acres.

Photography Charges: There are no photography charges for clicking pictures of the fort. It is government property and is free for visits or to be captured on cameras.

Distance from City Center: Mirjan Fort is a fort on the National Highway 66 and is situated about 11 km from the town of Gokarna.

History of Mirjan Fort

Mirjan Fort has several visions of its structure, demolishing it and reconstructing carried out by various rulers. The oldest version of the fort states that it was constructed by Nawayath Sultanates in the early 13th century. It was then usurped by the Vijayanagara Empire. Later on, it appeared in its new vision with new architectural renovations in the year 1608.

However, in another vision, the most prominent reign under which Mirjan Fort gained its present reputation was by Queen Chennabhairadevi. She belonged to the Tuluva-Suluva coterie and inhabited the fort for a duration of 54 years, starting from 1552 and ending in 1606.

There is another vision that states that the fort was constructed by Sharif ul-Mulk of Bijapur in order to protect the town of Kumta. Recent excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India has brought forth evidence for another vision. It states that the fort was under the reign of Vijayanagara Empire. 

After its fall, the Bijapur sultanates and the then Governor of Goa, Sherif ul-Mulk, refurbished the fort to its present design. In the 17th century, the fort was usurped by the Keladi dynasty, wherein the matriarchal society led by Queen Chennama ruled till 1757. After this, the Marathas seized the fort until British Raj. Under the British Raj, the fort became government property.

Places to Eat Near Mirjan Fort

If you are craving for some sumptuous southern treats after exploring the majestic fort, then the area around Mirjan Fort will not leave you disappointed. Here is a list of some of the most popular restaurants around the area which serve the best of food:

1. Prema - If you are looking for a beachside restaurant to sip on a cold beverage and eat some southern delicacies or meals, then you should go to Prema. They serve masala dosas, hummus, soup, and whatnot!

Location: Gokarna Beach, Gokarna 5600003, India
Distance from Mirjan Fort: 12.5 km

2. Namaste Café - Namaste Café is a pub, or an Indian bar cum restaurant that serves its dishes in European style. This is yet another beachside café where you can sit and sip on a beer while chewing on some crispy snacks.

Location: Om Beach / Kudle Beach, Gokarna, India
Distance from Mirjan Fort: 11.2 km

3. White Elephant Restaurant and Cottage - The haute cuisine of White Elephant served in its outlandish interior décor is bound to make your day. They have Indian, Chinese, and Italian cuisines on their menu.

Location: Kudle Hilltop, Opp Beach, Gokarna 581326, India
Distance from Mirjan Beach: 12.1 km

Places to Stay Near Mirjan Fort

If you want to stay close to this historical monument and have an early morning visit, then don’t worry! There are several hotels that you can stay at. Here is a list of some of the most popular hotels near the place that make for lavish tourist stay-at destinations:

1. Kudle Beach View Resort and Spa - Kudle Beach View Resort is a resort located near the beach, so if you want a mesmerizing overview from your balconies, then this is your stay-at destination. 

Location: Kudle View Beach View Resorts and Spa, Kudle Beach Road Gokarna
Distance from Mirjan Fort: 11.2 km
Price per night: INR 5,000

2. Sanskruti Quality Resort - With their deluxe, supreme, and premium cottages, this Sanskruti Resort will make your stay memorable. They also have a private pool and restaurant to serve your needs.

Location: Om Beach Road, Gokarna 581326 India
Distance from Mirjan Fort: 11.1 km
Price per night: INR 7,200

3. R. K. Beach Cottage - R. K. Beach has its bar and restaurant with a picturesque location. They have separate cottages for each visitor, and some of them are acquainted with balconies. 

Location: Kariyappa Katte Middle Beach, Gokarna 581326 India
Distance from Mirjan Beach: 11.8 km
Price per night: INR 1,500

Traveler’s Tips before Visiting Mirjan Fort

Before or upon your visit to the Mirjan Fort, there are certain things you should keep in mind:

1. If you are planning to go on a road trip to the following places, then you can visit Mirjan Fort en route – Bangalore to Gokarna, Karwar, Goa, or Murdeshwar. 

2. The nearest airport to Mirjan Fort is the Dabolim Airport situated in Goa. 

3. It is advisable to visit Mirjan Fort in your own hired or private vehicle, as there are no other reliable means of commutation from the fort back into the city.

4. Keep in mind that there are no charges, either entry fee or photography charges, to visit Mirjan Fort.

5. Do not forget to carry ample amounts of water and light snacks to the fort, as there are no restaurants or shops in the area nearby.
Read More

Tourism Board Alliances

Mirjan Fort FAQs

Who built Mirjan Fort?

Even though there are many versions of the story, it is said that the fort was built by Queen Chennabhariav Devi in the 16th century. She belonged to a matriarchal society of the Vijayanagara Empire and was commonly referred to as the Pepper Queen.

Is Mirjan Fort worth visiting?

Yes, Mirjan Fort is worth the visit for all the history fanatics out there. The architecture of the fort is spread across a sprawling 10-acre campus, which enlightens many historical and architectural enthusiasts. The fort is subdivided into various sections for exploration.

How much is the entry fee for Mirjan Fort?

Mirjan Fort does not have an entry fee. This has been done to promote tourism and educational exploration of the cultural heritage of Karnataka. There are no photography charges attached to the place either, so you can carry your DSLRs and click amazing pictures!

What is the best time to visit Mirjan Fort?

The best time to visit Mirjan Fort is during winters, from September to February. The monsoon has cleansed the surroundings and the vivid exteriors of the fort. Furthermore, the heat of the sun is soft on the skin, which makes exploration easy.

How much time is needed to visit Mirjan Fort?

You should not need more than 2 hours to explore the fort. It is spread across a vast campus of 10 acres and has interspersed open spaces, monuments, and architectural designs that can all be marveled at in this time frame.

Why Choose Thrillophilia