The Bassein Fort or Vasai Fort is standing as a guard over the Arabian Sea. Located in Vasai village of the Thane district in Maharashtra, it overlooks the Bassein Beach that flourished as a popular tourist destination and was once an important ship building site. The wide beach coastline of Bassein resemble to that of the Goa. The Portuguese had a stronghold till 1739 and after that it was taken over by the Marathas. Many Temples and Churches are there that have unfolded glory, even now they look glamorous. It is an ideal place to relax after a long work schedule.
Presently, barricading all round the fort is almost complete. Many watch towers still stand there with safe staircases that leading up. Inside Vasai Fort, there are many Portuguese buildings that are in ruins. Some buildings have well-preserved facades. In particular, many of the arches have withstood over the years and remarkably well. Usually, they are decorated with carved stones, some resist beyond recognition, while others still showing sharp chisel marks.
Three shrines inside the fort are still noticeable. They have large facades typical of 17th-century churches of the Portuguese times. The southernmost of these shrines, there has a well preserved barrel-vaulted ceiling. All the shrines are superbly designed.
Many Bollywood movies like Josh, Khamoshi and Ram Gopal Verma’s Aag have been shot here. Besides all the structures, one should not miss observing the beautiful nature, placid climate and cool breeze. Also watch the activities of natural animals like butterflies, birds, plants and reptiles.
The Archaeological Survey of India has started renovation work of the fort, although the quality of the work has been severely denounced by “conservation activists”. It is said that the fort has a bad reputation for illegal activities and due to which it is not advisable for tourists or women to visit it during the weekends.