Vasai Fort, Bhiwandi
About Vasai Fort
The Greek merchant Cosma Indicopleustes is known to have visited the areas around Bassein in the 6th century and the Chinese traveller Xuanzang later on June or July 640. According to historian José Gerson da Cunha, during this time, Bassein and its surrounding areas appeared to have been ruled by the Chalukya dynasty of Karnataka. Until the 11th century, several Arabian geographers had mentioned references to towns nearby Bassein, like Thana and Sopara, but no references had been made to Bassein. Bassein was later ruled by the Silhara dynasty of Konkan and eventually passed to the Seuna dynasty. It was head of district under the Seuna (1184-1318). Later being conquered by the Gujarat Sultanate, a few years later Barbosa (1514) described it under the name Baxay (pronounced Basai) as a town with a good seaport belonging to the king of Gujarat.
The Portuguese first reached the west coast of India when the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed at Calicut in 1498. For several years after their arrival in India, they had been consolidating their power in north Konkan. They had established a strong foothold in Goa, which they captured from the Sultan of Bijapur in 1510. According to historian Manuel de Faria e Sousa, the coast of Bassein was first visited by the Portuguese in 1509, when Francisco de Almeida on his way to Diu captured a Muslim ship in the harbour of Mumbai, with 24 citizens of Gujarat aboard.
In the 18th century, the Bassein Fort was taken over by the Maratha Empire under Peshwa Baji Rao's brother Chimaji Appa and fell in 1739 after the Battle of Vasai. The fort was taken by British in 1774 and returned to Maratha in 1783 under the Treaty of Salbai. The British in 1818 attacked and again took over the territory from the Marathas. The fort also played a strategic role in the First Anglo-Maratha War.