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Showing posts from April, 2017

Time Travelling in Vasai - A short history of Bassein Fort

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Our train rumbles on the bridge over Vasai creek as the sun begins to rise in the east. When I look to the west, a kilometer away, I see a tower in ruins, rising sharply above the coconut palm swaying by the shore. That is my first glimpse of the Fort. Outside the Vasai Road railway station, we hire an autorickshaw for the 10 km ride to the ruins of what was once the jewel in the crown of the Portuguese.


Vasai an idyllic suburb with a rich past is fast changing. As our rickshaw zooms across wide roads, the construction activity underway is most noticeable. Under the influence of the Urban sprawl of Mumbai, Vasai-Virar region emerged as a major low-cost housing hub in the last two decades. However, the region is still rurban. The road narrows, colourful small cottages, community ponds start to appear as we cross Papdi where at the Our Lady of Grace Cathedral, the Sunday mass is underway.
The predominant Christian character of the region (and a large part of the Western Coast of India) …