Mazagaon Fort

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The Mazagaon Fort stood over the Bhandarwada Hill and was built by the British to protect themselves from the attacks of the Siddis and the Marathas during the 17th century. Between the year 1672 and 1682 Sidis made continual use of Bombay for military use and Mazagaon Fort area was under their use. In 1689, the Siddi general, Yakut Khan, with an army of 20,000 men, invaded Mumbai and captured the Mazagaon fort. Despite British Governor Sir John Child’s attempt to dislodge the Siddi, who had captured the whole of the island city except the fortified British garrison in South Mumbai. The Siddi siege, from April to December of 1689, forced the British to survive on stocked food, and eventually strike a deal with Aurangzeb to get rid of him. Governor Sir John Child appealed to the Mughal Aurangzeb to reign in Yakut for a price and the Mughal emperor agreed, on the conditions that rupees 1.5 lakhs be paid, and Child be sacked.

Siddi Yakut eventually withdrew his forces on June 8, 1690, but before leaving Mazgaon, he burnt and destroyed the fort in an act of defiance.

Nearly 200 years after the Mazagaon fort was destroyed, the Bhandarwada Hill was developed by the British into a major water reservoir. Built in 1884, the reservoir supplied water to South and Central Mumbai. Later it was converted into a garden and called John Hay Grant, the Municipal Commissioner and post independence developed as the John Bapista Garden. Presently there are no remains of the fort as such.