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KORLAI – Portuguese speaking village in India

Korlai village is in Raigad District of Maharashtra state, India. The village of Korlai lies on the mouth of Kundalika River, across from the ruins of a large Portuguese fort, which is located in Revdanda. Korlai is a village of Christian inhabitants, is located between Goa and Daman. Villages also known as Kristi (“Christian”), they speak Indo-Portuguese is a creole language based on Portuguese, spoken by less than 1,000 Luso-Indian Christians in an isolated area around the village of Korlai. Korlai villages language is also called Korlai Creole Portuguese, Korlai Portuguese, or Nou Ling.

Korlai Fort is situated near Korlai Village in Murud taluka, Korlai Fort, known in Portuguese as Fortaleza do Morro de Chaul. This fort was built in 1521 by the Portuguese. The fort is 2828 feet long, and its average breadth is eighty-nine feet. The enclosing wall is 5′ 3″ high and has 305 battlements for guns. It is entered by eleven gates – four are outer and seven are inner. At the north point, within pistol-shot of main battery is the water cistern named Santa Cruz. in 1594, Abranches, a Portuguese captain with 1,500 soldiers and 1,500 natives took possession of the fort from Ahmednagar sultanate. The top of the hill is bastioned as well and is surrounded by a parapet. It has a large rainwater cistern with three mouths, each one foot wide, and the ruins of the magazine and a church. The church was built in 1630 for the use of the army and was functional until 1728.

Korlai is around 117 Km south of Mumbai via State Highway 104 and 24 km from Alibag via State Highway 91. The nearest railway station is at Roha which is 42 km from the fort.

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