Monday, February 7, 2011

Lohagad the Iron fort

For all those who feel that Lonavala is passé then go that extra mile to Lohagad (Iron fort) just about 20kms from Lonavala.

After crossing Lonavala, go towards Walvan and then ask for directions (no signage) to Nangargaon, Bhangarwadi and Lohgadwadi in that order. Lohagadwadi is at the base of the hill atop which is Lohagad.

Here you can park your vehicle and climb up a short distance of around 500 steps.

There are a couple of dhabas here too where you can get bottled drinking water, colas and packaged munchies or your hot refreshing cuppa chai.

It is at an elevation of 3,450 feet (1,052 m) and worth the climb for the panoramic views that one gets not only from the top but also from various points on the way.

Lohagad has a long history with several dynasties occupying it at different periods of time: Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Nizamshahis, Mughals and Marathas. Shivaji captured it in 1648 CE, but he was forced to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 CE by the Treaty of Purandar. Shivaji recaptured the fort in 1670 CE and used it for keeping his treasury.

Historical records show that in the later Peshwa period, Nana Phadnavis (1742-1800 AD) built several structures in the fort such as a big tank and a step-well.

Lohagad is a fairly large fort. This is one of the better preserved forts in the region, and many of

its distinctive medieval defence features can be seen during the serpentine winding ascent to the top.

On top of the fort, there is a Mahadev temple adjacent to which is a tank with steps descending

to the water. There is also a grave of a Muslim Pir.

On the western side, there is a long and narrow wall-like fortified spur called Vinchukata (Marathi for Scorpion's tail) because of its shape. It was used to keep a watch on enemies and activities in the nearby region.

From Mumbai, you can take a train to Lonavla. Malavli is the next station from Lonavla in the direction toward Pune. There are a number of local trains operating between Lonavla and Pune; you can take any of them. From Pune, you can take any of these locals.

From Malawli railway station, the fort is just 9 km away, and people walk all the way till the fort. Bhaja Caves is on the way to Lohagad if a small diversion is taken. This walk is a particular favorite of trekkers, especially in the monsoon. It is a simple and easy trek and the distance from Malawli station to Bhaje gaav takes about 20 min. Distance between Malavli and Lohagadwadi can be covered in around 2-2.5 hrs.

22 comments:

  1. Shivaji, born in 1630 capturing this fort in 1648, very admirable. As I remember from school history text books, the first fort captured by Shivaji was Torna at the age of 14 or 16 !

    As for your presentation and travelogue, should I say faultless and complete ! And certainly encouraging others to take the expedition.

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow , nice fort to visit , interesting history.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Its beautiful.
    The view from the top is amazing. Definitely a must visit.

    ReplyDelete
  4. great shots boss!
    reminds me of "rap-den-chi" in west sikkim.. memorable for it's various battles nd alliances during the first chogyal's (king of sikkim) treaties with the anglo invaders and nepalese rulers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good one.... the fort must be real ironcast to have sustained the wear and tear through centuries. Lovely blog.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The place looks fantastic! Would love to visit it one day!

    ReplyDelete
  7. This looks so worth the effort to reach the place...the fort is awesome man! I would love to go to a place like this any day. This must be fantastic during the monsoon I guess, with all the green around...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Greetings
    Great blog post on this Fort and loved reading it and the pics esp.
    Can you email or post in blog two details-

    1. What is the height to climb up to top-steps.
    2.Is the Temple maintained now?
    Thanks again
    Rgds
    CaptTR

    ReplyDelete
  9. Afterall it's Deepak's Magiceye! What to say! Aha! REally loved the shots

    ReplyDelete
  10. the 1st and 4th image is just stunning! love the layers of mountain :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gorgeous pictures. You're right, traveling to India is magic, I just got back from the Rajasthan and am already planning next trip :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. What I like about your travel blog are the pictures which are all explained. It is frustrating to see a travel blog where the details are missing or you have to search for them in the text!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amazing shots..!!.. loved dem all.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for take to such a wonderful place ... n that's for free - ha ha !!

    Beautiful pics too :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nice pictures you got going on here!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks for the travel photography. Since we are at Pune, we roam around a lot. Will make it to Lohagad some day. Your photographic essay helps!

    ReplyDelete
  17. wonderful coverage of a historical fort dear. I enjoyed reading the history and visiting the fort virtually.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful photographs indeed

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi,
    All the pics are really nice.. I am loving the blog.. Keep updating more..I would surely travel to this part of the world..Looks amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful pics! And your presentation is just too good! I relived some of my old memories through your blog! I've put mine on the blog check it out here; http://vikasmankumare.blogspot.com/2010/07/trek-to-lohagad.html
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete