Lohagad

Maharashtra is a state of forts, most of which are hill forts. Lohagad fort is one such hill fort located very close to the popular hill station of Lonavala. The Western Ghats with the Lohagad fort has the larger Visapur fort in the south-west direction. This hill range acts as a barrier of the two river basins, namely Indrayani and Pawana. The hill extends to the north-west to a fortified spur, called Vinchukata (Scorpion’s tail) because of its resembling shape. The four large gates of Lohagad are still in good condition and reasonably intact. The gates are the Ganesh Darwaza, the Narayan Darwaza, the Hanuman Darwaza and the Maha Darwaza. The fort can be visited throughout the year. But the best time of visit is during the monsoons. The monsoon trek provides an excellent view of numerous waterfalls, lush greenery, scenic surrounding with the mist covered aerial view from the top of the fort. The fort has been declared as a protected monument by the government.

History: The fort was under the Maratha empire for the majority of the time, with a short period of 5 years under the Mughal empire. Lohagad has a long history with several dynasties occupying it at different periods of time: Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Nizams, Mughals and Marathas. Shivaji Maharaj captured it in 1648 CE, but he was forced to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 CE by the Treaty of Purandar. Shivaji Maharaj recaptured the fort in 1670 CE and used it for keeping his treasury. This fort was used to keep the loot from Surat. Later in Peshwa time Nana Phadnavis used this fort for a living for some time and built several structures in the fort such as a big tank and a step-well. *(All the above information are from Wikipedia.)

Transport:

Airport: The nearest commercial airports are Pune International Airport at 64 km and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 104 km.

Rail: The nearest train station is Malavli, which can be accessed by suburban trains between Lonavala and Pune. Local trains run from Pune at 2-hour intervals. Those originating from Mumbai along the central line have Khopoli as their last station. It takes 2.5 hours by train from Mumbai and 1 to 1.5 hour from Pune. All trains, travelling between Mumbai and Pune, halt at Lonavala. Trains from Mumbai halt at Karjat to attach banker locomotives before the train starts journey up the western ghats to reach Lonavala.

Road: Lonavala is on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is well-connected to several towns of Khopoli, Karjat, Talegaon Dabhade, etc. Buses are available at regular intervals from Khopoli bus station to Lonavala. Those travelling from Pune needs to take the road towards the Karla Caves just before reaching Lonavala. The road takes to Malavali which is the base of the trek.

Local: Auto Rickshaws are available to commute within Malavali to the railway station, Lonavala and Khandala. Regular State Transport buses are available from Lonavala State Transport Bus Stand.

Tourist Interest:

Bhaja Caves: These are rock cut Buddhist Caves dating back to 2nd century BC. It belonged to the Hinayana sect of Buddhism.

Karla Caves: These too are ancient rock-cut Buddhist Caves belonging to the Mahayana sect of Buddhism.

Visapur Fort: This is the larger among the twin forts of Visapur and Lohagad. This was basically the palace of the Peshwas.

Lonavala: Find the places of visit in Lonavala.

Aamby Valley City: This is a beautiful township developed by the Sahara India Parivar.

Tour Planner: To cover all these treks one has to make a base at Lonavala the nearest point with lodging facilities and take one trek a day.

Hotels: Online booking is always advisable for discounts in tariffs. All accommodation at various rates is available in Lonavala and Khandala. Some of them are Picaddle Boutique Resort, Whispering Woods Resort, Orchard Resort, Upper Deck Resort, Della Adventure Resort, Fariyas Resort, The Metropole, Girivihar Holiday, Royal Park, Indus Valley Resort and more.

Read My Journey to Lohagad.

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