This time with newly made friends at work, due to their interest & continues force to arrange some trek & plan all things in it, I said fine lets go for outing on 6th July 2016 as we have holiday. Almost ten odd people agreed on it & I planed the trek to LOHAGAD. After chit chating a lot on travel, food & time arrangements, we all finally decided to go by Pune Local Train at 8:05 AM. For that also we had lot of calls & messages to wake up all who are coming, for god’s sake train got late 8 mins & we all caught it & reached the trek starting point that is Malvali Station. Actually all this guys were new to trekking so I asked take local transport (60/- Rs each) to reach base village that is 8KM from station. Also if you want to go Bhaje Caves on the way 2KM from station they will take 20/- Rs each. Then all guys said no no we will go by walk, let’s do trek from here itself. So after having breakfast of Pune famous hot-hot Wada Pav & Tea, we started walking at 10:15 AM.
Lohagad (Iron Fort) is part of the Western Ghats, it is 3389 ft above sea level. Lohagad has a long history with several dynasties occupying it at different periods of time Satavahans, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Nizams, Mughals & 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 living for some time and built several structures in the fort such as a big tank and a step-well. In the recent years the fort has been declared as a protected monument by the government.
One more thing during all the way we enjoyed rain a lot, at last we all were fade up with it & trying to save our self from rain 😛 😛 :P. After walking on the concrete road for few mins we reached the Bhaje Caves & big water fall there, we all had few clicks there & resumed our walking then we mate another water fall there also we had some group pics. After walking for few more mins small ghat started, so while going up by road we took shortcut through forest & went up, but be careful while taking short cuts because it will lead you to valley directly & also you may get lost there. During all this way after few distance there are small small huts are there & you can get snacks, tea & drinking water there. When we reached at the top of ghat we again had few snacks like egg & cucumber. Then few mins later we reached the base village Lohagad, there on hotel Sai Vihar we ordered the afternoon lunch(Zunka Bhakar) which we had after getting down from fort.
12:30 PM we started ascending the fort from base village from the start itself beautiful stairs were constructed to reach the first entrance gate of fort called as “Ganesh Darwaja“. After entering through that beautiful door one can see the bastion remnants, on the right side there is a shilla lekha in very bad condition may be in coming few years it may vanish. There on the right there is small entrance to enter into man mad room structure in bastion. From the start of stairs you can see the cannons (toof) of chatrapati shivaji maharaj’s era, we saw total six cannons on fort. Due to holiday it was too crowded but scenic as well, after one more gate there are two caves which were used as Food Store Room(Dhanyache Kothar) , now a days both caves are full of water. Few stair steps are loose because of heavy rain, few steps are slippery too & few steps are beautifully created in the hill rock itself. Finally after crossing three more gates we reached the “Hanuman Darwaja” one of the beautiful attraction on the fort & proof of great engineers & constructors. When you go up from the stairs then you can not see it directly you need to take turn to right side almost 70 to 90 degree on top of that huge nails are placed on gate door all the gates are constructed in the same way on the fort but designs & carvings on every door are different.
At the top of fort huge fog was there literally we were in full of clouds, in such a way that beyond 10 meters nothing is visible even if somebody calls you from 20 meter that voice will not come to you that dense fog was there. At the start there is RajaRani Temple was the in that temple two tombs are there. We clicked some pics there & suddenly all fog gone & we saw beautiful top view of full stair case. There heading in right direction one can see the remnants of Rajwada, Sadar & base of homes, little bit ahead there are three very big big caves are there one is almost vanished other two are good in condition all were used as Horse Stable (“Ghodyachi Paga”). Going forward in that direction there is Dargha was there adjacent to it small lake was there & from this side of fort one can see the “Visapur Fort” clearly.
Little bit ahead in left direction from there, we reached the “Vinchu Kada” one of the beautiful attraction on fort in fact in Sahyadri Ranges. Its full of railings & secure now a days but be careful while going there. While getting back to main gate from other side of fort there is very beautiful step well was there, little ahead to it there is Mahadev temple was there & Tryambak Talav was there, few of us did swimming there, but be careful while doing it. After exploring all these things we started descending the fort & reached back to the hotel for lunch at 3:30 PM. There after having lunch by taking local transport we reached the Malavali station at 5:00 PM & took the 5:33 PM local tickets & reached back to Pune at 7:00 PM.
- Photo Credit to Mohit Umalkar, Purvesh Mandhalkar, Apurva Sherke, Khader Hussain, Rahul Chandure.
- Before going on trek do some research about the routes & what to explore there.
- Go in full sleeve cloths, good shoes,enough water & also if going in rainy season have extra pair of cloths.