Trek to Lohagad Fort
Rising to an elevation of 1,033 (3,387 ft) above sea level, Lohagad is one of the many hill forts of Maharashtra state and is part of the Western Ghats. Lohagad (Loha- Iron and Gad, in Marathi) Fort has been home to several dynasties occupying it at different periods of time: Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas , Bahamanis, Nizams, Mughals and Marathas.
The fort was under the Maratha empire for the majority of time. Shivaji Maharaj, the leader of Maratha empire captured the fort twice. Shivaji Maharaj used the fort for protection and for keeping his treasury hidden. Nana Phadnavis of Peshwa time, developed the fort’s infrastructure. He built several structures in the fort such as a big tank and a step-well (bawali). The four large gates of Lohagad are still in good conditions. The fort has been declared as a protected monument by Archaeology Survey of India.
It’s a simple and easy to trek for all groups. Trekking to Lohagad will be best during Monsoon, because the top of the fort is covered with mist and clouds and is very scenic. Small fragments of waterfall, variety of birds and insects can be spotted in these hills. The area is wet with growing moss resulting in slippery routes; so precautions are necessary while trekking. Beware of monkeys too.
Lohagad Fort is appoximately 94kms from Mumbai . So, it can be easily accessed by various modes of travel. The nearest major train station is Lonavala, on the Mumbai-Pune railway line. It would hardly take an hour & a half to reach the fort by car. Public buses are also available from Mumbai to Lonavala.
Bhaja Caves (once home to Buddhist monks) is on the way to Lohagad with a small diversion. Karla Caves is also close to Lohagad fort. Lohagadwadi is the base village. Visapur Fort, Tung and Tikona Fort are all located at a short distance from Lohagad.
Plan a one-day picnic, wear your trekking boots and get ready to explore the fort with your family and friends this weekend.
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