LOHAGAD FORT TREK
- Height- 3389 Feet
- Trek Level- Easy Trek
- Trek Route- Steep Stairs
- Time For Trek- 2 Hours
Maharashtra has extensive range of mountains which is named Sahyadri, this range is geographically part of Western Ghats and Lohagad is one of those mountain which also has historical importance. Lohagad fort holds a great relevance as it was captured and recaptured by Shivaji Maharaj.
Lohagad is located in Lonavala. Also known as twin fort as it share fortification with Visapur fort. Built in 18th Century, the Lohagad fort is coupled with many winding hairpin bends and steps that lead you to hill top. It rises to an elevation of 1033 m (3389 ft.) above sea level, and is located to the southwest of the larger Visapur fort. The range divides the basins of the Indrayani River and Pavana Lake.
HOW To REACH LOHAGAD
Lohagad fort is easily accessible by various modes of travel. The nearest airport is Pune International Airport in Maharashtra state. The proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport will serve as the nearest Airport in the coming future.
The nearest train station is Malavli, which can be accessed by suburban trains between Lonavala and Pune. The nearest major train station is Lonavala.
If one is traveling by road then Lohagad is well connected by the Mumbai-Pune highway and can also be accessed from Paud via Kolvan and Dudhiware Khind for all vehicles.
People can also hike all the way to the fort. Bhaja Caves is on the way to Lohagad if small diversion is taken. This walk is a particular favorite of trekkers, especially in the monsoon season. It is simple, very scenic and pleasant trek and the distance from Malavli and Lohagad can be covered in two hours. A tar road exist all the way to top from Malavli station and one can hire a tempo or cab to the top, share cabs are also available in 60 to 80 RS per person. The best season to visit the fort is in monsoons. The fort has around 350 steps from the base, so it is not advisable to take a personal car as the road is single lane, steep and very Bad.
Coming to my story I always prefer to travel on my Honda shine as traveling with own vehicle is always a good comfort. This time I along with my partner drove the road distance of 170 km two way on bike. The road passes through old Mumbai-Pune express highway where there is less vehicle crowd on road and it feels so awesome to drive. We reached there bit late due to which we started trek at 12 noon. It was not bothering us being small trek. The road which we took was the one that passes through Lonavala’s small village that again meets at Dudhiware Khind. This road is under construction. Final 2km of this road is very worst and risky to drive as it is incline drive and being narrow path it’s difficult for two four wheeler to pass that path at same time. There is enough space available to park vehicle at base but they charge 20 RS for bike and 50 RS for four wheeler at first base check point. Being a Sunday it was as usual rush and most interesting part is there were lots families with their small children’s for trek. The start of this route is with simple steep stairs with half feet distance and it is very easy to climb. After climbing 30 to 40 stairs there is another check point where you need to take ticket to move further to this trek. Ticket cost is 25 RS for Indian tourist and 300 RS for foreign tourist. They also charge for carrying camera. Road continuous with steep stairs. Be aware of Monkies as there are lots of monkies on the way, so my suggestion is do not keep any eating thing in hand or any plastic rapper on side pocket of bag, the reason as soon as monkies eye falls on rapper or food in hand they immediately jumps on you to snatch it. So be careful. You can keep some food stuff to them but do not keep in hand. While ascending towards you will pass through beauty of Pavana Lake which lies on left side of this fort. Pavana Lake is famous for its camping activity.
Structure of this fort is magnificent which is created by the emperor’s century ago. Rules by the Marathas and the Mughals, this fort has unique history of its own. As the trek continues you will come across Ganesh Darwaja (Lord Ganesh entrance Gate) which is first entrance of this fort. Other entrance gate in sequence are Narayan Darwaja, Hanuman Darwaja and last entrance gate is known as Maha-Darwaja. There was mixed climate along with clouds and blue sky that made us more photogenic. We had some energy stuff in bag which helped us throughout the trek.
After crossing all this door you can see the vast, lush green landscape that overlook the Pavana reservoir. The major attraction on top is water pond which was used for the people who used to live and guard the fort. There are also couple of Dargah on the top along with big water body. During the monsoon top of the fort is covered with mist and clouds and becomes wet with growing moss. The road and trails leading to hill are quite slippery at this time of the year and precaution needs to take while venturing the routes. The main highlight of the fort was yet to come.
The highlight of the fort is Vinchukata (Scorpion’s tail) which reminds us of ‘Sanjeevni Machi’ of Rajgad. It is around 1500 m long and 30 m wide part of the mountain, separated from the main part. The route to reach there is just narrow path without any support to descend down from the height of 15 feet. There is valley on left side without any support on side so be careful while passing this route, one person at a time can move from this narrow trail. Viewing from the fort this portion looks like scorpion’s sting and hence it is called ‘Vinchu Kata’. This ‘Vinchu Kata’ was used for keeping a watch on the nearby area. We reached the top at 2 pm and halted for some time to feel the breath taking view of surrounding. At one side the view of mesmerizing Visapur fort wherein other side the view of gorgeous Pavana Lake. Remember there are no hotels on top so carry own food. Descending from any trek is always an easy and speedy trail. It hardly took 45 min to descend down to where we started. This was one of the easy trek for us and also time consuming. For beginners it is easy to do. After reaching at base we had our delightful lunch with Zunka Bhakri and my favorite omelette. Being home-made food taste was superb and worthy. There are two to three hotels available at base that serves home-made food in reasonable rates. Here we end up the trek with cherish memories.
|Mahadev Mandir at Lohagad Fort|
Our total expenses for the trek
Petrol 300 (both side)
Parking charge 20 RS
Entry charge-50 for two person
Lunch-200 for two person
(Above expense includes two person).
Refernce :- Sambhaji Patil