As an important aspect, the forts were built in order to give the protection or may say guard the important trading routes. Those which belong to ancient times, which guarded the routes of Sahyadri include Shivneri, Rajgad, Lohagad and many others.
Lohagad is situated in Pune District of Maharashtra which heights up to 3400 ft. It is said that the Buddhist carved the Karla caves and Bhaja Caves which come near this fort. Who travelled the entire World to spread Buddhism. These were carved in such a way that they will give peace of mind totally out of towns. Where one can connect himself to nature and his soul.
History Of Lohagad –
From Satawahan, period, Lohagad has been one of the most important forts. Buddhist used Bhaja and Besse caves to stay at that time. These caves are situated in the mountain of Visapur. Lohagad fort hit its name by the Sage Lomesh who was meditating over this place. Lohagad was named after him. To keep a watch on Nane Maval, Korbaarse Maval and Andhra Maval Lohagad were built.
In 1489 this fort went to Nizamshahas once the Bahmani kingdom fell down. Thereafter it remained with them till 1630. The brother of seventh Nizam named second Burhan ruled here (1590-1594), he was imprisoned on this fort. In 1630, the fort went under the control of Adilshah.
In 1648, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured it, and two years later he captured Torna. Netaji Palkar was appointed to look after the fort and the surrounding region. Mirza Raja Jaisingh attacked Purandar in 1665, launching a major attack on the first coming under Pune region. Villages nearby Lohagad became a victim of that.
Kutubuddin attacked and looted the villages in March 1665. According to the treaty of Purandar, the fort went into the hands of Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb broke the treaty, and Shivaji Maharaj got it back in 1670, but again it was recaptured by Aurangzeb in 1700. Kanhoji Angre was given this fort by Shahu Maharaj.
In 1720 it was under the control of Balaji Vishwanath. Nana Phadnis, one of the important personality of Peshwa, developed this fort. The first, second and the fourth entry of the fort was renovated by him.
Jaavji Bomble and later Dhondopant Nitsure who ruled under Nana Phadnis shifted his entire treasury on this fort. This treasury was kept in Laxmi Kothi. Nana Phadnis passed away in 1800. His wife came here in 1802. The wife of Nana Phadnis came in 1802 after his demise. Bajirao-II was an inefficient ruler who was pro-British.
Dhondopant was insisted to be loyal to Bajirao, but his men attacked Bajirao and then Wellesley decided to capture this fort. In 1818 colonel Prother came here and captured Visapur. As Visapur was the twin of Lohagad, it became easy to capture it very easily.
Fascinating Spots –
Vinchu kata got its name as it is structured in such a way that it looks like a scorpion’s sting when seen from the fort which is 1500m long & 30m wide part of the mountain, separated from the main part. It was used to keep an eye on nearby areas. Few cannons also witnessed over here. This has a huge amount of water over here that used for drinking purpose.
Constructions over here are so old, which dates back 200 years ago. There are few inscriptions over the stones here majorly seen on Ganesh Darwaja. If these are not those incripted stones, then one has to watch. The words on it tell that Dhondopant started and did the construction under Nana Phadnis. Here are the galleries for guards.
There are two godowns between Narayan and Hanuman Darwaaja which were used as granaries. After entering the Maha Darwaaja we come across an old ‘Dargah’. Besides the Dargah, we come across the remnants of the court.
One Come across to old ‘Dargah’ once you enter the Maha Darwaaja and also one can come across to the remnants of the court of those times. Further, you may visit Laxmi Kothi to the right of this court. It is a Kothi where at least 50 people can stay at a time. On Lohagad Laxmi, Kothi is the only place for us to stay.
The treasury of Nana Phadnis was kept here. In front of this place are two cannons. Newly built Dargah is seen at the northern side of this fort, which is the tomb of Sheikh. Alongside the Dargah, there is the old temple of Lord Shiva. Later we come across a small lake and a few water reservoirs.
Bhaja Caves –
Bhaja caves set an outstanding example of architectural sculptures. These caves have got immense importance due to their geographical location and also due to the dominance of Buddhism too. The caves of Ajantha and Verul are the best works, so are the caves of Karla and Bhaja.
Karla caves are a little farther from here, but Bhaja Caves are near Malavali. The Viharas and Stupas show that Heenyana Buddhist was the Buddhists who did not believe in idols and worshipping the idols. Mahayana Buddhists carved idols of Buddha. There are 8 more Stupas along with a temple which is Surya-Mandir or Temple of Sun where the chariot of Sun God is carved. The materials used in these constructions are still in pleasant conditions. The place is now under the care of ASI.
Where is Lohagad Located? –
It is located in Pune district, Maharashtra state of India. It’s nearly 5-6 km away from Malavali railway station.
Nearest Cities – Pune 60 Km, Mumbai 100 Km
How To Reach Lohagad –
By Airways – Pune airport is closest to the village while you can opt for Mumbai airport.
By Railways- Railways prove to be the best option as the nearest Railway station in Malavali station which is well connected to the metro cities. From there, one can take the sharing auto or taxis to reach the base of the fort.
By Road – You can take your own car or bike over this place if you like to have long drives otherwise you may opt for local transport facilities too.
From Malavali – Once reached to Malavali station we have to cross the Express Highway & reaching Bhaje village we get a straight route to Lohagad. After walking for 1.5 to 2 hours & turning to the right from `Gaimukh Khind` we will reach to Lohagad. Lohgaon is located at the base of the fort. So we can reach to the top of the fort by stairs. There are four doors named ‘Ganesh Darwaaja’, ‘Narayan Darwaaja’, ‘Hanuman Darwaaja’ & ‘Maha Darwaaja’. Out of this Hanuman Darwaaja is the most ancient of all the doors.
From Lonavala – The roads are worse over here. Jeeps are available from Lonavala, which takes us to the backside of Lohagad. We can have a glimpse of Vinchu Kata from here, and extensive ramparts of the fort. The forts Tung and Tikona are seen very near from here.
Best Time to Visit –
Best time to visit Lohagad is between June to Feb month. Waterfalls, fog, and beautiful scenery can be seen here in the rainy season, so many trekkers prefer to visit this place in the monsoon.
Off-season may lead to having a great connection with nature as there is less rush. and you may be able to closely take a look over each and every minute detail of this fort.
Some useful tips before you visit Lohagad –
- First and foremost wear good quality trekking shoes or sports shoes
- Carry water bottles and some healthy non- perishable snacks.
- Carry protection for photographic and electronic equipment during the monsoon.
- Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are strictly prohibited.
- A pair of sunglasses, a raincoat and a cap is a must.
- Carry at least 2 litres of water.
- Avoid wearing jewellery and also taking any valuables.
- Do not litter on the fort or in the trek’s route.
- Last but not least carry a first aid kit, flashlight/torch.
Nearest Hotels –
Kino Lakeside Chalet – 3.5 km
Aquilla Villa- 9.65 km
DATA Resort by Della Adventure- 14.11 km
Tungi Lake Pawna-5.91 km
Della Adventure Resorts- 12.63 km.
Places to visit near Lohagad –
Visapur fort – Click Here for more information
Aamby Valley City