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Monday, April 13, 2015

Strong and self Sufficient Lohgad Fort near Lonavala

After completing Hot Air Balloon ride, had some free time till our afternoon activity of Paragliding. Referring to map, I figured out that I can explore Lohgad hill near Lonavala. The path from Talegaon to Lohgad was funny- we had to drive in a circular path, Take highway till Lonavala, drive out of town, drive on village road, pass under the express way not once but twice! (if only they had given a small exit, I could have saved 10kms and half an hour).
Steps leading to Lohgad fort
Hanuman Entrance- one of the three main entrances of Lohgad fort
 A burial at the highest point on Lohgad fort

Above: View of the fort from a distance
Below: Official description of Lohgad fort in Hindi
  
Above: Half way through the climb- looking up
Below: Looking down!

Road was decent but at certain patches it was worse. I stopped a tractor guy coming in opposite direction to check road conditions. He assured me that road is good enough for the Figo and we should go ahead. Eventually I reached at the foothill. Had some lemon juice for Rs 15 and began our climb. Work was in progress and proper steps were being laid. It was two third complete, at certain sections climbing up was tricky as proper steps were yet to be carved. Subsequently we reached the top.

Lohgad fort is built to be self-sufficient in all aspects. There were several water bodies on top-one large well and several smaller ponds. There were several fruit bearing trees. A giant lake is nearby and fort is located on a steep hill. Story has it that the British couldn’t get their hands on the fort even after laying seize for several weeks. Doors are positioned such that there’s an immediate turn just before the door- every door. This is a critical design- as such a design prevents elephant charged door opening attempts. (Enemies make a camel stand next to the door and make an agitated elephant charge towards it. This forces open the door due to sheer momentum of charging elephant. But a sudden turn just before the door spoils such attempts and make the fort safer. At periodic intervals there were barracks/view points for soldiers to keep an eye outside for any probable enemies.

Once we reached the top, though there were a few structures including few temples and a burial, it was largely an open area. Walls of these structures and few random trees provided a bit of respite from heat. Top of the fort is pretty vast area, probably of size same as a cricket stadium. Top of Lohgad is at about a km from mean sea level. Water body on one side (Pavana Reservoir) and hills on the other make great views from the top. Mid-day on a summer is not the most ideal time and season to visit the fort but nonetheless I am glad I could explore this.
Above: Fruit bearing trees on top of Lohgad fort
Below: A large circular well with steps- one of the several water bodies on Lohgad fort
Workers had carried lots of stones to the top, so I assume some construction is being planned- probably safe boundary walls and some resting areas. We spent about an hour and came back.

Lohgad fort was under the rule of several emperors from time to time, including Marathas, Shivaji, Mughals, NizamsBahamanisChalukyas and so on

Bhaja caves is couple of kms from Lohgad. There is one more fort nearby, but that involves lots of trekking, for which time was a constraint.

18 comments :

ladyfi said...

What a great place! Nice shots too.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thank You

Archana Chaurasia Kapoor said...

Been here! It's awesome! Lovely pics :)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Great. Thanks Archana

Kiran Acharya said...

Magnificent fort. Thanks for sharing.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

THanks Kiran

Param said...

What a beautiful fort. I can only imagibe how wonderful life must have been here once.

Arun Prasadh said...

Beautiful place

Renuka said...

Well-clicked photos! I haven't been to Lonavala yet. Looks like such a scenic place. :-)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Param, Arun and Renuka

VJ Sharma said...

Ohh wow. we missed this place when we visited Lonavala :(

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@VJ Sharma: Next time

Rajesh said...

Wonderful views of the fort. I would love to visit it.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes Rajesh.. Do visit

Neha Sharma said...

Wow.. nice pictures...

We attempted trekking this fort in monsoons few yrs back. It was raining so heavily that we turned back midway.

Today looking at your pictures I strongly feel the urge to go back and complete the trekk!

singhalalok said...

Looks like a good place to visit...along with the Caves you have mentioned.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

@Neha

Monsoon is a great time to visit but can be tricky because of slippery steps. Soon after monsoon- like October onwards should be ideal

Alok- yes, makes an ideal half a day trip.

Rathina Sankari said...

During the monsoon this place turns green and beautiful