The Lohagad Fort is in Maval tehsil of Pune District in Maharashtra. It is a hill fort near popular hill stations Lonavala and Khandala. It is one of the most visited forts in Maharashtra. Lohagad has an elevation of approx 3608 ft. above sea level and falls in the beginners' category in trekking.
At the time of the rule of the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's, the one thing that Maharashtra got in abundance was forts. With its hilly terrain and the ruler’s expertise at establishing forts at strategic points, the state can now lay claims to have some of the finest, strongest, and the most unique forts of India. Out of these, the ones at Lohagad and Visapur occupy an extremely important place in the history of Maratha rule for the various military activities that they witnessed.
A quintessential feature of the Maval region in the western part of Pune district in Maharashtra is the presence of many forts. This is a region situated exactly on the border of the Konkan and the Western Ghat area. And just 60 kilometers from Pune and very much accessible with both road and rail routes, the two forts that rank high on the tourism itinerary are those of Lohagad and Visapur. These forts were important for anyone who ruled the region because they were used to guard the trade route going through the Bor Ghat, now called as Khandala Ghat.
These two forts are connected by a ‘col’ (sharp-edged ridge) known as ‘gaymukh’. One has to alight at the Malavali Railway Station from where a road leads to Lohgad Wadi, a tiny village at the foothills of the fort, via the village Bhaje. When you begin your ascent to the fort, you will come across four doors named as Ganesh, Narayan, Hanuman and Mahadarwaja. There is an inscription on the Ganesh door which mentions that the work for this door was conducted by Nana Phadanavis during the period November 1, 1790 to June 11, 1794.
Further, as you cross the Mahadarwaja and enter the fort, you will see a tomb-like structure. There are some caves on this fort, one of which is known as the Lomash Rishi Cave. The beauty of this fort is the ‘Vinchukata’ which is a 1,500-meter long and 30-meter wide natural wall made of stone. This is on the lower side of the fort. Due to this wall the fort can be identified from a long distance also. Another natural wonder on this fort is a huge hole on its eastern side, which can also been seen from any train passing through this region.
Visapur Fort, adjacent to the one at Lohagad, is known for its unbroken line of fortification, which remains in a reasonably good condition even today. It takes about two hours to walk around this huge wall. This fort was built by Balaji Vishwanath, the first Peshwa of the Maratha Empire during 1713-1720 CE. Though it was built much later than Lohagad, the hill was as important because of the location of the famous caves of Bhaje which have a Buddhist association.
You will find here caves, water cisterns, a decorated arch and the ruins of the large stone houses that are said to be the residence of the Peshwas. Some of the iron cannons and guns which were disabled by the British also offer an interesting peek into Maratha history. A huge carving of Lord Hanuman, who is the guardian god of this fort, draws many faithful for a ‘darshan’.
For accommodation, the right choice would be Lonavala, the hill-station with a salubrious climate. It is located just 10 kilometers from Lohagad while Pune is only 65 kilometers away. Try the rural cuisine of Lohagad Wadi. However, prior intimation for a meal is necessary. If you have planned to explore the region during the monsoon, be extra careful since the roads and pathways can be very slippery. Some of the waterfalls are dangerous and there is always the chance of a landslide.
Distance from Mumbai: 108 kms
Pune District, Maharashtra, India.
Overlooking the ancient path linking Coastal Ports with the commercial centres the hill for of Lohagad marks its presence. There are numerous structures constructed over the period of 600 years, the remains of which can be still seen on the fort. There are lakes, temples, cave, fortification walls with Bastian and well preserved entrance gates. The fort plays a vital role in the history of Marathas.
The date of construction of this fort is quite uncertain but is believed to be approx 600 years old. In the year 1489, Malik Nizam Shah founded the Nizamshahi of Ahmednagar. To expand his reign he conquered several forts in the Pune region. Lohagad fort is one of these forts which was captured by the Nizam. Burhan Nizam Shah II is believed to be confined here in the year 1564. After the decline of Nizamshahi, the fort came under the rule of the Bijapur sultanate. In the year 1648, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj won this fort. In 1665 the Lohagad and some other forts were given to the Mughals under the Treaty of Purandar. In 1670 it was regained by Shivaji Maharaj and was utilized to store the plunder collected from the loot of Surat. In 1713 the fort was shifted to Kanhoji Angre by the East India Company. In 1720 the fort went under the control of the Peshwa (Balaji Vishwanath). In 1770 Nana Phadnavis took charge, who ordered the reconstruction of this fort in 1789 CE. Furthermore, he constructed some water tanks and a step well too. The fort fell under the control of Bajirao II in 1802. In 1818, after the Peshwa gave up to the British it fell under the control of Colonel Prother. It was utilized till 1845 by the British and later was deserted.
The Lohagad Fort is in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges in Maval Taluka of Pune District. Lohagad and Visapur Forts are known as twin forts. Visapur is within a distance of 1 KM and is divided by a mountain range.
It has a hot-semi arid climate year-round with an average temperature ranging from 19-33 degrees Celsius.
April and May are the hottest months when the temperature reaches up to 42 degrees Celsius.
Winters are extreme, and the temperature can go as low as 10 degrees Celsius at night. The average daytime temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius.
The annual rainfall in the region is around 763 mm.
Things to do
One can visit the Vinchu Kata (Scorpion Nail) Point on the Western Side of the Fort which is a famous attraction amongst the tourists. There are four entrances to the fort namely:
● Ganesh Darwaza - It is named Ganesh Darwaza because of sculptures of Lord Ganesha on both sides of the walls. The door also has sharp spikes nailed on it.
● Narayan Darwaza - It was constructed by Nana Phadnavis during the reconstruction and repair work of the fort. It also has a tunnel room adjoining it.
● Maha Darwaza - This door was also commissioned by Nana Phadnavis.
● Hanuman Darwaza - It is named Hanuman Darwaza because of the sculpture of Lord Hanuman engraved on the wall beside the door. This Darwaaza is said to be the oldest entrance of the fort.
The conditions of all these entrances are said to be particularly intact even after all these years. On the Eastern side of the cliff, there is a rock-cut cave where an inscription was found on the outer wall. Nana Phadnavis built a step well and many water tanks. Out of those water tanks the largest water tank was known as ‘Bawantaki’. There is a Kothi built which is named the Laxmi Kothi. There is a temple and a grave of a Sufi Muslim on top of the fort.
The fort has well-preserved gates and fortifications. The hilltop has a wide-open place where numerous structures from different periods can be seen. There is a well-designed water management system on the fort. This fort is one of the twin forts of the Lohagad-Visapur pair.
Nearest tourist places
Visapur Fort is about 1 KM, divided by a mountain range.
Bhaje caves are about 3.4 KM
Dudhiware Waterfalls - 1.6 KM
Tung Fort and Pawna River - 7.4 KM
Special food speciality and hotel
Many local snack corners at the base village serve simple menus like Zhunka-Bhakri, Thecha, Kanda-Batata Bhaji and various refreshment drinks like Tea and Lime water.
Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station
Some hotels and resorts are available for accommodation.
● Kusgaon Police Station is the nearest Police Station around 10.9 KM
● Dr Giravle Hospital is the nearest hospital 5.9 KM away.
Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit
The climate during the Summer is hot and humid. Monsoon is the best season for visiting Lohagad.
Apart from a pleasant climate, Monsoon also gives a mesmerizing view with greenery and many waterfalls around. Winters it is comparatively less humid till December.
Visiting hours for the fort are 9:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M. There is no entrance fee for the fort.
Language spoken in area
English, Hindi, Marathi.