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Torna Fort (Pune)

Torna Fort, also known as Prachandagad or The Eagle’s Nest is a popular hill fort located 1400 meters above sea level in Sahyadri Mountain Range. It is considered the highest hill-fort in the district of Pune.Torna was the first fort conquered by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1646 that led to the foundation of the Maratha empire.

Districts/Region

Pune District, Maharashtra, India.

History

This fort was conquered by Shivaji Maharaj in his teenage years and laid the foundation of the Maratha empire. This makes Torna a special fort for Maharashtrians. Torna is a well-structured fort. Even today, it is considered a difficult fort by trekkers. It stands as one of the most important military structures in the history of Maharashtra and the Maratha Empire. The walls and gateways of this fort are in good condition. The walls are semicircular in shape. One can visit the temples of the fort that are still functioning, and devotees visit there regularly.
The fort is even popularly known as Prachandagad due to its huge premise. The origin of this fort is not known. However, the legend says it was constructed in the 13th century by Siva Panth who was a follower of the Hindu God Shiva. From 1470 to 1486 A.D., Malik Ahmed, a Bahmani ruler, took control of this fort. In the later times, Nizam shah ruled it. In 1646, Shivaji Maharaj brought this fort under his control from Adilshah, and it came to the Maratha Empire. Later on, he named it Torna . He was the one who built some new structures in the fort of Torna. His great escape from Agra is still remembered in Maratha history. Shivaji Maharaj came here & renovated the fort after he escaped from Agra. After Shivaji Maharaj’s death, Mughals took over this fort from Marathas after the assassination of Sambhaji Maharaj. However, brave Maratha warriors successfully regained the fort with the strategic efforts of Shankaraji Narayan Sachiv. In 1704 A.D, Aurangzeb again captured the fort Torna and named it “Futulgaib” or “The Divine Victory”.  It is even astonishing that, within four years after the control of Aurangzeb, Sarnobat, NagojiKokate fetched this fort under the Maratha Empire. Though Shivaji Maharaj had to give many forts in the treaty of Purandar, still Torna remained with him.

Geography

The fort of Torna is well surrounded by mountains, lakes such as Gunjawani&Panshet, and some waterfalls too. Half of the road to this fort includes beautiful meadows, and the other half leads with unique rock-carved steps which are marvellous in structure. The fort of Torna is at a distance of 52 km from the city of Pune, and it is a medium difficulty trek for the lovers of trekking.

Weather/Climate

The region 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, but the average daytime temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius.
The annual rainfall in the region is around 763 mm. 

Things to do

The fort is massive and on a clear day Rajgad, Raigad, Sinhagad, Lingana forts can be easily seen from the fort. Approx. 3 hours are required to complete the tour of Fort. Places to visit on the fort-
1- Temple of Goddess Mengai
2- Temple of Goddess Toranjai
3- Maal and Safeli bastions
4- Budhla Machi
5- Bini Darwaja
6- Kothi Darwaja
7- Hanuman Bastion
8- Konkan Darwaja
9- Zunjar Machi

Nearest tourist places

 RajgadFort(12.1 KM)- 6 hour hike from Torna.
 Sinhagad Fort (41.2 KM)
 Gunjwani Dam(2.9 KM)
 PabeGhat Viewing Point(15 KM)
 MadheGhat Waterfalls(14.2 KM)
 Lingana Fort(18.5 KM)

 

Special food speciality and hotel

Lip-smacking traditional Maharashtrian Cuisines at village Velhe.

Accommodation facilities nearby & Hotel/ Hospital/Post Office/Police station

Many local restaurants at Velhe.
Many hotels at Velhe.
Nearest Post office: Velhe Post Office.
Nearest Hospital: Rural Hospital and Primary Health Center at Velhe.
Nearest Police station: Velhe Police station.

Visiting Rule and Time, Best month to visit

The best months to visit Torna are the post-rain period as everything around is covered in lush green and winter as the blooming season of flowers, that would be October - March.
There are no hotels on the fort, however, in the temple of Mengai, 15-20 people can stay.
Take with you drinking water, food as there are no restaurants on the fort but at the base village Velhe.

Language spoken in area 

English, Hindi and Marathi.