Uncategorized

Kenjalgad Fort – Less explored but offers stunning views

Fort State: In ruins

Difficulty: Medium in rainy season, Easy in other seasons

Endurance level: Easy

Things to carry: Shoes with proper grip, 2 liters of water, some snacks like dates, fruits, etc.

There are some trips that you take deciding at the last minute which can turn futile or become memorable one. One such trip we took on Sunday, 13 August 2017 turned out to be one of the best. Since many people of our group were not available in Pune, we had deferred the trek to next weekend. I got up around 8 on lazy Sunday morning and the thought of not going anywhere was bothering me. I immediately called Shashi and Swarup to see if they can make it. They responded positively and that set the tone for our next trek. Since it was already late, we decided to go to Malhargad fort initially but later made up our mind to visit this less visited fort.

We departed with two bikes at 10:30 AM from Pune. The base village for this fort is Ghera Kenjal. We followed below route, which is close to 100 KM from Pune. It took us 2:30 hours to reach the base village with couple of breaks.

Once you cross Bhor, the roads are in bad condition. There are some patches on the road where it is completely muddy but we saw few traveler buses, cars also going towards fort.

On the way, we spotted Nageshwar temple which is a Lord Shiva temple. It has a hanging bridge over Panchaganga river. Also nearby you can visit Samadhi of Jivaji Mahale and Kanhoji Jedhe.

All along the route you can see lush green mountains, clouds covering the peaks, drizzle that will make you get drenched, water streams flowing down, birds chirping, people working in rice fields. Monsoon is the best season to travel around Pune.

To reach the base village, you go through the mountain cut road, taking sharp turns. After reaching, we parked our bikes near the temple of Kelanjai Devi. There are no sign boards to tell you about the path to reach to the fort. We asked a local boy and he pointed us the path between the houses.

We started the climb through forest and after walking for some time we found two ways and took the right turn. Now this was the mistake we did in choosing the path due to which we had to spend another 30 minutes to get back on the right track. If you are going for the first time, it is advisable to see if any local person can guide you to the correct path.

Half of the path is where you need to walk on the ground; there are no proper steps or road. Once you see the steps, it takes only 10 minutes to reach to the top. Be very cautious while walking on the steps. In rainy season, they become very slippery due to the flow of water from the adjacent rock. We saw one of the persons slipping badly from the steps and hurting his back.

As you reach the top, and take left turn you will see a saffron flag flying. Just as you move ahead you can see Rohida fort. Going ahead, you will spot the water tank on the fort.

From here, you can see beautiful view of Dhoom dam and its backwaters spread across the mountain range. Just after the dam, you can see Kamalgad fort. This is very scenic.

Moving further, we saw this lime mixers used for creating construction material. There are two such available on the fort.

There are three more water tanks on the fort. As you reach the other end of the fort, you can see Raireshwar fort.

A small room without roof can also be seen.

As you come to the starting point on the fort, you can see Kelanjai Devi idol.

Some blossoms on the fort.

It took us nearly an hour to roam on the fort. The descend was a tough part as the muddy road became slippery. Only safe way was to hold on to ground or the tree branches to avoid skidding. There was a group of 40 students consisting of some girls too. Most of them were sliding down the road and enjoying themselves. We reached the base village in 45 minutes and returned back to Pune.

I saw below quote at Baneshwar and I think it is applicable at every monument or historical place that needs to be conserved.

Leave only your footprints and Take back only pleasant memories.

Uncategorized

Rohida Fort aka Vichitragad – Experience wind here like never before

Fort State: In ruins

Base village: Bajarwadi

Difficulty: Easy from Bajarwadi, Medium from Chikhalvade side

Visiting hours: Open all days of week.

Things to carry: 2 liters water, Shoes with proper grip, some snacks.

Rohida fort is in Bhor, which is 80 KM away from Wakad Pune. This fort is famous for wind. It will literally move you. Please read on to find out more about the trip.

Five friends (I, Akash, Shashikant, Swapnil and Swarup) had gone for this trek. I and Shashikant started at 6 in the morning and we all decided to meet at Warje flyover. Waiting for others and finishing breakfast in the meantime, took away 2 hours, which meant we were late to start. I and Swapnil rode on his bike while Akash, Shahikant and Swarup rode on other two bikes.

We took a stop en route for refreshment. I was following the map on my mobile and guiding Swapnil to the way, while Swarup was also checking the map and directing Shashikant and Akash. The map somehow showed me this route where village is Chikhalwade. On the other hand, remaining friends took the route which took them to base village Bajarwadi.

Goof-up

Now, I and Swapnil were at Chikhalwade, on the northern side of the fort while Akash, Swarup and Shashikant were at Bajarwadi which is on southern side. The path from Bajarwadi is easier. We talked to locals and they guided us to the path for the fort. Due to the bastion, it was not possible to go to the fort directly from northern side, instead we had to first go to Waghjai temple and then follow route to the path. I talked to Shashikant suggesting them to climb up from their side and that we will meet at the fort.

The side we chose for trek was difficult. The heat in the summer of May was also snapping our energy faster. There was almost vertical steep and couple of times we felt to gave up and get down. But the passion to climb and complete the trek kept us moving. We had to hold on to the tree branches and ground most of the times to keep our balance and move up. Many a times we had to crawl. After around 45 minutes of trek, we reached the Waghjai temple. I and Swapnil felt relieved. It was really an amazing experience and first of its kind. The feeling of accomplishment was fulfilling.

I called Shashikant to know their whereabouts. They reached the fort quite earlier than us and were busy exploring the fort and photographing. We took the blessings at the temple and proceeded towards fort. The path leading to fort from the temple is quite straightforward.

There is a gate to the fort near entrance.

After walking further, we saw this another gate.

This gate has elephant heads on both sides and some script in Farsi and Marathi languages.

There is a rock cut water cistern on the fort, which still had a water in summer.

A prominent bastion on the fort with saffron flag flying high.

We clicked some photos here. From this place you can see the Waghjai temple ahead.

After roaming on the fort for an hour, we decided to get down from Bajarwadi side. We did not want to take any risk getting down to Chikhalvade side. There was no second thought to go via the path from which we climbed up. We still had to visit many forts and not make this one the last to visit. The descend was fairly simple and took only 20 minutes to come down.

While getting down, we experienced the wind that flows on this fort. It was strong and we never saw such wind before. At some time, we had to sit down to avoid slipping. If you plan to visit this fort, just watch out for the wind.

The fort as seen from Bajwarwadi village. Since we all got down on southern side of the fort, we had to go again to Chikhalvade village to get Swapnil’s bike. After an hour, we started our return journey to Pune. For other trips, we had decided to go together and meet at some checkpoint to avoid getting lost to other directions.

Leave only your footprints, take back only pleasant memories.

Uncategorized

Induri fort – A land fort on the bank of Indrayani river

Base Village: Induri

Fort State: In ruins

Difficulty level: Easy

Endurance level: Easy

Things to carry: Water, some snacks.

Camping: Tents can be set up or 4-5 people can stay in the temple.

How to Reach: Induri fort is in Talegaon Dabhade, just 21 KM away from Wakad, Pune.

Nearby Tourist places: Bhandara Buddhist caves, Sant Tukaram Maharaj temple Dehu, Jadhavwadi dam, etc.

History:  The commander-in-chief, great Khanderao Dabhade built this fort in 1720. It was believed to be their residence and also a check post.

Induri fort lies in the Mawal Taluka of Pune is a land fort. This fort is at ground level and you can take your vehicle directly inside the fort. River Indrayani flows beside the fort.

1

On the front wall, you can see Lord Ganesha’s sculpture and beside that there are two lions carved out in the rock.

3

There is a temple of Goddess Kadjai inside the fort. There are some bastions on the fort with vast area inside. It is not in good condition and we saw overgrown bushes around.

6

We took the blessings in the temple and strolled around for some time.

A bastion can be seen from outside.

7

5

No other ruins are available on the fort.

Once you come out, you can also relax on the bank of river Indrayani. If you have some time, you can also visit Ghoradeshwar temple, Birla Ganpati or Prati Shirdi temple which is at Shirgaon.

Leave only your footprints, take back only pleasant memories.

Uncategorized

Raveri Fortress & Sita Mata temple

Fort State: In ruins

Difficulty: Easy

Endurance Level: Easy

Things to carry: A liter of water

Best time to visit: Anytime in the year

Type: Land Fort

Time to Explore: 30 minutes

Camping: Need permission

How to Reach: From Yavamal district, Ralegaon taluka lies at a distance of 46 KM. Raveri village is just 3 KM south of Ralegaon. The fort is inside the village.

History: No information is available about this fort. Villagers said it belongs to Deshmukh family.

Raveri fort is completely dilapidated and what one can see there are the walls and few bastions which are too in bad shape. There is a beautiful renovated temple of Goddess Sita Mata and Lord Hanuman.

There is an old house inside the fort which is inhabited by people working for the owner of that place. It is a two story house having very old construction. There is well in front of the house.

If we go right, we can see the entrance for the fort. There is no gate and the structure is built in such a way that you do not see the inside details before entering in.

This could be one of the bastions of the fort.

As we go inside, there are just overgrown bushes and few trees. Entire premise is surrounded by walls on the four sides.

There are four bastions on the four corners of the fort.

There are few steps to climb on one of the bastions facing the road.

There is a white flag hoisted. We can see surrounding view of the village.

This completes the exploration of fort. It was built using earth mixture. There are trees growing on walls and over bastions. This will further deteriorate the fort’s condition.

There is an ancient temple of Goddess Sita Mata. It is said that Luv Kush were born here in the Valmiki Rishi’s place.

It is also believed that when Lord Hanuman came here to release the horse taken by Luv Kush, Hanuman was tied with creeper plant. The temple has the idol of Hanuman in the same position.

You can watch the vlog below:

Leave only your footprints, take back only pleasant memories.

Uncategorized

Panhalghar Fort – Recently discovered

Fort State: In ruins

Difficulty: Easy

Endurance Level: Easy

Things to carry: 2 liters of water, some snacks, Trekking shoes.

Best time to visit: Anytime in the year

Type: Hill Fort

Time to Explore: 15 minutes

Camping: At the top, carry own tents.

How to Reach: From Pune, it lies at a distance of 120 KM. One has to cross Tamhini Ghat and reach Mangaon Taluka in Raigad district. There is Panhalghar Khurd village 15 KM towards Mahad road, which is a base village of the fort.

Actual Location: https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/18%C2%B010’14.0%22N+73%C2%B021’19.5%22E/@18.170565,73.3532193,655m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d18.1705651!4d73.3554083

History: No information is available about this fort. Since it’s close to Raigad fort, it could have been used to pass messages and carry needed materials.

Panhalghar fort is a recently discovered by Mr. Sachin Joshi, who works in Deccan college, Pune. He has also rediscovered many other forts like Dasgaon Fort, Manjarsumba Fort, Mohangad Fort, etc.

There are two villages named Panhalghar; one is Budruk while other one is Khurd.  Budruk means bugger while Khurd is smaller. Google Maps shows the start location to Panhalghar Budruk villages but actually it starts from Panhalghar Khurd. Near the hills, there is a Panhalghar dam too.

I initially went to Panhalghar Budruk village but villagers told me to go to other village.

1
There are two black water tanks which are installed at a base of a hill. This is the place where we start the trek.

20200208_115728

It is a well marked dirt road made by cattle. They frequently go up for grazing.

Screenshot_20200216-190111

It takes nearly 20 minutes to cross the first hill. There is a small rock patch in between.

Screenshot_20200216-185902

There are well marked direction boards on the trees.

20200208_121813

We see three water tanks adjacent to each other. These are dug in the rock. Only first and second water tanks have water while other don’t and are not that deep.

20200208_12212420200208_12212120200208_122118
It is said that villagers buried these water tanks with soil so that cattle should not fall inside. After the recent discovery, the tanks were unearthed.

From here, finding other two tanks is tricky.

Instead of going back, we have to follow straight road behind the tanks.

We the see couple of more water tanks. One has water in it.

While the other one is completely filled with soil. It is hard to recognize it.

Beside the tanks, we can see some ruins of the fortification.

Screenshot_20200216-190002

If we go beyond the tanks, we get into a jungle with dense trees.

Screenshot_20200216-190029

From the top, we get panoramic view of surrounding area. It must be a small beautiful trek in the rainy season.

Screenshot_20200216-185740

These are the only remnants on the fort. it  takes only 20 minutes to explore the fort.

You can watch the vlog below:

Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.

Uncategorized

Mangad Fort – Has a Secret Gate

Fort State: In ruins

Difficulty: Easy

Endurance Level: Easy

Things to carry: 2 liters of water, some snacks, Trekking shoes.

Best time to visit: Anytime in the year

Type: Hill Fort

Time to Explore: 30 minutes

Camping: Yes, in the cave.

How to Reach: From Pune, it lies at a distance of 110 KM. One has to cross Tamhini Ghat and reach Nizampur village. It is 10 KM away from Mangaon Taluka in Raigad district. There is Borwadi village 5 KM from Nizampur, just ahead there is a village called Mashidwadi which is a base village of the fort.

History: Not much information is known about this fort. It was included in Swarajya by Chhatrapti Shivaji Maharaj. During Mughal conquest, this fort was surrendered in the treaty of Purandar.

Later it again was won by Marathas and lastly it was taken over by Britishers. Because of this fort, Taluka has been named after it. It might have been known as Mahangad in earlier times.

Mangad is a small hill fort in Mangaon Taluka of Raigad district which is 235 meters above sea level. It is being taken up in a conservation program by Durgveer Pratishthan. They have installed signboards at many places.

20200208_084238

At Borwadi village, there is a majestic idol of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It is golden in color.

20200208_083557

Also there is a information board about Mangad fort.

20200208_083607

Before Mashidwadi village, there are ruins of Shiva temple. Below the temple, there are war memorials kept.

20200208_085050

In the temple, there is a rock made sculpture of Nandi of about three feet.

20200208_084958

There are couple of big Shivalinga in the temple which are broken.

Mashidwadi village is just 5 minutes from here where we start the trek. A 2 minutes walk took me to cement made water storage tank. I was fortunate to get a company of 4 dogs to show me the way.

Screenshot_20200215-213012

There are direction boards too on the way.

Screenshot_20200215-213429

I saw rocky steps to climb up.

Screenshot_20200215-213629

There is a small rock patch on the way.

Screenshot_20200215-214257

10 minutes of walk takes us to a small tableland.

Screenshot_20200215-214345

There are few rock made idols on the way.

20200208_090738

In front of it, there is a board that gives information about the fort and places to see. There is a temple of goddess Vinzai. It is a beautifully carved idol.

20200208_090637

It is very well covered in a small hut and a shed. There is temple of this goddess in Tamhini village too.

20200208_090710

Beside that there is some unknown  structure.

20200208_103217

Ahead there is a grave.

Screenshot_20200215-214930

We need to climb up for 5 minutes to reach the main entrance of the fort.

Screenshot_20200215-215024

A Bastion seen from the steps.

20200208_090904

It is a Gomukhi style of architecture where main gate is hidden between two bastions. Gate is in dilapidated condition.

20200208_102706

As we walk further, we see Lord Hanuman’s rock cut idol.

Screenshot_20200215-215800

There are two ways from here. Left turn takes us to a cave and two water tanks.

It is a huge cave which could have been used as a granary. It is so big that it can accommodate around 50 persons.

In front of the cave, there is a water tank #1.

Screenshot_20200215-220844

Beside it, there is a bastion and below it there is another dried water tank #2.

Screenshot_20200215-220917

Further up the tanks, there is a board showing way to top of the fort. But I took the other way.

20200208_091535

As we come back to main gate and go right, we can see many water tanks. First, we see couple of water tanks adjacent to each other # 3 and 4.

Screenshot_20200215-221846

Ahead, there are two more water tanks wherein there are pillars to support the shed on it # 5 and 6.

To see other three water tanks, we have to be extremely cautious as we need to get down and walk on a very narrow path # 7, 8 and 9.

We then reach the top of the fort in 5 minutes. We come across another grave on the fort.

20200208_092502

If we go straight and get down from here, we see another water tank #10.

20200208_092637

As we continue walking further down, we see a secret gate of the fort. It is said that Durgveer Pratishthan identified and unearthed it. It was buried with soil. During conservation program, digging at that place, they found this gate.

Screenshot_20200216-102905

A way through this gate goes to Chach village.

As we come back to Dargah, there is a room which is in ruins.

Screenshot_20200216-103118

As we walk further, there are two more water tanks #11 and 12.

1581830051_20200208_093703

There is a saffron flag flying high.

Screenshot_20200216-103513

We can see the Mashidwadi village from here and bird’s eye view of surrounding.

Screenshot_20200216-103605

Just ahead, there are few more remnants.

Screenshot_20200216-103717

As we continue walking ahead, we see a Shivalinga. This must have been a temple but is in ruins now.

20200208_094511

This completes our exploration of the fort.

You can watch the vlog below:

Leave only your footprints, take back only pleasant memories.

Uncategorized

Jaigad – A Creek Fort

Fort State: In ruins, Fortification and few buildings are still intact.

Difficulty: Easy

Endurance Level: Easy

Things to carry: Two liters of water, snacks, Trekking shoes.

Best time to visit: Any time of the year

Type: Seashore Fort

Time to Explore: One hour

How to Reach: This fort comes in Ratnagiri taluka and district. It lies just 20 KM north of Ganpatipule. There are very less options for public transport.

History: King Shilahar is said to have built this fort as per old records. Later Adilshah strengthened the fort. Naik from nearby village Sangameshwar, won this fort for a short period of time. He is said to have defeated combined forces of Portuges and Adilshah.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj won this fort from Adilshahi. Later during Peshwa period, it was given to Angre, the naval commander. Lastly, it went to Britishers. It is said that, Britishers setup office in the fort.

Jaigad is built on the coast with two sides facing the Arabian sea. It is maintained by ASI. It is spread in two hectors. There used to be 20 bastions but very few are left now. It was built to control the trade happening through Shastri river creek. On the northern bank, there is Vijaygad fort and this fort lies on the southern side.

20191230_123350
There are few homes of Jaigad village in the fort’s premises. There was a ditch surrounding the other sides of the fort. The fortification is still intact and we can stroll on it.

20191230_134242
Outside the fort, there is a local village office (Talathi in Marathi).

Screenshot_20200119-083925
At the entrance, we see a couple of bastions. The main gate is hidden between these two.

20191230_135125
On the right side there is a small gate which goes to the village.

Screenshot_20200119-083804
We can see the moat on the front side.

Screenshot_20200119-083654
The bastion was of three floors and it used to be an office. Only the structure is left now.

Screenshot_20200119-084141
The main entrance does not have door. On the arch, there are sculptures of lotus flower.

Screenshot_20200119-084239
As we enter the fort, we see small rooms on right and left side. This was the initial frisking location.

Screenshot_20200119-084350
There are also few arch shaped rooms after the gate.

20191230_124013
Further there is a huge space inside the fortification. This could have been a place of granary.

Screenshot_20200119-084424
There are steps to go the bastions.

20191230_124446

We see few rooms here.

20191230_124502
We can walk on it to see the entire fort.

20191230_124525
As we get down and go towards left of the gate, there is a water tank. This is covered by broken roof and we can see lot of garbage inside.

Screenshot_20200119-084605
As we go ahead, there is a deep well. There is a parapet along it.

Screenshot_20200119-084823Screenshot_20200119-084727

Just behind the well, there is arch type another room. It has a small window also on left side.

Screenshot_20200119-084919
In front of it, there is a plinth which must have been a base for a room or gathering place.

Screenshot_20200119-085008
There is a small structure to keep a plant.

Screenshot_20200119-084951
Going ahead, there is a tomb in the fortification. Inside, there are couple of flags kept. A lamp is also lit.

20191230_125133
There is a tale about how a boy named Jayba (Khemraj in some records) sacrificed his life willingly to help construct this fort. In ancient times, there was a custom of homicide which believed to make fort stronger. On his name, fort was named Jaigad.

Screenshot_20200119-085052

In front of it, there is a beautiful Lord Ganesh temple.

Screenshot_20200119-085525
There is a place to hold basil plant. Beside, there is a big tower to keep lamps.

Screenshot_20200119-085116
It is a big area inside with two idols. One having an arch like shed over it.

Screenshot_20200119-085246
On the top there are flags hanged.

Screenshot_20200119-085337
Beside the temple, there is a big water tank with two partitions. There is no water stored and it has protective wall around it.

Screenshot_20200119-090022Screenshot_20200119-085944
Behind the temple, there is a multi story palace but in ruins. There is no roof. We can see few windows and wooden logs inside.

Screenshot_20200119-090108Screenshot_20200119-090204
As we go towards fortification, there are steps to reach a small elevated place. Could have been a place for administration.

Screenshot_20200119-090330
There is a brick made pit but not sure what purpose it was built.

20191230_130120
As we move further, there is a long rock made fence. There are couple of wells inside having water.

Screenshot_20200119-12531920191230_130426
Opposite to these, we see lot of rooms, could have been used as stable. These are interconnected.

Screenshot_20200119-090428Screenshot_20200119-090447
Going ahead, we come across a bigger palace than the earlier one. It is said that this was built for Angre who ruled the fort. It is dilapidated and we can see only walls today. Inner part of palace has thick bushes and trees.

Screenshot_20200119-090648Screenshot_20200119-090556Screenshot_20200119-090532
Behind the palace, there is another slab at the base.

Screenshot_20200119-123816
Opposite to palace, we see another arch inside the fortification.

Screenshot_20200119-090724
As we go ahead, we see recently built residences. These could have been for people working in the office. It is a spacious room with veranda outside.

Screenshot_20200119-090844Screenshot_20200119-090923
If we come towards fortification, we can see another gate which is on the sea side.

Screenshot_20200119-091339
There are couple of frisking spots on either side of the gate.

Screenshot_20200119-091702Screenshot_20200119-091528
As we move out of the gate, we see lot of trees along the coastline. We can sit here for sometime and listen to the sound of sea waves.

Screenshot_20200119-091612
Once we come back to the fort, there are steps to climb up to another bastion. It faces the sea and is three story tall. There are many small windows. These could have been used for attacking.

Screenshot_20200119-092014Screenshot_20200119-091852Screenshot_20200119-091815
We get panoramic view of creek from here. On the left side, there is Jindal power plant.

20191230_132613
There is another gate in the bastion that goes on the fortification to the entrance side.

Screenshot_20200119-092414
As we go back on fortification, we see a recently built structure having some space inside.

Screenshot_20200119-092107
We can see Vijaygad fort from here on the other side of creek.

Screenshot_20200119-092606
Further, there is a saffron flag flying high.

Screenshot_20200119-092520
After we travel through main fort, we need to go back to the entrance to see other part of fort on the village side. There are steps to go the top of this gate. It has rock wall on the left side built further with bricks.

20191230_135129
We see lot of mango trees and fencing around it.

Screenshot_20200119-093121
There is a natural cave in the rock on the left side. It has Goddess Mohamaya temple. There is no ladder to climb up but rock has few slots by which we can climb up but it is little dangerous.

20191230_135441
As we move ahead, we see a couple of towers of around 20 feet tall. These could have been erected as war memorials.

Screenshot_20200119-093422Screenshot_20200119-093407Screenshot_20200119-093334
As we go in the village and go left towards sea shore, we see another gate. On the top, we see an idol of Lord Hanuman carved out from the rock.

Screenshot_20200119-093503
This gate is also between two bastions.

Screenshot_20200119-093609Screenshot_20200119-093623
There are steps to go down which takes us to a water tank.

Screenshot_20200119-093634Screenshot_20200119-093706
Behind the tank, we can see another bastion with coconut trees.

20191230_140812 (1)

Once we go back and go back in the village, we come across a renovated temple of Lord Shiva.

Screenshot_20200119-093755
As we walk further, we see a small temple of Lord Ganesh on the left side.

Screenshot_20200119-093810
There is another gate on the village side here. We can also see a bastion.

Screenshot_20200119-093856
As we move out of gate, there is another bastion on the left side. This marks the outer boundary of the fort.

Screenshot_20200119-160846
This completes our exploration of fort. We can go to Jaigad jetty from where we can catch a ferry boat to Tavsal village. Just 1 KM ahead, we can see Vijaygad fort too.

The information for Vijaygad fort is available on my blog.

You can watch the vlog below:

 

Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.

Uncategorized

Vijaygad Fort – A small Check-post

Fort State: In ruins

Difficulty: Easy

Endurance Level: Easy

Things to carry: Two liters of water, snacks, Trekking shoes.

Best time to visit: Any time of the year

Type: Seashore Fort

Time to Explore: 15 minutes

How to Reach: Tavsal village in Guhagar, Ratnagiri.

History: Must have been built along with Jaigad fort to control the business route over Shastri river creek.

Vijaygad is a small fort on the northern bank of Shastri river creek in Arabian sea. It lies one KM ahead from Tavsal village towards Guhagar. It had a size of a quarter of acre and could have been used as a watchtower. As per the Government’s gazette, in year 1862, only wall ruins and a gun was found here. Today, we see only a bastion and no other remnants on the fort. The drinking water could have been arranged from nearby villages as there are no water tanks or well on the fort.

If we are coming from Ganpatipule or Jaigad, we need to first reach Jaigad Jetty and catch a ferryboat. This is a 15-20 minutes ride in the sea to Tavsal jetty. The transport is managed by a company named Suvardurga and we can even carry our vehicles. We saw few governments buses also being carried to other shore.

Screenshot_20200110-234739

The charges differ as per the size of vehicle and per person it costs Rs. 20. It can accommodate nearly 100 people and few cars, bikes and couple of buses too. The boat ride helps a lot in cutting down distance to reach Guhagar from Ratnagiri.

20191230_151557

The journey is mesmerizing as we drift through the sea surrounded by water from all the sides. The views are awesome from the boat. We can see lush green hills on both the sides. We can also spot both Jaigad and Vijaygad on opposite sides.

Screenshot_20200110-234700

From Tavsal jetty, Vijaygad fort lies 1 KM ahead to Guhagar road. We need to ascend a small hill by the road to reach the fort. There is a gate which is locked so we need to walk down the road and climb up from a place which has broken wall.

20191230_163358

We see a dilapidated bastion as we go left. It has overgrown bushes and it is very difficult to move ahead.

20191230_162403

There are rock made steps to get down from the bastion.

20191230_162453

These are the only things by which we can identify that there is a fort here. Surrounding this fort, we can see encroachment and it would not be long when we would lose this legacy. Government should take some action in restoration.

20191230_162615

As we move ahead, we get to see beautiful view of creek. We can also find Jaigad on the other side.

Screenshot_20200110-233811

20191230_162632

We see some recent construction within the fort’s area.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This completes the exploration of fort.

You can watch the vlog below:

Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.

Uncategorized

Gowalkot aka Govindgad – A mesmerizing view over Vashishthi River

Fort State: In ruins

Difficulty: Easy

Endurance Level: Easy

Things to carry: Two liters of water, snacks, Trekking shoes.

Best time to visit: Any time of the year

Type: Hill Fort

Time to Explore: 45 Minutes

How to Reach: 6-8 KM away from Chiplun. Follow Google Maps.

History: It is said that this fort has been built by a king named “Chougle”. It later was ruled by Siddis of Janjira. When Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured this region, the fort was renamed to “Govindgad”. During Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj’s time, Siddis won this fort again. There was a heavy skirmish between Peshwa and Siddis wherein Siddi was killed and Chimaji Appa brought the fort again to Marathas. Later it went to Angre and finally to Britishers.

Gowalkot is a small hill fort on the bank of Vashishthi river in Chiplun taluka of Ratnagiri district. On the foothills there is a beautiful temple of Lord Som and Goddess Karanjeshwari.

20191231_085552

There are steps behind this temple to climb up to the fort.

Screenshot_20200104-102029

The rocky steps are available till the entry gate. It takes only 15 minutes to reach the top.

20191231_091832

There is no gate. We see a couple of bastions as we reach up. There is a saffron flag on the left bastion.

20191231_091828

There must be a place for soldiers to keep a guard which is dilapidated.

Screenshot_20200104-102114

As we enter and go to left side, there are steps to go on the bastion.

Screenshot_20200104-102259

We can see a couple of cannons lying on the bastion. Also there is a flag hoisted.

Screenshot_20200104-102408

There are holes made in the wall. It was used to attack with cannons, arrows, etc.

Screenshot_20200104-102439

Two cannons are placed on the other bastion too.

Screenshot_20200104-102728

We get to see majestic Vashishthi river flowing down from here. Also we see Lord Parshuram hill, farms, homes, and surrounding territory.

Screenshot_20200104-102800

As we walk further on the fortification, there is plinth and traces of room on the left side.

20191231_095304

As we go ahead, we can spot a place where construction material would have been made using lime mortar mixer. It used to have a rock made disc which would to rotate in circle and mix the materials like soil, limestone, etc. The disc is missing now.

Screenshot_20200104-102834

Just beside this, there is a huge water tank which could be around 15 feet deep and 30 feet wide. There are steps to get down in the tank.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If we ascend a small hill which is a highest point on the fort, we get to see 360 degree view of fort and the surroundings.

Screenshot_20200104-103114

When we go right, we reach another bastion overlooking the river. This fort has been surrounded by river on three sides. On the entry side, there used to be a moat which is now destroyed. This made the fort very strong in defense.

20191231_093820

As we continue walking ahead, there is another bastion on the other side of the fort.

Screenshot_20200104-103141

There is a temple of Goddess Redjai and it looks recently innovated.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As we move ahead, we can see another cannon placed on the fortification.

cannon

There is a small natural lake but water is not potable.

Screenshot_20200104-103211

At the center, there are six cannons placed on a platform. These said to have been found on the bank of river which were later brought on the fort and installed.

gol

20191231_095218

Another structure in ruins.

20191231_095049

This completes our exploration. You can watch the vlog below.

Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.

Uncategorized

Vairatgad Fort – A Protector of Wai region

Fort State: In ruins

Difficulty: Medium

Endurance Level: Medium

Things to carry: Two liters of water, snacks, Trekking shoes.

Best time to visit: Any time of the year

Type: Hill Fort, 1200 meter height.

Time to Reach the top: One and half hours

How to Reach: Vyajwadi or Kapsewadi village. Kapsewadi is 2 Km ahead of Sartale vilalge which again is 4 km right of Panchwad on Pune Satara road while Vyajwadi is around 8 km from Wai.

History: King Bhoj of Shilahar is believed to have built this fort in 12th century. Later it was ruled by Yadav, Adilshahi, Marathas, Moghals, Marathas again and lastly by Britishers.

Shri Chhatrapati Shivavij Maharaj have visited this fort when Wai region was won by Marathas. When Aurangzeb won this fort, it was renamed to Sarjagad for a brief period of time.

Vairatgad Fort is known as a protectorate of wai region. It is a majestic fort in Wai region of Satara. It must have been used as a protector of the region in the past. It looks tremendous from the base and hike to the top is daunting. It is necessary to carry enough water as the water on the fort is not potable.

I read lot of articles about how to reach this fort from Vyajwadi village but there was none which describes the path from Sartale, Kapsewadi village, so we decided to explore the path from this side. From Panchwad, Sartale village lies at 2 KM.

20191208_133118

We need to take right from here towards Kapsewadi village, left turn goes to Sartale village. Going further we reach a dead end at the base of a hill from where we can clearly spot the trail to Vairatgad fort. Kapsewadi Village is not searchable on Google, search for Sartale village.

map (1)

We can park vehicle here and start the ascent. We need to first reach the place between two hills. It is quite a steep trek and in rainy season it must be becoming extremely slippery. So, it is better to avoid this way and go via Vyajwadi village instead. It takes close to 20 minutes to reach the col.

20191208_130046

From here, there is a rock patch for some distance. After crossing this, we reach a small tableland. Then starts the path through a dense forest.

20191208_112413

Once we reach close to the fort, we need to take right turn. 10 minutes of walk from here takes us to the water tanks. These are carved out in the rock, though it had water, it was not clean. There are around six such water tanks.

20191208_102101

As we move ahead, we reach a point where the path coming from Vyajwadi village also meets. We can clearly see the Vyajwadi village from here. Instead of going left towards fort, if we go straight, we can see Goddess Lakshmi Mata temple. It has rock made idols and a shed on the top.

20191208_103112

When we come up, we can also find a small cave. It is so small that only one person can go in at a time. It is close to 15 feet deep and has scattered rocks around.

Screenshot_20191214-220902

There are steps to reach the top. The place where we see main gate written has no gate.

Screenshot_20191214-233027

As we go mid-way, we can see the place where initial checking happens before allowing entry inside the fort. A compact place for soldier to keep guard.

20191208_103911

When we finally reached the fort, we can observe that the surrounding of the fort is huge. It is spread in east-west direction. We took right turn and started exploring the west direction first.

First, we come to the sculpture of Lord Hanuman. It is beautifully carved and has saffron color pasted.

20191208_104123

Beside it, there is also a temple of Lord Hanuman with similar sculpture but is more sharp.

20191208_104114We took blessings here and moved ahead. There are ruins of a room.

20191208_104512

We can spot a natural lake and there are many frogs inside.

20191208_104740Beside it, there is a board displaying the place of arsenal but there are no remnants of it.

Screenshot_20191214-231155

If we walk further, we come to a pillar which is completely in white color. It is worshiped and we saw few coconuts placed below it.

20191208_105020Further, there is secret path to move out. There are no steps and it is close to 10 feet deep. It is not possible to get down from here and its dangerous to do so. This path goes to Mhasave village.

20191208_105454

Five minutes’ walk from here we reach the end on the western side of the fort. There is a inscription on the rock which is not clear to decipher.

20191208_105625

On a clear sky day, we can see territory at a very long distance from here. We can spot rivers like Krishna and Venna. We can identify forts like Pandvagad, Kenjalgad, Raireshwar, Kamalgad and Chandan Vandan. Also, we can find peaks like Madhardev, Khambataki, Meruling, etc.

Screenshot_20191214-231615

As we started going to the eastern side, we encountered a snake. I was fortunate to spot a Russell’s viper snake also called as Ghonas in Marathi. It is one of the four most venomous snakes. The snake has a habit of lying still and as I found the snake; I took my camera to click the image, but it disappeared very quickly in the bushes. This scared us a lot. We were extremely vigilant for the further exploration of the fort.

Screenshot_20191214-225502

There is a board which shows a place which had rooms for high rank army personnel.

20191208_111452

There are couple of more lakes dividing the path with plenty of water in it.

Ahead there are some idols kept near the tree. There is another lake further. This shows there was apt arrangement done for storing the water.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We reached the Vairateshwar temple on which this fort is named. It is a temple of Lord Shiva having Shivalinga inside. There is also an idol of Lord Ganesha beside it. We can also see Nandi which is made up or rock. Also, there is a rock sculpture (Veergal in Marathi) beside the gate of the temple.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Adjacent to temple, there is a pole to hold the flag. Saffron flag was flattering high.

Screenshot_20191214-232300

Just ahead there is a bastion which gives panoramic view of surrounding villages. Also, we can see the fortification.

Screenshot_20191214-225901

If we go to other side of temple, we can see few remnants of rooms.

20191208_114249

There is another temple of goddess in front of the rooms.

20191208_113617

There is also an electric pole to bring electricity on the fort and a hut is made to place the electric equipment.

20191208_113929

This completes our exploration of the fort. It takes around two hours to view the fort completely.

You can watch the vlog below.

Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.