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.

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

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

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

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There are well marked direction boards on the trees.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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Also there is a information board about Mangad fort.

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

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

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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.

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There are direction boards too on the way.

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I saw rocky steps to climb up.

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There is a small rock patch on the way.

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10 minutes of walk takes us to a small tableland.

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There are few rock made idols on the way.

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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.

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

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Beside that there is some unknown  structure.

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Ahead there is a grave.

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

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A Bastion seen from the steps.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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A way through this gate goes to Chach village.

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

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

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There is a saffron flag flying high.

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

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Just ahead, there are few more remnants.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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We can see the moat on the front side.

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

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

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

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There are also few arch shaped rooms after the gate.

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

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There are steps to go the bastions.

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We see few rooms here.

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We can walk on it to see the entire fort.

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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.

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

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

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

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There is a small structure to keep a plant.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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On the top there are flags hanged.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Behind the palace, there is another slab at the base.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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We get panoramic view of creek from here. On the left side, there is Jindal power plant.

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

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

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

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Further, there is a saffron flag flying high.

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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.

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We see lot of mango trees and fencing around it.

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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.

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

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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.

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This gate is also between two bastions.

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There are steps to go down which takes us to a water tank.

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Behind the tank, we can see another bastion with coconut trees.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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

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This completes the exploration of fort.

You can watch the vlog below:

Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Two cannons are placed on the other bastion too.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Another structure in ruins.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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Wari Bhairaogad Fort – On the bank of Wan River

Fort State: In ruins

Difficulty: Easy

Endurance Level: Easy

Things to carry: A liter of water, Trekking shoes.

Best time to visit: Any time of the year

Type: Hill Fort

Time to Explore: Twenty minutes

How to Reach: Near Wari village,  25 KM north of Telhara taluka in Akola District. The fort is located on the border of three districts viz. Akola, Amravati and Buldana.

History: Not much information is available about this fort.

Wari Bhairaogad Fort is a small hill fort on the bank of Wan river. There is a Hanuman Sagar dam built on the Wan river which can be seen from this fort. This fort lies on the foothills of Satpura hill range. Wari is the base village for this fort.

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The location for this fort’s entrance is shown wrongly in the Google maps. You need to reach Wari village from where there is a path to the fort.

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Just five minutes of climb takes us to the main gate of the fort. The gate is in dilapidated condition. This is the only surviving thing on the fort.

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As we move left, we can see a stream of water flowing down. It is quite deep.

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Further there is a recently built temple of Lord Bhairav. The temple looks recently built. There are few rock idols kept  beside the temple.

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There are few more idols in the temple too.

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If we go to the back side of the fort, we can see the water flow merging into Wan river. The river flows from right side, thus providing natural protection from three sides to the fort.

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If we come on the northern side, we can see entire Wari village from what could have been a bastion.

Going right, we come across rock made steps by which we can go inside the gate. This structure is built of bricks and broken at many places. Looks like this is a last standing remnant of the fort which will vanish soon.

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It takes just 20 minutes to explore the fort. we can go 1 KM further to visit the famous Wari Hanuman temple. We need to cross a bridge over the Wan river to reach the temple.

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There is a water flowing through Gomukha entire year round.

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There are many monkeys here, so beware of your items.

We worship a beautiful 10 to 15 feet idol of Lord Hanuman.

Behind this temple, there is another water stream which merges further with Wan river. A small bridge on this takes us to temples of Lord Datta and Goddess Rukmini. From this place, we can clearly see dam’s wall and gates.

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After coming down, we can go to enjoy some time on the Wan river. There is pool over this river which is very deep. Be extremely cautious before entering into water here.

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There is also a temple of Goddess Asara near this pool.

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It is a nice trip for half a day with entire family.

You can watch the vlog below.

Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.

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Kailasgad Fort – Five Hills Series

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

Time to Explore: Three hours

How to Reach: Near Waduste village which can be approached via Tamhini Ghat or Lonavala – Amby Valley way.

History: Not much information is available about this fort.

Kailasgad Fort is a hill type fort located near the source of Mula river surrounding the Mulshi dam. It can be reached via Tamhini Ghat or via Lonavala from Pune. Waduste/Bhadaskhonda are the base villages for this fort.

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There is a mountain pass just 2 KM ahead of this village from where the trail to the fort starts. You can also keep electric transformer as an identity in mind.

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There are five hills in total that forms the part of this fort. We can see the road has been carved out from the first hill and just opposite the electric pole, path to fort starts.
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It takes close to 15 minutes to cross the first hill. We get a panoramic view of Mulshi dam’s backwater from here.
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It takes another 15 minutes to climb up the second hill. Be careful, as after rainy season, the shrubs grow 7 to 8 feet tall. It is very important to be cautious while walking through this dense greenery.
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After crossing the second hill, we need not climb the third hill. We have to walk around the hill keeping valley on the left and hill on the right side. Be careful here as the walkway is extremely narrow.
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About 15 minutes of further walk brings up to this board. There are many such on the way which helps us track the correct path.
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We need to climb up the third hill. There is a small rock patch here.
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As we reach the top of third hill, on the right side, we can see a big pole which must have been used to hoist the flag.
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We need to take left turn from here to cross the fourth hill. There are two ways from this hill. One that goes down towards water tanks and the straight to the top of fort.

I went down to see the water tanks first. There was no water stored in it. Also the water tanks work seem to be incomplete.

 

I came back to the same point again and climbed up for 5 minutes more to reach the top of the fort. We first see the Shiva temple under a small shed. Because of this temple, fort might have been named so.

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At the other end of the fort, we can see the Saffron flag. A very large territory can be seen from here.

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Apart from these, there is nothing much that can show the existence of fort here. Looking at the size on the top, this fort must have been used only to keep an eye on the surrounding areas.

Going ahead from the mountain pass, there is Bhadaskhonda village where we can see a natural cave. As we go right from the main road, we can see the Waghoba temple carved out in the rock.

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Another 10 minutes of walk further towards the hill takes us to the natural cave. It is quite deep and also there is a small room on the right side.

 

You can watch the vlog below.

 

Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.

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Nimgiri & Hanumantgad – Twin Forts

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

Time to Explore: Two hours

How to Reach: Reach Khandi chi wadi village near Nimgiri village.

History: Not much information is available about this fort. Looking at the rock carved stairs, it must have been used from ancient times.

Nimgiri & Hanumantgad are the twin forts separated by a cleft in the Junnar region of Pune. It lies 25 KM ahead of Junnar. Though it is named Nimgiri fort, it is nearer to Khandi chi wadi village. It comes under administration of Nimgiri village, hence could have been named so.

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We can park our vehicles near the primary school of the village.

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There is a mobile tower from where we start our journey towards the fort. We need to go through paddy fields. Before heading straight to the fort, we can see a dilapidated temple, water tank, temple of goddess Kalubai, idol of Lord Hanuman and some war memorials.

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We met a resident of Nimgiri village. He was kind enough to show us directions and tell us what are the places of interest.

The dilapidated temple is hidden in the dark bushes.

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Funds were provided by government for the restoration of the temple, but money was used to clean the water tank and to dig it further for storing more water.

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As we go ahead, we can see temple of goddess Kalubai. This looks recently built and we can spot few carvings on the main gate.

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Behind the temple, there are some war memorials as well as idols.

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As we go further, we can see the idol of Lord Hanuman below a tree.

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Near to it, there are around 40 war memorials placed. These must have been grouped together and placed here by villagers.

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We need to go towards the watchtower from where path to the fort starts. There are red colored arrows placed on the trees to help us follow the right path.

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The unpaved path between the two forts leads us to the fort. After walking for 15-20 minutes, we reach a point near Nimgiri fort from where right path takes us to a small cave.

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From here, we can either take rock cut steps or follow the unpaved road to go up. I would recommend not taking the steps as they are broken at couple of places and also it is very risky in rainy season.

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These steps take us to Nimgiri fort’s gate which is broken now.

Going ahead, we can see a cave on the left side. This must have been used for gatekeepers.

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As we reach the top, we can clearly see Hanumantgad on the other side.

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If we take left and start exploring, we can find three water tanks. As it was raining heavily, we could see the water overflowing from the tanks.

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As we move ahead, there is a ruined temple of goddess Gajalakshmi. The idol is carved out of a rock.

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There is also a Shivalinga placed near this idol.

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As we go ahead, we can see few more water tanks.

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Going ahead, we can see three caves on the fort. These could have been used as granary.

If we go to the tallest point on the fort, we can see couple of memorials.

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We need to get down to go towards Hanumantgad. There is a point on the cleft, where we can see boards for the forts.

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If we look down, we can see panoramic view of surrounding villages.

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Path towards Hanumantgad also is via rock cut steps. Not much is left on this fort to see. There is some part of fortification.

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As we take left, we can view some water tanks.

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There are reminiscences of a hall. We can see walls and pillars in ruins.

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It is an exquisite experience to visit this fort in rainy season. Do make a plan and enjoy the nature.

You can watch the vlog below.

Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.

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Kolaba Fort – Visit this place to witness Nature’s incredible phenomenon

It was a long time we went with family for an outing. I and Arriesh’s family were planning to visit a place which would be relaxing and close to nature. Being the nearest beach from Pune, we finalized Alibaug. We hired a cab and started from Pune at 7:00 AM in the morning.

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It took us close to 3:30 hours to reach Alibaug. In the evening we went to Kolaba fort. This fort is in the Arabian sea around 2 km from the shore of Alibaug beach. It is maintained by ASI. There are rides (boat or horse) which can take you to fort from the beach. We were told by locals that if we wait till evening, we can walk to the fort. During the day, due to high tide, we cannot go by walk to the fort. But once the tide goes to lowest level, it is a pure joy to just walk down to the fort. There are couple of flags posted in the sea, once the water recedes after the last flag, it indicates safe passage.

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It will be an experience of lifetime to see such a beautiful sight. Just sometime back, the waves which were reaching to the shore, go back significantly and allows us to take a walk. We were enthralled by this sight.

Inside fort, we saw some homes and people were staying in there. You can see huge cannons. Though, fort is surrounded from all sides by salty water, there is a big fresh water reservoir. I think this used to be a source of drinking water earlier. There are temples of Lord Mahadeva, Lord Ganesha and Lord Hanuman.

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We spent nearly an hour exploring the fort. We went around the fortification wall. There is also a well beside the houses which people use for drinking purpose. On the return, if you see high tide, it is recommended to use the horse ride to go back else you can stroll. It is worth to see the sunset from here.

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I would advise everyone to visit this place if you happen to be in Alibaug to see such a magical event, amazing sunset over the sea and a beautiful fort.