Visit Chandragad Fort: The Fort with Tanaji Malasure’s Weapons (2020)
Chandragad Fort in Raigad District of Maharashtra is one of the many that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj won over during his time. Today, the Chandragad fort is a popular tourist and trekking location because of its location. If you plan to visit Chandragad fort, here is some information that you should know.
Historical Importance of Chandragad
Chandrarao More of Javli built this fort, that is the reason behind the name before it came under the Maratha rule. The Marathas used the Chandragad fort to keep an eye on the hilly terrain that surrounds it.
Structures inside Chandragad
The Chandragad fort is still in excellent condition. The fortifications and ramparts are still strong and look formidable. The Chandragad fort is on a hill, so there is a little bit of trekking involved. Inside the fort, you will see water tanks and a magnificent temple. Near the temple, you will see a pole with inscriptions in the language of the South.
At the temple where you start your trek, ask the locals about the weapons of Tanaji Malasure and they will show you a gupti and a dandpatti, which were recovered from a mango tree in the vicinity.
You will see the remnants of a temple, known as the Janani Temple and the remains of the royal palace.
You can even see the ramparts created in the walls to house guns, to ward off enemies, and keep an eye on the valley below. There are about five to eight lakes in all inside the Chandragad fort structure. Most of the forts in Maharashtra have natural water tanks, and they show the ingenuity of the builders. They did not build on the rocks. Instead, they carved inside the rock to create a natural cistern for the water, a style that is visible in the Chandragad fort as well. Some of the structures, like the temple and the entrances, have been painted white.
The Chandragad fort’s inner sanctum has two gates, one from the North and another from the West. You will see the Ramalingeswara temple inside the Chandragad fort.
The Chandragad fort is relatively small, as its main aim was to store grains and enable the Owners to collect taxes from the village at the foothills.
You also see a structure that experts claim are stables used during the Maratha rule. At the very top of the fort, you see a Shiv Ling and a stone Nandi.
Tourist Experience of Chandragad Fort
Chandragad is a hill fort, and the trek is of medium difficulty. There are some steep slopes and some rocks that you will have to climb through to reach the top of the fort. The best season to visit the Chandragad fort is, of course, the monsoon. But you must be careful, as the said rock formation becomes somewhat of a heavy current lake during this season.
If you travel here during monsoons, you get the unmissable and unforgettable view of the clouds coursing between the hilltops, and you are above all of this – an experience you can never forget. You will also several natural waterfalls, big and small all over the valley, giving you a sense of how nature creates its beauty.
During the summers, the place becomes very dry and humid, and you need to carry water as well as snacks to keep yourself hydrated. Also, there is no commercial activity from the village to the top of the fort, so you need to arrange for whatever you might need on the way. You might get some makeshift shelter at the Chandragad fort or while coming down, but there is no accommodation as such.
Places to Visit Near Chandragad
Chandragad fort is a 2-hour drive from Mahabaleshwar. If you plan to visit Chandragad and have a weekend free, you can spend a whole day in Mahabaleshwar. The total distance is less than 60 KM. If you plan your Chandragad fort tour well, you will already be descending by the late afternoon, leaving you a good amount of time to check in to any of the hotels in Mahabaleshwar. Mahabaleshwar is a tourist hill station and there are several places for you to visit and spend time in.
If you are trekking all the way, you can reach Arthur’s Seat, which you can reach via the Bahirchi Ghumti route. The point gives you a spellbinding view of the valley below.
If you are in Mahabaleshwar, you can also crawl the local market and check the contemporary culture and fashion of the hill station.
You can also visit the Mapro Garden, which offers you the best quality seasonal fruits and lunch and dinner options as well.
A short distance away from the Mapro garden is a go-karting rink. This rink offers go-carting at cheap rates, so it is a good idea to spend at least a few hours here.
Other places of attraction are the Kate’s Point, which gives you another beautiful view of the valley and the Needle Hole Point/Elephant Point so known because of the natural shape that is like an elephant’s trunk.
If you are in Mahabaleshwar, you should make it a point to visit Wilson’s Point, which gives you a glimpse of the first sunset and the first sunrise light in Mahabaleshwar.
Mahabaleshwar is also home to the Venna lake, which offers you an opportunity of calm and serene boatrides. Near the lake, you will see some horse riding options as well.
Mahabaleshwar also has several points that give you incredible view of the valley. Most of these points have small gardens near them, so you can also take a breather along the way.
How To Reach Chandragad Fort?
You can reach Chandragad from Pune or Mumbai. Both these locations have several ST buses and private buses that will drop you to Poladpur. From Poladpur you need to take another mode of transport to the village Dhawale. To travel by train from Pune, you first need to reach Mangaon station and then towards Poladpur and Dhawale. The total distance is about 150 km. From Mumbai, you need to take an ST bus or private bus to Poladpur. If you wish to travel by train, board a train from Bandra to Mangaon Junction. The total distance from Mumbai is about 200 KM.