Lohagad Fort: The Fort That Guarded the Maratha Trade Routes (2020)
Lohagad Fort sometimes typed as Lohegad fort is a fort with historical importance to Maharshtra and one of the many symbols of Maratha Pride. The literal translation of the word Loha in English is ‘Iron’. The fort is close to the Lonavla hill station and is famous for tourists who come to the hill station and want to have a look at the grandeur and splendor that Maratha architecture was. All this makes it an important part of fort tourism in Maharashtra. Here is everything that you would like to know about the Lohagad fort.
Historical Importance of Lohagad Fort
The Lohagad fort existed before the Maratha warriors. There’s evidence of the fort existing in the 1st Century BC in the form of an inscription in the Brahmi script and Prakrit language. The fort is also evidence of the rise of Jainism in the Maharashtra area, as the inscription follows the themes of other Jain inscriptions. Several kingdoms ruled it in their time, like the Yadavas, the Chalukyas, and even the Mughals and finally the Marathas. The fort is historically important because it was one of the several forts that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had to hand over because of the treaty of Purandar. However, as he went on recapturing the forts, Lohagad once again came under his bastion, making it part of his remarkable achievement.
Tourist Experience at Lohagad Fort
Lohagad Fort in Maharashtra is at the top of a hill. Along the way, you will see several structures like temples, lakes, and if you go during the monsoon, you will even see waterfalls, both small and huge. It is a medium trek, but the steps at the top are steep. During the monsoon season, they are slippery because of the moss, so you need to be extra careful. The fort is around 1050m above sea level.
The trek to Lohagad Fort is a visual delight. If you go on a perfect day, a cool breeze will follow you, and the lush greenery all around will invite you to spend a while more than necessary.
The steps to the fort are generously spacious, but it all becomes steep as you approach the top portion of the fort. Like other forts, this one has several doors through which you can enter. There is the Maha Darwaja, the Ganesh Darwaja, the Hanuman Darwaja, and the Narayan Darwaja. The other important structures that you see are the grave of a Pir and a narrow-fortified wall that is in the shape of a scorpion’s sting.
You will see the Bhavani Mata Temple and the Shiv Temple. From the top of the fort, you get a visual spectacle of an entire valley. You also see an aerial view of the Pawna Dam and the Bhushi Dam, a rare spectacle. From the top, you will also be able to get an aerial view of the Bhaja and Karla Caves.
There is no commercial activity inside the fort, so you need to travel with snacks and beverages if you intend to undertake the complete trek. Keep in mind, you will take less than two hours to climb up and another two hours for the descent, so make plans to keep yourself hydrated and in good health for five hours or more.
One marvel is the pond on the top of the Lohagad Fort, which holds water to this day. Anyone will want to take a dip in the pond, be careful of the sharp rocks on the pond bed.
Things to Do Near Lohagad Fort
Lohagad Fort is a unique fort in the Konkan region as it is interlinked with a nearby fort, the Visapur fort. The more adventurous trekkers can check out Visapur fort as well but need to be an experienced trekker. Lohagad Fort is near Lonavala, the tourist hotspot, so there are several activities that you can do near this fort. You can spend your night at the Pawna Lake camping grounds, which offer an economically priced camping experience. You can also visit the Narayani Dham Temple, a surreal spiritual experience right in the middle of Lonavla city. You also have the nearby wax museum, Sunil’s Wax Museum, if you wish to spend a lazy afternoon looking at some articulate waxwork depicting famous personalities.
The Lohagad Fort is a trek that you should embark on in the early morning so that you are at the top by mid-morning, you can descend by afternoon. You can then spend your evening in the Bhaja caves, which is at a ten-minute distance. And if you are up for modern thrills, the Aamby Valley is a short drive away. To cover all these places, you would need to set aside an entire weekend. Another hep and happening place is the Della Adventure Park in Lonavala. You can spend a whole day here, what with the various rides and adrenaline pushing activities available here.
Lonavla is also famous for its viewing points, simple treks to cliff tops, and hilltops that give you a magnificent view of the valley below. The most popular point at Lonavla is Lion’s Point, which is about 11 km away from the Lohagad fort. The Lion’s Point has a remarkably interesting night life.
How to Reach Lohagad Fort
Lohagad Fort is 90 km from Mumbai. From Pune, it is at a distance of 68 km. So, it is a three-hour drive from Mumbai and a two-hour drive from Pune. If you wish to board a bus, you have the option of boarding a State Transport bus, either from Mumbai or from Pune to reach Lonavala and then go to the Lohegad Fort further.
Once you reach Lonavla, you will see private rickshaws that ply you till Lohegad fort. If you intend to drive, you need to reach Lohagadwadi, a village at the foothills of the Lohegad fort. If you would like to travel by train, you need to take a train from Mumbai to Lonavla and reach Malavli station. the fort is 10 km away from the Malavli station.