Forts in Maharashtra : Exploring Magnificent Forts

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Forts in Maharashtra : Exploring Magnificent Forts

 

The answer to the question “How many forts are there in Maharashtra ?” is 350! Yes, this is certainly mind-boggling, and we were astounded to learn of it.

The historic forts of Maharashtra will awe you not only with their numbers, but also with their majesty and stories of daring and valour. They also provide a unique peek into the lives of people from a bygone age, as well as glimpses of their customs and culture. Forts in Maharashtra, in addition to providing a glimpse into the lives of Maratha warriors, also provide a wonderful trekking experience due to their unusual hilltop settings and rich scenic splendour.

Without further ado, here is a list of the greatest forts in Maharashtra that you should see while in the state.

Maharashtra’s Raigad Fort 

Forts in Maharashtra : Exploring Magnificent Forts

Raigad Fort, the embodiment of Maratha pride, is one of Maharashtra’s most historically significant forts. It is located on the Sahyadris highlands, 820 metres above sea level.

This fort’s walls have witnessed many amazing incidents. It belonged to the illustrious Maratha monarch, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and was dubbed the ‘Gibraltar of the East’ by Europeans. He conquered the Raigad Fort from Rajchandraji More in 1659, but the fort was recovered by the Mughals shortly after his death, and was eventually acquired by the British Empire. Despite the damage done over the years, the fort still stands majestically and will let you to picture its magnificence and splendour in 1030 CE.

When it comes to splendour, the fort’s past isn’t the only thing that draws visitors. Its majestic and masterfully executed architecture, the view of the lush green valleys of the Sahyadri Mountains, and the nearby picturesque Gangasagar Lake are all reasons why this fort is popular among trekkers. Raigad Fort, with its tough terrain and over 1,737 stairs to the top, is regarded as one of the best forts in Maharashtra for trekking.

Entry Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The entry fee is $20.

The nearest airport is:

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport in Mumbai and Pune International Airport

The nearest railway station is:

Mangaon Railway Station is located in Mangaon, India.

How to Get There:

Raigad Fort is 163 kilometres from Mumbai and 131 kilometres from Pune. Raigad Fort is 17 kilometres from Mangaon Railway Station and may be reached via local transportation. Mangaon is well connected by road to both Mumbai and Pune.

Rajmachi Fort

maharashtra forts

The Rajmachi Fort walk runs through multiple waterfalls, steep gorges and valleys, charming and rustic settlements, and water streams. If you’re a painter or photographer, this route is a Pandora’s box of ideas. If you thought the trail was difficult, wait till you reach Rajmachi’s two fortified peaks, Shrivardhan and Manaranjan. The scenery is breathtaking. During the monsoon season, you might even witness fireflies dancing in the air.

The fort also contains various temples, caverns, and water reservoirs, providing insight into the lives of the Maratha dynasty. All of this can only imply one thing: a once-in-a-lifetime trekking adventure.

Time of entry: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Entry Fee: None.

The nearest airport is:

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport in Mumbai and Pune International Airport

The nearest railway station is:

 Railway Station of Karjat

How to Get There:

You can take a local train from Mumbai to Karjat and then take a shared vehicle to Kondana hamlet. This town serves as the starting point for the Rajmachi Trek. It takes 3-4 hours to go to the fortress from there. The alternative option is to drive to the Udhewadi base village and trek for 30-40 minutes from Pune/Lonavala. Both routes are a little rough, with the Pune route being more dangerous during the rains.

Shivneri Fort:

forts

The Shivneri Fort is a 17th-century military structure known for being the birthplace of the Maratha Empire’s founder, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It is situated in Pune’s Junnar district. The journey to this fort is very short, with magnificent landscapes along the way. Because it is short, it is regarded as one of the best forts in Maharashtra for novices due to the neatly laid steps. There are two water springs at the fort called Ganga and Yamuna, which flow all year. The lagoon in the centre of the fort, as well as the gardens along the way, are excellent locations to relax and re-energize.

Time of entry: 5:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Enter Fee: 5

The nearest railway station is:

Junnar is 94 kilometres from Pune City Railway Station.

The nearest airport is:

Airport International  Pune

How to Get There:

The fort is located in Junnar and may be reached through a 2-kilometer hike. Junnar is easily accessible from larger cities such as Mumbai and Pune. To get to Junnar from Mumbai, follow the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The Old Mumbai Highway may be reached from Pune.

Tung Fort

This round fort, which overlooks the beautiful Pawna Lake, is a sight to behold. It is surrounded by the tropics and stands 1,075 metres above sea level. It begs the question of how the Adil Shahi dynasty built a fort this tall in 1600 CE.

You knew trekking here will be difficult because the term ‘Tung’ means ‘difficult.’ The hike to the top of this mountain, on the other hand, is well worth it. The view from the summit is breathtaking. You can also visit Tungi Devi Temple and Ganpati Temple while you’re there.

Entry Duration: Every day

Fee for entry: Free

The nearest railway station is: Railway Station in Lonavala

The nearest airport is: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport in Mumbai and Pune International Airport

Fort Pratapgad

pratapgadh

The fort, which is only 25 kilometres from Mahabaleshwar, has enormous historical value due to the legendary Battle of Pratapgad, which took place here. Yes, the same one we read about in history books. Pratapgad Fort translates to “Valour Fort.” Apart from the fighting tale of the fort, you can also see the famed lakes within the fort complex. They are four in number and frequently overflow during the rainy season. The fort looks out over the picturesque villages of Kinsevar and Par. At 1,080 metres above sea level, the fort has old-world charm thanks to its rustic character, making it one of the best forts in Maharashtra for trekking.

Hours of entry: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Entry Fee: There is no entry fee.

The nearest railway station is:  Satara Railway Station, Pune Railway Station

The nearest airport is: Pune International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport in Mumbai

Malhargad Fort

maharashrta forts

Malhargad Fort, built by the Maratha Empire as a watchtower on Devi Ghat, is claimed to be one of the last forts built by the Marathas. This fort is an excellent place to get away from the city for a short period of time. The breathtaking views of the ghats and valleys will rejuvenate you over the weekend. If you’re lucky, you might see deer, porcupines, and wild boars along the trail and surrounding the fort. From the top, you can also see the majestic Jejuri Temple and the Parvati Hills.

Entry Hours: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Entry is free. Pune Railway Station is the nearest railway station.

Pune International Airport is the nearest airport.

Fort Kolaba

Fort Kolaba

Kolaba Fort or Alibag Fort is well worth a visit because it is surrounded by the Arabian Sea. According to historians, during the time of Shivaji Maharaj, this now 300-year-old mediaeval fort in Maharashtra was employed as a military fortification. It was also seen as a major naval base and a stronghold from which to launch attacks against British forces. If you use the waterways to get here, you may enjoy the beautiful waves and the quiet that comes with not being surrounded by people. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has recognised Kolaba Fort as a nationally protected monument due to its historical significance.

Entry Times: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The entry fee is:  5

The nearest airport is: The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport in Mumbai

The nearest railway station is: Stations in Pen and Panvel

How to Get There: Alibag is easily accessible via Mumbai’s roads and waterways. You can take a long trip and explore the gorgeous road journey to Alibag, or you can travel by jetty/ferry from the Gateway of India to Alibag. From there, you can take local buses, vehicle trips, or auto rides to Alibag Beach.

Fort Lohagad

Fort Lohagad

Lohagad Fort, a military marvel built in the 16th century, was ruled by the Maratha Empire throughout (except for a brief 5 year period when it fell into the hands of the Mughal Empire). Lohagad Fort, which is 1,033 metres above sea level, is one of the top forts in Maharashtra for trekking. A short distance connects it to Visapur Fort. If you want a good challenge, you may visit two forts in a single day.

The walk to the fort is much more picturesque during the monsoon season. If you take a short detour, you can visit the magnificent Bhaja Caves, especially if you enjoy spelunking. Another option is to drive up the mountain, as there is a well-paved tar road that leads all the way to the fort. Once at the top, you may take in the breathtaking views of Parvana Reservoir.

Entry Duration: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Entry Fee: None.

The nearest airport is: Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport and Pune International Airport.

Nearest Railway station :  Malavi Train Station

How to Get There:  Lonavala is well connected to both Mumbai and Pune via railways and roads. Once in Lonavala, take a local train to Malavli Railway Station and then a shared cab or auto to the fort, which is only 5 km away. You can alternatively take a taxi or a public bus from Lonavala to Malavli Station.

Shaniwarwada Fort

forts

This is one of the few forts that will give you a peek of Maratha royal architecture. It was erected by Peshwa Baji Rao I and served as the Peshwa dynasty’s imperial residence. The fort’s stone walls tell the story of the valiant Marathas’ vibrant lives. A visit to this fort is required to relive the Maratha Kingdom’s valour.

Time of entry: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The entry fee is: 5.

The nearest airport is: Airport International de Pune

The nearest railway station is: Railway Station in Pune

How to Get There:

It is situated in the centre of Pune. The fort is located 12 kilometres from the airport. To get to this fort, one can take public transportation or a private car.

Sindhudurg Fort

Sindhudurg

Sindhudurg Fort, one of the few forts in Maharashtra built on the seafloor, is located on the lovely Tarkarli Beach. It was built by none other than the Marathas’ ruler, Shivaji Maharaj. The fort was built over a three-year period with the help of around 100 Portuguese architects and hundreds of Indian workmen. From here, you may enjoy the soothing sea wind and gaze out at the stunning Arabian Sea.

Entry Period : 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The entry fee:  5.

The nearest airport is:  Dabolim International Airport

The nearest railway station is: Railway Station Kudal

How to Get There:

You must first travel to Tarkarli and then take local transportation to the beach. You may also take a train from major cities such as Mumbai, Pune, and Goa to Kudal Railway Station, which is 45 km away from the beach. There are numerous buses that run until Malven, which is only 6 kilometres from Tarkarli. In a private car, you can also travel the NH 17 or NH 4 route via the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad Fort, also known as Kondana Fort, was the Maratha Empire’s pride. Tanaji Malusare reclaimed the Kondana Fort from the Mughals in the historic Mughal-Maratha Battle of 1671, sacrificing his own life in the process. It is one of the most celebrated and bittersweet Maratha triumphs. The stronghold is located around 1,312 metres above sea level and features steep slopes that were designed to protect it from enemies. Once at the stronghold, visitors may take in the breathtaking views of the Khadakwasla Dam.

There are two entrances to the fort: one in the north-eastern zone (Pune Darwaza) and one in the south-eastern region (Kalyan Darwaza). It also includes Rajaram’s Tomb, Tanaji Malusare monoliths, Kali Temple, breweries, and a Hanuman figure.

Time of entry: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The entry fee is 20.

The nearest airport is: Airport International de Pune

The nearest railway station is: Railway Station in Pune

How to Get There: The fort is 37 kilometres from Pune and is well-connected to the city’s public transportation system.

Daulatabad Fort

Daulatabad Fort

This 12th-century fort, located about 15 km from Aurangabad, was built in 1187 by Yadava Prince Bhillama V. The fort overlooks the city of Daulatabad on a mountaintop 200 metres above sea level. You can only fathom the prince’s strategic genius in constructing such a fort. It is one of the best forts in Maharashtra for trekking because of the panoramic views. If you have a free weekend, you should go see this architectural marvel.

Entry Period: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The entry fee: 10 dollars.

The nearest airport is: Airport in Aurangabad

The nearest railway station is: Railway Station in Aurangabad

How to Get There: The fort is roughly 20 km from Aurangabad’s city, railway station, and airport. You can get there by hiring a private automobile or by public transportation

Prabalgad Fort

Prabalgad Fort

Prabhalgad Fort, built by the Bahmani Sultanate, was utilised as a watchtower to keep an eye on Panvel Fort and Kalyan Fort. This fort was earlier known as Muranjan but was renamed during Shivaji’s reign. The trail to the fort is flanked by the Western Ghats and is densely forested, making it an exciting hike. Pro trekkers may know the fort as Kalavantin Durg or Kalavantin’s Fort. It is thought to have been named after Queen Kalavantin of the 15th century.

Time of entry: All day

The entry fee:  20.

The nearest airport is:

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Airport in Mumbai

The nearest railway station is:

Railway Station of Panvel

How to Get There:

Panvel is easily accessible by local railway and road from Mumbai. You can hire local transport from Panvel to Thakurwadi, the fort’s base settlement, and begin your trek from there.

So now you know about the most prominent forts in Maharashtra, as well as their locations. Explore them when you want to relax, get an adrenaline thrill, or go back in time. Fort-trekking in Maharashtra can be a wonderful experience if you come prepared with the proper equipment, food, and hydration.

 

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