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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Lohagad Fort-One Of The Easy Trek In Lonavala


Lohagad fort, lonavala fort, easy trek

LOHAGAD FORT-ONE OF THE EASY TREK IN LONAVALA

  • Height- 3389 Feet
  • Trek Level- Easy Trek
  • Trek Route- Steep Stairs
  • Time For Trek- 2 Hours

ABOUT LOHAGAD FORT

Maharashtra has extensive range of mountains which is named Sahyadri, this range is geographically part of Western Ghats and Lohagad is one of those mountain which also has historical importance. Lohagad Fort holds a great relevance as it was captured and recaptured by Shivaji Maharaj.

Lohagad is located in Lonavala Maharashtra. Also known as twin Fort as it share fortification with Visapur Fort. Built in 18th Century, the Lohagad Fort is coupled with many winding ways and steps that lead you to hill top. It rises to an elevation of 1033 m (3389 ft.) above sea level, and is located to the southwest of the larger Visapur Fort. The range divides the basins of the Indrayani River and Pavana Lake. This is one of the easy trek in lonavala.

HOW YOU CAN REACH TO LOHAGAD FORT

Lohagad Fort is easily accessible by various modes of travel.

BY AIR

The nearest airport is Pune and Mumbai International airport in Maharashtra state. The proposed Navi Mumbai International airport will serve as the nearest airport in the coming future. From there one can hire self-drive car or can also reach by Bus to Lonavala and then auto to Lohagad base.

BY TRAIN

The nearest train station is Malavli, which can be accessed by suburban trains between Lonavala-Mumbai and Pune. The nearest major train station is Lonavala. Train frequency is good enough from Mumbai or Pune and also cheapest way to reach. Once you get down at Malavli then take share cab that will drop you at the base village of Lohagad Fort. (Share cab charges are 70-80 INR per person).

BY ROAD

If one is traveling by road then Lohagad is well connected by the Mumbai-Pune express highway and can also be accessed from Paud via Kolvan and Dudhiware Khind for all vehicles.
From Mumbai the distance to Lohagad is 100 km wherein from Pune the distance is 60 km.
People can also hike all the way to the Fort. Bhaja Caves is on the way to Lohagad if small diversion is taken. This walk is a particular favorite of trekkers, especially in the monsoon season. It is simple, very scenic and pleasant trek. The distance from Malavli and Lohagad can be covered in two hours.

TREK TO LOHAGAD FORT

Coming to my story I always prefer to travel on my Honda shine as traveling with own vehicle is always a good comfort. My bike is not less than any bullet for me who always stays with me for all trek. This time I along with my partner drove the road distance of 170 km two way on bike. The road passes through old Mumbai- Pune highway for bikers, because driving bike on express highway is restricted. The road constructions are very nice and gives immense pleasure to drive. The road which we took was the one that passes through Lonavala’s small village that further meets at Dudhiware Khind. The road condition in village is not so good, so be careful while driving. Final 2 km of this road is very worst and risky to drive as it is complete incline drive. Being narrow path it’s difficult for two four wheeler to pass the route at same time. There is enough space available to park vehicle at base but they charge 20 INR for bike and 50 INR for four wheeler at first base check point. Being a Sunday it was bit crowded. The most interesting part of this trek was, few children’s age between 8 to 15 years along with their families. This is one of the easy trek for new comers.


The route towards Fort starts with simple steep stairs with half feet distance and it is very easy to climb. After climbing 30 to 40 stairs there is another check point where you need to take ticket to move further to this trek. Ticket cost is 25 INR for Indian tourist and 300 INR for foreign tourist. If you have cameras then you need to pay extra 50 INR. Road continuous with steep stairs. There are lots of Monkey on the way, so my suggestion is do not keep any eating stuff in hand or any plastic rapper on the side pocket of bag. The reason is, as soon as monkey see those rapper or food in hand they immediately jumps on you to snatch it. So be careful while passing from here. You can feed some food to them but do not keep in your hand. While ascending towards Fort you see the beauty of Pavana Lake which lies on left side. Pavana Lake is where one can get engaged with bonfire camping.

Structure of this Fort is magnificent which is created by the emperor’s century ago. Rules by the Marathas and the Mughals, this Fort has unique history of its own. As the trek continues you will come across Ganesh Darwaja (Lord Ganesh entrance Gate) which is first entrance of this Fort. Other entrance gate in sequence are Narayan Darwaja, Hanuman Darwaja and last entrance gate is known as Maha-Darwaja. The climate here was mixed along with clouds and blue sky that made me more photogenic. I had my bag-pack loaded with some energy bar which helped to balance energy throughout the trek.
Lohagad fort, Ganesh darvaza at lohagad fort
Ganesh Darwaja at Lohagad Fort
After crossing all the door you can see the vast, lush green landscape that overlook the Pavana reservoir. The major attraction on top is water pond which was used for the people who used to live and guard the Fort. There are also couple of Dargah on the top along with big water body. There is also a small temple of Lord Shiv. During the monsoon top of the Fort is covered with mist and clouds and becomes wet with growing moss. The road and trails leading to hill are quite slippery at this time of the year and precaution needs to take while venturing the routes. The main highlight of the Fort was yet to come.
Lohagad fort
                                                                            Dargah at Lohagad Fort
Lohagad fort, temple
SHIV TEMPLE AT TOP OF FORT 
Lohagad fort, cannon
CANNON AT FORT
The highlight of the Fort is Vinchu kada (Scorpion’s tail). The route to reach there is just narrow path without any support to descend down from the height of 15 feet. While descending from here care needs be taken because there is valley on left side with no support and big walls of rock on right side. One wrong step and you are down in the valley. One person at a time is thumb rule to descend from here. Viewing from the Fort this portion looks like scorpion’s sting and hence it is called ‘Vinchu Kada’. This ‘Vinchu Kada’ was used for keeping a watch on the nearby area. Somehow we managed to reach at summit and halted for some-time. From summit the view of surrounding Mountain is breathe taking. At one side the view of mesmerizing Visapur Fort wherein other side the view of gorgeous Pavana Lake. Remember there are no hotels on top so carry own food.
Lohagad fort, lohagad top view
Main highlight of the Fort called Vinchukata
Descending from any trek is always an easy and time consuming trail. It hardly took 45 min to descend down to where we started. This was one of the easy trek for us and also time consuming. For beginners it is easy to do summit. After reaching at base we had our delightful home-made lunch with Zunka Bhakri, famous dish of Maharashtra and my favorite omelette. Being home-made food taste was superb and worthy. There are few hotels available at base that serves home-made food in reasonable rates. Here we end up the trek with cherish memories.

Lohagad fort

Lohagad fort

Lohagad fort
FINAL NARROW TRAIN FROM VINCHU KADA TO SUMMIT

MY TOTAL EXPENSE OF TREK

Petrol 300 (both side)
Parking charge 20 INR
Entry charge-25 INR
Lunch- 100 INR

IDEAL TIME TO VISIT LOHAGAD FORT TREK

Lohagad Fort can be visited throughout the years.
The best time to visit the Fort is during monsoon season, when the rains make the surrounding look fresh and green.
Post monsoon October to February month is also an option to crowd here.

WHAT TO EAT AT LOHAGAD FORT

At base of this Fort few hotels available that serves home-made food in reasonable price.
One should not miss Zunka Bhakri (Maharashtra famous dish).

PLACES TO EXPLORE NEAR LOHAGAD FORT

  • Vinchu kada at Lohagad Fort
  • Monsoon trek to Visapur Fort
  • Bhaja Caves
  • Dinosaur Park
  • Wet N Joy Water Park

All the places are located on the radius of 20 km from Lohagad Fort.

WHERE TO STAY NEAR LOHAGAD FORT

Renting a villa is best option near to Lohagad Fort.
There are hotels available for stay and cost varies as per deluxe to economic.
Some of them are Meritus Countryside Resort and Sterling Lonavala.

TIPS FOR YOU BEFORE VISITING LOHAGAD FORT

  • Avoid taking four wheeler to the top as route is risky.
  • Be aware of Monkey on the Fort.
  • Keep proper trekking shoes with ankle support.
  • Parking and Entry to the Fort is chargeable.
  • Do not litter the area.

6 comments:

  1. aha nice place to visit. i like to visit Lohagad again, Thank You for Sharing.

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  2. This place looks enchanting and so beautiful I would love to go there someday

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  3. What a neat place to explore! Sounds like you had an awesome time checking out the different sights.

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  4. Thank you for sharing this post. Well narrated plus advise of caution for visitors.Informative too.

    ReplyDelete