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Monday, June 8, 2020

Sudhagad Fort Trek | How To Reach From Mumbai

Sudhagad fort trek, Sudhagad ladder

Sudhagad Fort Trek | How To Reach From Mumbai

One fine day something was happening inside my body, I got silent for sometime, and started putting pressure on my mind just to think what is it, that is putting me in thought. After some time, I realized, it was nonetheless than excitement of my next trek. Yes, because mountain was calling; It’s been a gap of month now, I haven’t trek due some personal reason. After a long break another trek from Sahyadri was calling me, and it was Sudhagad fort trek. This fort is also known as Bhorapgad, a hill fort situated in Maharashtra, India. The height of Sudhagad fort is 2030 feet from sea level. Recently entire area around fort is declared as Sudhagad Wildlife Sanctuary. On every weekend, it is Sahyadri mountain with whom I get engaged. You can call it as my meditating place, because it works like a natural medicine on my stress. Trekking to Sudhagad was completely new task and exciting for me, because it was considered as the capital of Marathas by Shivaji Maharaj.

How To Reach Sudhagad Fort

By Air

Nearest airport is Pune and Mumbai international airport. The destination is further 110 km from airport. One can higher direct cab to reach here or can also reach by bus.

By Road

The fort lies about 109 km from Mumbai, 130 km from Pune, 66 km from Lonavala, and 11 km from Pali in Raigad district. Direct bus connectivity is linked towards Khopoli from major cities and from there another bus towards Pali village. Pali is the place of Lord Ganesh and one of the temple from Ashtavinayak (8 Ganpati Idol). From Khopoli the distance to Pali is around 30 km. From Pali another bus will take you to Thakurwadi village which is the base village of the fort and the distance is not more than 10 km.

By Train

There is no direct rail connectivity to the fort. Nearest railway station is Khopoli railway station. If you are traveling from Mumbai then one can also catch train from Panvel going towards Roha and get down at Nagothane railway station. From here share tumtum goes up to Pali and then bus to Thakurwadi village. This is easy and budgeted route for those who are traveling from Mumbai. From Mumbai another option is to reach Khopoli railway station and then take bus to base village via Pali. Mumbai to Khopoli train frequency is one in every 2 hours, so better to check train time before leaving. The people, who are traveling from other cities can travel to Khopoli and then to base of the fort.
Self-drive vehicle is always preferable and also time consuming.

History Of Sudhagad Fort

This fort is said date back to the 2nd century B.C. the same age as the Thanale caves and Khadsamble caves nearby. This fort was also known as Bhorapgad after its presiding deity Bhorai Devi. In 1436, this fort was captured by Bahamani Sultanate and later it was won by Marathas in 1657, and renamed it as ‘Sudhagad’. It was large fort and Sudhagad was considered by Shivaji Maharaj as the capital of his kingdom. He surveyed about this fort, and found that location of this fort was not in center of all the fort. Later he chose ‘Raigad’ because of its central location. In the regime of Peshwas, the ‘Pant Sachivas’ of Bhor became custodian of this fort, as a result fort is in ruins state, but few of the construction still can be seen.

My experience Of Sudhagad Fort Trek

The planning for Sudhagad trek was already done a week before, and now it was time to implement this planning positively. It all started from Mumbai when I was discussing the necessity of doing another trek along with my travel mate. As per planning, we started the journey on bike early in the morning and left towards another destination from Sahyadri range. I always prefer to travel on my own bike rather than public transport, because it is in budget and also time consuming. My bike route was going to be Mumbai-Khopoli-Pali-Thakurwadi base village and then back to Mumbai. The driving road is in good condition till Imagica, 30 km before Pali village. From Imagica the roads are not in good condition up to Pali being construction work of the roads. The road ahead of Pali is again good in condition and motor able. On route we decided to take 10 min snacks break and we also took some food stuff along with us. It took us almost two and half hour to reach the base village of this trek. Thakurwadi, the base village here is small in structure. There was enough space available for parking, where we parked our bike and started searching the initial route. There are two routes to reach the top of this fort, one is from Dhondase village that lies on the north of the fort and another is Thakurwadi that on the south of the fort. The most trekkers use the south one that starts from Thakurwadi village. The reason of choosing this route is, steel ladder to climb up.  

Sudhagad fort trek, iron ladder

The trek is easy, but to find starting trail is bit difficult. There were few locals who met us near to parking area and who also helped us to find starting trail, they also assured us of the vehicle safety. When you will arrive at base village, you may get confused with starting route. One can take help of villagers to reach the initial route of this trek. The villagers here are so kind and helpful without any expectation. The sun was right on top of us when we started our trek. The initial 10 minute trek was flat walk on the vast surface, and it further leads to steel ladder. The weather here was mixed, and clouds were playing hide and seek with us. I know, it was not right time to visit here, but on every trail of life, there is lot to learn. This ladder trail was the only tough part of this trek. Some part of this trek was destroyed in old time, and now for the safety of visitors, villagers have installed iron ladder to climb up. Whenever you find a narrow route, there are railings placed on both the side for safety purpose. Sudhagad is one such trek that involves jungle trail, iron ladder, rock cut steps and walk through dry grass. This is one of the enthralling trek from Sahyadri.

Sudhagad fort trek, rock cut steps at Sudhagad

Trek continue from this narrow ladder, where one person at a time is thumb rule to climb up due to some risk factor. This is most dangerous, yet adventurous part of the trek. This ladder memorized me the day back to the Kalsubai trekking  having same kind of ladder to climb. One mistake and you are down in the valley. Remember there are two ladders at this place, one is old which is been placed exactly near to valley and recently new ladder is installed beside old one. While climbing up, avoid taking old ladder due to risk as one mistake will take you down in the valley. New ladder is completely safe to climb. Let me tell, there is no other source to climb up that distance. Route continuous with little ascend. After walking for another 20 min, trail open up to the rocky stairs, called Pachchapur darvaja, also the main entrance of the fort. This entrance is guarded by bastions on both the side. This stairs is steep in climb and the height is almost close to 150 feet. In monsoon, one has to take care while climbing those stairs, because it becomes slippery.

Sudhagad fort trek, main entrance of Sudhagad fort

Sudhagad fort trek, Pachchapur darvaza

After crossing Pachchapur darvaza, there is small plateau that offers the side view of complete fort. In monsoon, getting engaged with the view of surrounding having amidst greenery, dense fog and waterfalls stream will make you realize life is either adventure or nothing. One should have such kind of trekking activity very frequently. Monsoon trek here is bit crowded with trekkers across. Another 20 min from here, and you reach to another plateau with large lake and Siddheshwar temple beside it. It was time to get re-energized and enjoyed the beauty of surrounding the lake. At some point there is arrow marked placed to reach the summit of the fort, so one doesn’t need to worry about it. Another 10 min will take you to summit point where there is a palace of Pant Sachiv that can accommodate at least 50 people. If you are going in night, then this palace will offer you accommodation and foods for night.

Sudhagad fort trek, Siddheshwar temple

Sudhagad fort trek, Siddheshwar temple

Sudhagad fort trek

Trek doesn’t stop here, Bhorai Devi temple was yet to come. There is small route with steps that goes to Bhorai Devi from this palace. Going ahead, there is Maha darvaza or main gate of the fort. It is located further north side of the fort. If you are coming from Dhondase village then Maha darvaza is the first entrance point. A beautiful construction here will make you think of old time. How, such a magnificent construction were built in that time, especially in the time when there were no technology exist. Maha darvaza (door) here looks like replica of the Maha darvaza at Raigad fort. On this main door there are Sharabhas (ref linked) carved on the top corner of both the side. This route will drop you near to Bhorai Devi temple dedicated to Shiva. One of the thrilling part of this trail is Takmak point, from where one can see a clear view of the forts, like Sarasgad, Korigad, Dhangad and Taila-Baila. There are so many places on the fort to see in less time, so better start your trek as early as possible. We had a long break here to reload our body with some energy that we already carried with us. After giving enough rest to the body, it was time to leave the place. It was late evening when we started descending down to the base village. Descending down from any trek is always an easy and time consuming. Here we finished another adventure from Sahyadri called Sudhagad fort trek. For beginners it is not that difficult as compared to other trek, the only concern is ladder part.

Sudhagad fort trek, Sudhagad fort, Bhorapgad fort

What Are The Places To See At Sudhagad Fort?

Pachchapur darvaza
Pantasachiv wada
Two lakes
Maha darvaza
Chor darvaza
Takmak point
Bhorai Devi Temple

Ideal Time To Do Sudhagad Fort Trek

Sudhagad fort can be accessed throughout the year. The ideal season here is Monsoon from mid-June to September when the climate is pleasant and worth of the visit. One can see the beautiful greenery all around with the view of water stream on surrounding mountain. There are lots of waterfalls on the way to summit, but it’s in monsoon time only. Winter can also be the option to visit here. Post monsoon from October to February is known for its famous camping activity and night trek. Summer here is not preferable to trek to summit point. Sun-rays will absorb your energy and heat up the rocks.

Other Places To Visit Near Sudhagad Fort

Ballaleshwar Temple at Pali- 10 km before Sudhagad, there is temple of lord Ganesh and it is one of the Idol from Ashtavinayak (8 Ganesh Idol).
Sarasgad-It is fort situated at Pali, Raigad. The height of the fort is 1600 feet and easy grade trek for beginners.
Tailbaila- This trek is situated on the height of 3310 feet from sea level. The trek level here is moderate to difficult, where one needs to climb the rock.
Dursheth Forest Lodge- A nature trail resort located 33 km from Sudhagad fort is known for its adventurous activity like rappelling, rock climbing, and other indoor games.  

Stay Option Near Sudhagad Fort

As I already said, there is small palace on summit point that can accommodate at least 50 people. There is also a food arrangement available here for trekkers by the people staying in the palace. Apart from this, one can pitch own tent on summit of the mountain. Being local village there are no hotels or resorts available for fun activity or stay. One needs to travel around 30 km for resorts and hotel stay. Camping to this place has its own new adventure.

Things To Know Before You Visit

  • Carry own water and some snacks or energy bar that will help your body to regain lost energy.
  • Wear proper trekking shoes that can support on rocky patch and wet surface.
  • Try to start your trek as early as possible to see all the points from summit.
  • Avoid taking selfie at ladder point due to some risk factor.
  • There is enough space available to park the vehicle at base village.
  • Do not drink on fort and avoid littering the area around.


  1. wow this is an incredible post about doing something out of your comfort zone! way to go!

  2. Would love to visit the place when in Mumbai!

  3. I love to visit such fort which is located on hills. Lonavala is already in my bucket list and I am adding this place too. Thanks for sharing a complete guide to reach Sudhagad fort.

  4. Honestly, I have never tried to do this kind of activity, it looks hard but it looks fun at the same time. I wish to visit this fort someday!

  5. I have never heard of Sudhagad but it is beautiful. I have always loved exploring forts as well.

  6. Woah this is so cool, what a very beautiful area. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. A virtual hike that I have not done but reading this post made me encourage to do this when the lockdown is fired out. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  8. I would love to climb the ladder.the scary part is the most adventurous.
    I'm glad you have fan.

  9. It's wonderful that you were careful with your planning. That stinks about the road condition making the roads a little hard to navigate at some points. We have that here too and it makes it hard on bike riders. But good road conditions matter.

  10. Whoa! Just looking at that view from the top of the stairs is enough to make me want to hurl. I'm so scared of heights.

  11. Wow... Adventurous journey.. this makes me so thrilled to visit there... Waiting for the tym to out of corona

  12. Those are a lot of steps but the view is amazing!

  13. An incredibly detailed guide. Thank you so much for this post. I hope to visit these beautiful places someday.