Maharashtra, located in western India, is home to a rich cultural heritage and a number of historic forts. The state was once home to several powerful empires, such as the Maratha Empire, and the forts were built as a means of defense against invading forces. Today, these forts are popular tourist destinations that offer a glimpse into India's rich history and cultural heritage. Here are some of the most popular forts in Maharashtra:
The magnificent and picturesque hill forts of Maharashtra includes Harish chandragad Fort, Raigad Fort, Nimgiri fort, Lingnan fort, Karnala Fort, Prabalgad Fort, and Pratapgad Fort. Chhatrapati Shivaji had 300 forts including the 5 sea forts, known for its picturesque surroundings and pleasant climate, which are known as one of the Best places for Trekking in Maharashtra.
List of Forts In Maharashtra
- Raigad Fort
- Devgiri Fort Daulatabad
- Pratapgad Fort
- Murud Janjira
- Sinhagad Fort
- Panhala Fort
- Rajmachi Fort
- Shivneri Fort
- Sindhudurg Fort
- Ajinkyatara Fort
- Tikona Fort
- Vasota Fort
- Tung Fort
- Torna Fort
- Korigad Fort
- Harishchandragad Fort
- Lohagad Fort
- Visapur Fort
- Purandar Fort
- Suvarnadurg Fort
- Prabalgad Fort
- Vijaydurg Fort
- Vasai Fort
- Ghangad Fort
- Malhargad Fort (Sonori Fort)
- Shaniwarwada Fort
- Yashwantgad Fort
- Kandahar Fort
- Akola Fort
- Mandangad Fort
1. Raigad Fort
Raigad Fort is 2900 Feet high hill fort. Raigad fort in the Pune mountain range of Raigad district is considered easy for trekkers. Raigad has the best place in the history of Hindvi Swarajya. 25 Km north of Mahad. The fort is located at an altitude of 2851 feet above Sea leavel. Raigad is Surrounded by mountains. To its north and east lies the Kala Rivar Basin.
The River Gandhari flows to the West. Lingana to the east, Raigad, Torna to the south if the sky is clear Makrandgad, Pratapgad, Vasota, to the South. To the north is the kokan Diva. Mumbai, Pune and Satara are at the same distance from Raigad. This is a link between the forts of Sahyadri. As Raigad is surrounded by mountain, by nature, The Maharaja Choose Raigad as his Capital in the western hills, Leaving Pune to fend of enemy attacks.
2. Devgiri Fort
The fort has a turbulent history. In the 14th century Tughlak decided to make it his capital, renamed it Daulatabad and moved the entire city of Delhi, down to the last lame or blind beggar who were all forced to walk thousands of miles south. That delinquent dream lasted about two years. Then they all moved back, to every last stray goat.
3. Pratapgad Fort
Pratapgad Fort is a strong and formidable mountain forts built by Shivaji, 24-km away from the famous hill-station Mahabaleshwar overlooking strategically into the Konkan region. One can see the Raigad fort from here. The Bhavani temple and Afzal Khan's Tomb are other places of interest.
4. Murud Janjira Fort
About 165 km south of Mumbai in the Raigad district of Maharashtra is Murud Janjira, one of the strongest marine Forts In Maharashtra of India and the only unconquered one along India’s western coast. Famous for its beaches, the glittering sandy coastline and the villages hemmed with coconut groves, the town of Murud-Janjira attracts large crowds over weekends from Mumbai, which is merely 150 km away. Needless to say, the sea fort is the center of all activity in this small town.
5. Sinhagad Fort
As one of the top military outposts during the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the fort of Sinhagad not only offers a fascinating peek into the history of the Maratha Empire but is also a perennial favorite with trekkers and the residents of Pune because of its proximity to the city. While standing atop the hill and taking in the panoramic view of the landscape below, you cannot help but wonder at the vision of those who built such imposing structures at such great heights.
6. Panhala Fort
Panhala lies on the Sahyadri Mountain Range and is situated in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. It is about 22 km to the northwest of Kolhapur on the Kolhapur-Ratnagiri road and is at an altitude of 3177 feet above sea level.
7. Rajmachi Fort
Rajmachi Forts In Maharashtra is considered as one of the famous places for trekking in Maharashtra. The beautiful place has exotic natural locations as well as it is a historic site. Rajmachi can be reached via the town of Lonavla along the Khandala plateau. Lonavla is an important train station on the Indian rail network. It is most convenient to start trekking from the morning itself at around 11 am.
8. Shivneri Fort
This place is the birth place of Chhatrapati Shivaji Raje Bhosale. He was born here on 19th February 1630 and spent most of his childhood days on the fort. Shivneri being a strong fort was chosen by his father as his birth place. There are 7 doors for this fort and during the old days getting past these was a tough job.
Shivneri Fort is a very famous fort in the Junnar region of Maharashtra. It holds a lot of historical importance as it was the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. This place is ideal for one day treks/visits and requires moderate trekking experience.
See below for more information about Shivneri and the trek involved in getting to the top.
9. Sindhudurg Fort
Sindhudurg Fort is a historical fort located on a islet in the Arabian Sea, near on the shore of Malvan town of Sindhudurg district, coastal Maharashtra, India. This fort was constructed by Shivaji Maharaj, the chhatrapati of the Maratha Empire and is one of the top places to visit in Maharashtra, india. This imposing construction is spread over an area of 48 acres, with its massive walls standing tall against the crashing waves of the sea.
The main entrance of the fort is hidden away in such a manner that no one can identify it from the outside. Shivaji’s palm and footprints are preserved here on dried lime slabs in a tower. Inside the Fort, temples of Bhavanimata, Shambhu Mahadev, Jirimiri, Mahapurush and Shivajeshwar are worth seeing, all of which are in good condition. Sindhudurg Fort is located at approx 528km from Mumbai, 382km from Pune, 106km from Panaji, 214km from Karwar, Karnataka, 482km from Mangaluru, Karnataka.
10. Ajinkyatara Fort
Ajinkyatra Forts In Maharashtra is in Satara. The fort is located at Ajinkyatara Mountain, which is 3,300 feet high. As the fort is at a higher altitude, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view of the entire Satara city. There is a number of water tanks inside the fort for storing water. So, there is no scarcity of water even as the fort is in a higher place.
11. Tikona Fort
It is located near Kamshet around 48 km from Pune. The base village of the fort is Tikona-Peth. The fort is pyramidal in shape and the name Tikona means "triangle". Tikona fort is the easier forts to climb and would be a good introductory, yet interesting trek.
There are many places to see on the fort. Entrance gate (Vetal darwaja), the temple of 'Trimbakeshwar Mahadev', Water tanks, Caves constructed during Satvahan, stone grinder, Steep stairs which takes you at the Bale-Killa, bastion and Bale-Killa. The whole fort can be seen in an hour's time. From the top of the fort, you can have a view of adjacent fort Tung (On another side of Pawna Dam, Lohagad, Visapur, Jambhuli hill and entire Pawna region.
12. Vasota Fort
Vasota Forts In Maharashtra, which is surrounded by NIBID forests, has very few forests now called dense. The Koyna Sanctuary is one of the forests protected by the Sahyadri tiger project. Vasota Fort is a fortress located in the nibid forests rich with such wildlife. On the one side is a vast reservoir of coal surrounded by dense forest, and on the other side, the ravidrabhishan of Konkan, on the other hand, is the "tiger" of nature.
There is a machi on this fort which is known as Kalkai Thane. Lohgad's scorpion bite is reminiscent of the size of this fly The new vasota, visible from this dark place, and the old vasota, surrounded by thick bush.
13. Tung Fort
Tung Forts In Maharashtra is also named as Kathingad fort. It is one of the well-known forts around Pune. While climbing, one can experience the difficult challenge of reaching this fort. Tung Fort was built by the rulers of the Adilshahi dynasty before 1600 CE. However it was later occupied by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj of the Maratha Empire. It is a small fortification and supported around 200 soldiers only.
This fort served as a watchtower in the past because the site offers a panoramic view of the Maval region of Pawna and Mulshi valley. The Dhamale family, one of the Deshmukhs from the Maval region, was charged with ensuring the security of Tung Fort. During invasion, it served to provide a temporary distraction for invaders. Thus, the major forts of Visapur and Lohagad would have time to prepare themselves to meet the invading army.
14. Torna Fort
Torna Forts In Maharashtra was the first fort captured by Shivaji Maharaj. He captured this fort and started his journey to build the Maratha empire when he was just sixteen years old (in 1643). This shows his valor and determination to construct a new empire.
Torna Fort In Maharashtra is also known as Prachandgad. The Marathi word prachand means huge in English. The name Prachandgad itself suggests the spread of the fort. This huge fort is perched in the great Sahyadri Ranges in the district of Pune in Maharashtra state of India and boasts to be the tallest in the district with an altitude of 1405 meters from the sea level.
15. Korigad Fort
Korigad (also called Koraigad, Koarigad or Kumwarigad) is a hill fort located about 20 km south of Lonavla in Pune district, Maharashtra, India. This fort was incorporated into his kingdom by Shivaji Maharaj along with the forts of Lohagad, Visapur, Tung, and Tikona in 1657. On March 11, 1818, Col. Brother tried to take over this fort but even after a prolonged siege could not make any headway. Finally on 14 March, by igniting the stored ammunition by means of a loose cannonball, he succeeded and this fort was conquered by British. The fort is believed to be 1500 years old. The planned township of Aamby Valley is built over the fort’s southern and eastern foothills.
16. Harishchandragad Fort
Harishchandragad Fort is a hill fort in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra India. Its history is associated with that of Malshej Ghat, kothale village and it has played a major role in guarding and controlling the surrounding region.
It is situated at an elevation of about 4670 feet in the district of Ahmednagar. Within the fort there are several temples dedicated to Vishnu and Ganesh.
This fort has a lot of temples and caves within the premises. A brilliant Saptatirtha Pushkarni temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu has been constructed by the Kalchuri dynasty. Kedareshwar cave is a unique cave here which has a big Shivlinga surrounded by water. It is probable that Shiva was the patron deity of the fort, as there are a number of Shiva lingas at the top of the fort.
17. Lohagad Fort
Lohagad Fort, literally means Iron fort, is an important hill fort used extensively by Chatrapati Shivaji. It has a long history and was used by all dynasties who ruled Vidharbha and Maratha kingdoms. The Lohagad Fort is placed at an altitude of more than 1050 meters. This fort is situated on the Sahyadri ranges and divides the Pavna basin and Indrayani basin.
The Lohagard fort site is a fine destination for tourist with interests in architecture, archeology and history. The actual date of original fort is not clearly known but the known records points out some additional constructions such as a step well and big tank during eighteenth century. The ancient fort's four mammoth gates are still intact and are in good condition.
18. Visapur Fort
Visapur fort is located in Patan Village near Malavli falling under Maval Taluka in Pune District. Distance from Mumbai and Pune to Visapur Fort is 100 km and 65 km respectively. Visapur Fort Trek can be divided into three categories. Jungle Trail, climbing a Waterfall and then steps. One can explore numerous Water Cisterns, Huge Limestone Grinder, Visapur’s Fortification Wall, Hanuman & Shiva Temple.
19. Purandar Fort
Purandar Fort is known as the birthplace of Sambhaji Maharaj, the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Purandar Fort In Maharashtra is also mentioned in the rise of Shivaji against Adil Shahi Bijapur Sultanate and the Mughals. It is among one of the famous tourist attraction in Pune, Maharashtra, India.
The fort was earliest known in the Yadava era in the 11th century. After the defeat of the Yadavas by the Persian invaders, the territory surrounding the fort fell into the hands of the Persians who further fortified the Purandar Fort in 1350 A.D. During the early rule of the Bijapur and Ahmednagar kings, The Purandar Fort In Maharashtra was among the forts directly under the Government rule and was never entrusted to Jagirdars (estate holders).
20. Suvarnadurg Fort
This Suvarnadurg fort which was built during the Shilahar dynasty was captured by Shivaji Maharaj in 1660 by defeating Ali Adil Shah. Shivaji Maharaj later rebuilt and strengthened the Suvarnadurg fort. The hidden entrance of the Suvarnadurg fort is one of its features. During the reign of Rajaram Maharaj, Kanhoji Angre put an end to the dishonesty of the castellan. Subsequent to Kanhoji's demise, Tulaji Angre took charge of Suvarnadurg and it became the seat of his power.
21. Prabalgad Fort
Prabal Fort or Prabalgad Fort is located in the Raigad district, between two villages: Matheran and Panvel, in Maharashtra. At present, the ruin of the fort lies on the flat summit of the Prabal hills. It is truly a remarkable fort. This fort is also known as Muranjan fort, Pradhangad Fort or Prabalmachi Fort and was built according to the Bahmani Sultanate architecture style. This fort was also built against the Panvel fort and the Kalyan fort (under the north Konkan region) and is known for rich history as the fort came under various sultanate and dynasties over the years. This fort was renamed from Muranjan Fort to Prabalgad fort during the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's rule, the Maratha forces had taken over the fort and renamed it as Prabalgad.
22. Vijaydurg Fort
Vijaydurg Fort is one of the most historically important sites in Sindhudurg District. Fort is surrounded by sea from three sides, was once called as Girye or Gheriya. There are 27 Buruj (tower) inside the fort of which some have three floors .Vijaydurg The fort covers an area of six hectares. Kothi Pirachi Sadar, Kitta Sadar, Jails, Jakhinis Canon, huge stones used for construction purpose, and the platform built in the deep sea for guarding are worth visiting.
23. Vasai Fort
Vasai is a city of historical importance. Located in the Konkan Division of the Maharashtra State in the Palghar district, the city was one of the biggest assets of the Portuguese. Earlier a trading ground for Greeks, Arabs, Persians and Romans Vasai, previously known as Bacaim, Bajipur, Bassein and finally Vasai, was a prominent part of mainland India.
Located 60 kilometres away from Mumbai, after becoming a Portuguese colony, the importance of the city increased manifold. Due to its proximity to the sea, allowing easy access to all sea routes, the Portuguese made Vasai, then called as Bacaim, it’s colony. The city houses the Vasai Fort, one of the most important forts in history. The fort offers a glimpse into the 16th and 17th centuries of the Portuguese Rule on Vasai. From the time of 16th century, Bassein was Portuguese northern capital with the treaty with the Sultan, until Marathas under the rule of Chimaji Appa captured the fort in the year 1739.
24. Ghangad Fort
Ghangad Fort is located in Lonavala region in Mulshi Taluka in Pune district of Maharashtra. The Ghangad fort is part of Sahyadri Hill Range and an important fort in Pune district. The fort restoration is done by the Shivaji Trail group with the help of local villagers. Restoration work took place in 2011-12.
Ghangad Fort is around 400 years old and it is believed that it was used by the Peshwas to keep the prisoners. This fort was also used for keeping watch on the trade route from Pune to Konkan. Until 1818 this fort was under the Maratha Empire. This fort was surrendered to British forces after the fall of Korigad.
25. Malhargad Fort (Sonori Fort)
Malhargad is also known as Sonori Fort. Sonar Fort is came from Village Sonati which is the base on this village name. Malhargad is one of the hill forts in Pune district is located near Sasawad and around 30 km from Pune. The fort was named after the God Malhari and it is said that this is the last fort built by the Marathas in 1775.
Malhargad or Sonori fort is still in good condition and not ruined. There are two temples on the fort, Lord Khandobo and Lord Mahadeva. The famous place of Lord Khandoba called Jejuri is also not far from the fort Malhargad. From the top of the fort you can see Jejuri city and Parvati hills also. Other than these places you can also see forts like Sinhagad, Purandar, and Vajragad from the top of the fort Sonori.
26. Shaniwarwada Fort
Shaniwar wada is one of the historical fort in the Pune. It is situated near the Mula-Mutha River in KasbaPeth. The construction of the fort was started in 1730, by the rulers of Maratha empire, Peshwas. It was the seat of them. Peshwas were the rulers of Maratha Empire, until, they surrender themselves to British that is till 1818. It was named Shaniwar Wada from the Marathi words, Shanivar means Saturday and Wada is a general huge residence complex.
It was completely built by Teak and Stone. All the teak and stones were brought from the jungles of junnar(village in pune) and the nearby quarries of chinchwad, which is a town in Pune. The construction was completed in 1732. Later on,Peshwas made several additions including the fortification walls with bastions and gates court halls and other buildings, fountains and reservoirs. Currently,fortification wall has five gateways and nine bastion towers, enclosing a garden complex with the foundations of the original buildings.
27. Yashwantgad Fort
It is an oceanside post developed on a high ground. The fortification is all developed from laterite rocks which are accessible in the territory. There is one elephant cut out of these rocks in this stronghold.
There is likewise one stand post for the banner cut out in the stone. There is one fundamental outer divider structure and inside there is the bastion. The aggregate range is 25 sections of land. There are different structures some of which are multi-story.
These structures are the royal residence, convenience for troopers, storage facility and so forth. There is additionally trench around the fortification. The post was initially created amid the time standard of Vijayanagara Kingdom over this region. Redi, as it is quickly known, was a port town of high criticality and was known as Revatideep.
28. Kandhar Fort
Famous for its wonderful architecture and sprawling greenery, Kandhar fort is nearly 1200 years old. Located near the bank of the River Manya, this fort has many charismatic structures. Lal Mahal, Darbar Mahal, Ambar Khana and Sheesh Maha are few such specimens of Maratha architecture. There are many ancient sculptures like a 60 feet high statue of ‘yaksha vastu purush.’
Marathas were just not a gallant group of warriors but also admirers of art and architecture. Visit the above mentioned forts and get a glimpse of the rich culture and lifestyle of the Maratha monarchs.
29. Akola Fort
Akola fort is also called Asadgad Fort or Asagad Fort. It is one of the earliest mud fort. It was made by one Akol Singh. It was later during 1697 CE the reign of Aurangzeb by Asad Khan, Hence the alternate present name. There are Two approaches to the fort. 1St, an East West stair case running along the northern wall of the fort; 2nd, a properly constructed approach path & stair case running North to South through residential area. Local residents are using this well constructed path for tethering of domestic animals .The stench of cow and buffalo dung and urine is overwhelming . The path is also used for parking of auto rickshaws etc. Both the approaches are extremely filthy and odorous. Almost puts you off from going any further. Condition of the fort it self is very bad and pathetic. Sheed Smarak, fountain etc built some time in the past are also badly neglected. Apathy of local administration is regretful. If things don’t improve no one will ever visit this place. A historical monument will be lost forever.
30. Mandangad Fort
It is said that Mandangad was built by King Bhoj. In 1661 it was under Jaswantrao Dalvi, an Adilshahi Sardar. He was the person who had besieged Vishalgad during Shivaji Maharaj’s daring escape from Panhalgad. When Shivaji Maharaj defeated Kartalabkhan and was marching towards Dabhol, Mandangad was on the way. Hearing this news, Jaswantrao ran away to Shringarpur and Shivaji Maharaj got it without a fight. It was with Angres and Siddis for some time. The British captured it in 1818.
These are just a few of the many historic forts in Maharashtra. Each fort has its own unique history and cultural significance, making them a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike. So why not plan your trip today and discover all that these magnificent forts have to offer?
What are some popular forts in Maharashtra?
Maharashtra is home to many historical forts, some of the popular ones include Raigad Fort, Sindhudurg Fort, Pratapgad Fort, Shivneri Fort, Torna Fort, Rajgad Fort, Sinhagad Fort, and Harishchandragad Fort.
What is the history behind these forts?
Most of these forts were built by the Maratha Empire and served as strategic fortifications to protect the region from invaders. These forts played a significant role in the Indian freedom struggle and have witnessed many battles and wars.
What are the main attractions of these forts?
These forts are known for their impressive architecture, historical significance, and scenic beauty. Some of the main attractions of these forts include the fortification walls, the temples and mosques within the forts, the trekking routes to the forts, and the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.
How to reach these forts?
Most of these forts are located in different parts of Maharashtra and are well-connected by road and rail. Visitors can take a taxi, a bus or a train to reach the nearest railway station or bus stand and then take a local transport to reach the fort.
What is the best time to visit these forts?
- The best time to visit these forts is during the winter months from November to February when the weather is pleasant and cool. Visitors can also visit these forts during the monsoon season from June to September, but the rains may disrupt travel plans. It is advisable to avoid visiting these forts during the summer months from March to May due to the high temperatures.