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Forts in Maharashtra: Best places for Trekking

On land and ocean, the strength of stone stands mighty over the years. The Maratha heartland is fortified by over 350 forts – the largest number in any state in India. Here, the crimson-edged sword of the Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s gleams with the pride of a victorious warrior. Maharashtra state is dotted with a number of magnificent forts, nested in the Western Ghats or the Sahyadri Mountain range.

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

  1. Raigad Fort
  2. Devgiri Fort Daulatabad
  3. Pratapgad Fort
  4. Murud Janjira
  5. Sinhagad Fort
  6. Panhala Fort
  7. Rajmachi Fort
  8. Shivneri Fort
  9. Sindhudurg Fort
  10. Ajinkyatara Fort
  11. Tikona Fort
  12. Vasota Fort
  13. Tung Fort
  14. Torna Fort
  15. Korigad Fort
  16. Harishchandragad Fort
  17. Lohagad Fort
  18. Visapur Fort
  19. Purandar Fort
  20. Suvarnadurg Fort
  21. Prabalgad Fort
  22. Vijaydurg Fort
  23. Vasai Fort
  24. Ghangad Fort
  25. Malhargad Fort (Sonori Fort)
  26. Shaniwarwada Fort
  27. Yashwantgad Fort
  28. Kandahar Fort
  29. Akola Fort
  30. Mandangad Fort

1. Raigad Fort

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

 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

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

Murud Janjira

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 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 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

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

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

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 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

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

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

22. Vijaydurg Fort

23. Vasai Fort

24. Ghangad Fort

25. Malhargad Fort (Sonori Fort)

26. Shaniwarwada Fort

27. Yashwantgad Fort

28. Kandahar Fort

29. Akola Fort

30. Mandangad Fort

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