The Ajinkyatara Fort is located in the Sahyadris Mountain Range in the state of Maharashtra. It is situated on the Ajinkyatara Mountain which is one of the 7 mountains bordering the city of Satara in the state. It was built during the 16th century and was mostly under the rule of the Maratha Empire. Standing at an elevation of 3,300 ft above sea level, the fortress was once a watchtower guarding the Satara city and offered a panoramic view of the city.
Viewing the Ajinkyatara Fort from far Yawateshwar hill too is so nice. Main attractions of this place are hiking, trekking and mountaineering. For the best view, one must start breasting up the hill from the base of Ajinkyatara at around 3.30 pm.
In 1708, Shahu Maharaj won Ajinkyatara, remained with the Marathas till 1818. The Ajinkyatara fort is a major historic place of Maharashtra and was very vital as one could keep watch of entire South Maharashtra.
Visitors can also visit the temples of Devi Mangala, Lord Shankar and Lord Hanuman on the northeast side of the fort. Nandgiri and Chandan-Vandan forts on the east and Jarandeshwar and Yawateshwar hills on the west can also be seen from the fort. Satara is well connected by rail and road with Pune, Sangli, Miraj and Kolhapur. One can stay at the hotels in Satara.
History of Ajinkyatara Fort
The Ajinkyatara fort is considered as one of the most prominent historic sites in the state of Maharashtra. The fort was constructed by Bhoj Raj II of Panhala between 1178 and 1193. Initially, the Ajinkyatara Fort was used as a prison and from 1580 to 1592; the famous Chandbibi was kept as a prisoner on this fort. Records state that in 1673, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharajtook control of this fort from Adil Shah of Bijapur, and further Aurangzeb ruled this fort between 1700 and 1706. The fort at Ajinkyatara was occupied by Shahu Maharaj in 1708 and it remained under the control of the Maratha ruler until the year 1818. The defensive structure was built at a strategic location which provided a view of the entire Southern Maharashtra. Maharani Tarabai, a queen of the Maratha Empire, was held captive in the fort by Shahu Maharaj.