Tung Fort, also known as Kathingad, is a hill fort located in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India. It is situated at an altitude of 1,083 meters above sea level and is about 20 kilometers from the town of Lonavala. The fort has a rich history and was initially built by the Satavahanas around the 2nd century BCE.
Later, it was ruled by various dynasties, including the Marathas and the British. Tung Fort is known for its beautiful architecture, which includes two main gates, several bastions, and a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The fort offers panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys and is a popular destination for hikers and trekkers.
The trek to the fort is moderate in difficulty and takes about two hours to complete. Overall, Tung Fort is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and natural beauty, and it offers a unique glimpse into India's rich past.
How to Reach Tung Fort
Tung Fort is located in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India, and can be reached by various modes of transportation. Here are some of the common ways to reach Tung Fort:
- By road: Tung Fort is well-connected by road, and one can hire a taxi or take a bus from Pune or Mumbai to reach the base village of Tungwadi. From Tungwadi, it takes about an hour to reach the fort by foot.
- By train: The nearest railway station to Tung Fort is the Lonavala railway station, which is about 20 kilometers away. From there, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to Tungwadi.
- By air: The nearest airport to Tung Fort is the Pune International Airport, which is about 60 kilometers away. From there, one can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Tungwadi.
Once you reach Tungwadi, you can start the trek to Tung Fort, which takes about two hours to complete. It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes and carry enough water and snacks during the trek.
Best Time to Visit Tung Fort
The best time to visit Tung Fort is during the winter months of November to February, when the weather is cool and pleasant. The temperature during this time ranges from 12°C to 28°C, making it ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and trekking.
The monsoon season from June to September should be avoided as the terrain can become slippery and dangerous due to heavy rainfall. The summer months of March to May can be quite hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C. However, if you plan to visit during this time, it is recommended to start the trek early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. Overall, the best time to visit Tung Fort is during the winter months when the weather is mild and pleasant.
Significance of Tung Fort
Tung Fort holds great cultural and historical significance, not only as a symbol of the Maratha empire's military prowess but also as a monument of Maratha architecture. The fort's walls, gates, and fortifications are made of large stone blocks and are a testament to the advanced construction techniques used by the Marathas during the 17th century.
The Tung Fort is also known for its scenic location, surrounded by steep cliffs and the scenic backwaters of the Tung river. The fort's location offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape and is a popular spot for nature lovers and photographers.
Things to do at Tung Fort
Tung Fort offers a unique and enriching experience to visitors, with a combination of history, natural beauty, and adventure. Here are some of the things you can do while visiting the fort:
- Trek to the fort: The fort is only accessible by a challenging trek through the dense forests and steep cliffs that surround it. The trek offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and is a popular activity for adventure seekers.
- Explore the fort: The fort is a living museum and gives visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Maratha empire. You can explore the fortifications, walls, and gates and learn about the techniques used to build them.
- Enjoy the scenic views: The fort offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including the scenic backwaters of the Tung river, steep cliffs, and dense forests. Visitors can enjoy the panoramic views from the top of the fort.
- Visit the Tung Wildlife Sanctuary: The Tung Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area that is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including tigers, leopards, and a variety of birds. Visitors can explore the sanctuary and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
Main attractions of Tung Fort
Tung Fort is a popular tourist destination in Maharashtra, India, and offers a range of attractions for visitors to explore. Here are some of the main attractions of Tung Fort:
- Fortification: Tung Fort is an ancient hill fort with impressive fortifications, including two main gates, bastions, and walls. The fortifications offer a glimpse into the history and architecture of the time.
- Trekking: Tung Fort is a popular destination for hikers and trekkers, and the trek to the fort is a moderate trek that takes about two hours to complete. The trek offers stunning views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
- Natural beauty: Tung Fort is situated in the midst of natural beauty and offers stunning views of the Sahyadri mountains, the Pavana dam, and the surrounding greenery. The views from the fort are particularly impressive during the monsoon season when the hills are covered in lush greenery.
- Lord Shiva temple: There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on top of the fort, which attracts many devotees.
- Adventure activities: Tung Fort is also a popular destination for adventure activities like rappelling and rock climbing. Many adventure enthusiasts visit the fort to test their skills and challenge themselves.
Overall, Tung Fort offers a unique combination of history, architecture, natural beauty, and adventure activities, making it a must-visit destination in Maharashtra.
Festivals in Tung Fort
Tung Fort is an ancient hill fort located in Maharashtra, India, and does not have any festivals specific to the fort. However, the region is known for various festivals that are celebrated by the local communities. Some of the popular festivals celebrated in and around Tung Fort include:
- Ganesh Chaturthi: This is a 10-day festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God. It is a major festival in Maharashtra and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion.
- Diwali: Diwali is the festival of lights, and it is celebrated all over India. It marks the victory of good over evil and is celebrated by lighting diyas and fireworks.
- Holi: Holi is a festival of colors and is celebrated all over India. It marks the arrival of spring and is celebrated with a lot of colors and water.
- Navratri: Navratri is a nine-day festival that celebrates the power of the Goddess. It is celebrated by fasting, dancing, and worshiping the Goddess.
During these festivals, the local communities come together to celebrate and participate in various cultural events, including traditional dances and music performances. Visitors to Tung Fort during these festivals can experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Maharashtra.
In conclusion, Tung Fort is a stunning example of Maratha architecture and adventure. With its rich history, breathtaking views, and challenging trek, Tung Fort is a true adventure for anyone seeking a unique and enriching experience in Maharashtra. So, plan your visit to this historic fort today and immerse yourself in its rich history, natural beauty, and adventure.
Where is Tung Fort located?
Tung Fort is located in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India, near the town of Lonavala.
How do I reach Tung Fort?
The base village for Tung Fort is Tungwadi, which is approximately 120 km from Mumbai. One can reach the base village by road or by train, and then trek to the fort.
Is it necessary to hire a guide to trek to Tung Fort?
While it is not mandatory to hire a guide, it is recommended, especially for those who are trekking for the first time. A guide can provide valuable information about the route and ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.
What is the best time to visit Tung Fort?
The best time to visit Tung Fort is from November to February, when the weather is cool and dry.
What are the things to carry for a trek to Tung Fort?
Some of the essential things to carry for a trek to Tung Fort include comfortable trekking shoes, warm clothes, a first aid kit, a trekking pole, a water bottle, and a flashlight.
Is there any accommodation available on Tung Fort?
No, there is no accommodation available on Tung Fort. However, there are several camping sites near the fort where trekkers can stay overnight. It is important to carry one's own camping equipment and supplies.
What are the major attractions on Tung Fort?
Some of the major attractions on Tung Fort include the Tung summit, the Shiv temple, and the Hanuman temple. Tung Fort also offers scenic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.