||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (October 2009)|
- For the fort in Rajasthan see Lohagarh Fort
It is situated 52km from Pune in western India. Lohagad is at an elevation of 3,450 feet (1,052 m). It divides the basins of the Indrayani and Pavna and is situated on a side range of the Sahyadris. The Visapur fort is located on its eastern side. The four large gates of Lohagad are still in good condition and reasonably intact. Historical records show that in the later Peshwa period, Nana Phadnavis (1742-1800 AD) built several structures in the fort such as a big tank and a step-well (bawali).
On the west side, there is a long and narrow wall-like fortified spur called Vinchukata (Marathi for Scorpion's tail; see picture) because of its shape. Lohagad has a long history with several dynasties occupying it at different periods of time: Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Nizamshahis, Mughals and Marathas. Shivaji captured it in 1648 CE, but he was forced to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 CE by the Treaty of Purandar. Shivaji recaptured the fort in 1670 CE and used it for keeping his treasury. This fort was used to keep the loot from Surat. Later in Peshwa time Nana Phadanwis used this fort for living for sometime. The fort has been declared as a protected moument by the government.
How to reach the fort
From Mumbai, you can take a train to Lonavla. Malavli is the next station from Lonavla in the direction towards Pune. There are a number of local trains operating between Lonavla and Pune; you can take any of them. From Pune, you can take any of the local trains.
From the Malavli railway station, the fort is just 9 km away. Vehicles can reach the foot of the hill. From there, which is near a village called Lohagadwadi, there are steps to the fort, numbering approximately 500.
However, people can also walk all the way to the fort. Bhaja Caves is on the way to Lohagad if a small diversion is taken. This walk is a particular favorite of trekkers, especially in the monsoon season. It is a simple and easy trek and the distance from Malavli station to Bhaje gaav takes about 20 min. The distance between Malavli and Lohagadwadi can be covered in around 2-2.5 hrs. The trekking route becomes mucky when it rains and trekkers will have difficulty walking to the fort. The walk is very enjoyable, especially the picturesque scenery, lush green grass, cool mountain air, and the pleasant salubrious climate. A variety of birds and insects can also be spotted in these hills. There is a way to reach by road. There are two different routes to reach the base of Lohgad by car.
For people traveling from Mumbai or staying back in PCMC, the route is via Lonavala. If starting from Pune, take old Mumbai Pune highway. Just after you cross the toll plaza before lonavala, keep to your left until you cross “Manshakti”. There is a Y-type left turn just after “Manshakti”. Take that left and drive for another 200 odd meters to take the very first left again. You are on the way to lohgad after crossing the place called “Bhangarwadi” from where it is just 8–10 km. If you come across a railway crossing and Mumbai-Pune highway twice, you are on right track. You are on way to Paud, continue until you reach “Dudhiware Khind”. Just before it, take a left for Lohgad. From there it is around 4 km max. The road ahead is very steep with couple of sharp turns, but safe.
For people traveling from Pune city, the route is via Chandani chowk, Pirangut and Paud. After reaching Paud, take a right and drive for around 40-odd km. Just after you cross “Dudhiware Khind” you will reach the same place. Take a right for Lohgad base.
It is a tar road and you can comfortably reach the “Paytha”. It’s a wonderful place and should be tried in between mid August to mid September, when you can still have rain but the intensity diminishes.
When it rains, the top of the fort is covered with mist and clouds and becomes particularly wet. It is advisable to carry protective gear during the rainy season (mid-June to mid-September). Further, food is not easily available on the route. Most of the food stalls sell water, poha, tea/coffee, snacks, and soft drinks.
A panoramic view of the Pawna dam can be seen from the fort.
- Malawali railway station
- Mumbai-Pune Expressway (10 km)
- Bhaja Caves (2 km from Malawali), once home to Buddhist monks
- Karla Caves
- Lonavala hill station (20 km)
- Bushi Dam from Lonavala Market
- Ambey Valley Around 22 km from Bushi Dam
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lohagad.|