Kamalgad

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Kamalgad Fort
कमळगड
Part of Sahyadri Hill Range
Satara district, Maharashtra
Kamalgad Fort.jpg
Kamalgad fort
Kamalgad Fort is located in Maharashtra
Kamalgad Fort
Kamalgad Fort
Coordinates 17°58′02.2″N 73°44′42.7″E / 17.967278°N 73.745194°E / 17.967278; 73.745194
Type Hill fort
Height 4200 Ft.
Site information
Owner Government of India
Open to
the public
Yes
Condition Ruins
Site history
Materials Stone
Stairs, Kamalgad fort

Kamalgad (literally lotus fort), also called Bhelanja[1] or Kattalgad (literally death fort) is a square hill fort in Wai Taluka in Maharashtra, India.

Location[edit]

It is ten miles (16 km) west of Wai and 32 km from Satara. Its coordinates are 18° 05' N, 74° 00' E. It has an elevation of 4,511 feet (1,375 m) above sea level.[2][3]

History[edit]

The builder of the fort is unknown.[3] During Maratha times, Kamalgad, Pandavgad and other forts in the area were administered by a mokasaddar (manager) from Bijapur.[4] Early documents written in now defunct Modi script of the Marathi language refer to the fort as 'Kattalgad'.[5] A detailed study of these documents is underway. In April 1818, Kamalgad surrendered after resistance to a British detachment commanded by a Major Thatcher.[2] Under the British, it was used to execute prisoners of war.[5]

Major Features[edit]

Red ocher in Kamalgad fort

The fort covers a flat area, 3-4 acres in size. It is surrounded by steep rock and can only be reached by perilously scaling this rock. Earlier, the approach was by an artificial tunnel, which started at the base of the rock and emerged on the top. Now this tunnel is blocked by a big rock which fell into it and was never removed.[4] There are no buildings on the top nor walls of any kind or even a gateway, which is unusual for a fort in this area. Likely, its height and steep rock around it provided it with enough protection.

Places to see[edit]

The only structure on the top is a hole which is the remains of a well sunk right through the rock, into the soil below which still has water. The hole is eighteen to twenty feet deep. The sides of the well which were formed of the natural rock were reported to have contained recesses in which criminals were placed. They had to choose between starvation and drowning.[2][4] However, none of the recesses can be discerned today. Some reports indicate that this 'hole' might have been a quarry for red stone (geru) which is plentiful in this region[1] (see picture).

How to reach[edit]

The nearest town is Bhor or Wai which is easily reachable from Pune. The base village of the fort is Supewadi which is 30 km from Wai and 79 km from Bhor.There are good hotels at Bhor and Wai for stay and food. The trekking path starts from the hillock south of the Supewadi. The route is very safe and wide. It takes about an hour to reach the machi.There are less trees on the ascending hill trekking route. The hill route ends upon an open land called Kamal machi.On the machi there is dense forest of Jambhul and Pisa trees. After reaching the machi the path takes a left turn to reach the lone villager's hut. The lone villager on the machi can make arrangements for night stay and food at very reasonable cost. The balekilla can be reached from Machi within 20mins.Balekilla is a scarp rising 30-40feet above the forest covered area.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kapadia, Harish (2004), Trek the Sahyadris, Indus Publications, retrieved 2009-01-19 
  2. ^ a b c Satara District Gazette
  3. ^ a b Friends of forts website Archived 2009-04-05 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Government Central Press, 1885, retrieved 2009-01-19 
  5. ^ a b Description of a Trek to Pandavgad

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 17°58′02.2″N 73°44′42.7″E / 17.967278°N 73.745194°E / 17.967278; 73.745194