6 Forts Perfect for Trekking this Season
Updated: Jul 30
As Punekars, we are extremely lucky to have the Sahyadri range surrounding us! Apart from immense natural beauty, the Sahyadris is home to a number of forts which make perfect weekend trekking destinations. Monsoons might be the best time to explore these forts. Here is our list of six forts around Pune which are perfect for trekking, particularly for those who are new to trekking and are looking for easy to moderate treks to begin with!
Situated in the Maval region near the Pavana Dam, around 50 km from Pune, Fort Tikona gets its name due to its triangular structure. The fort was built to guard the trade routes of the Bor Ghat connecting the ports on the western coast to the cities of the Deccan plateau. At around 3500 feet above sea level, this hill fort makes for an easy trek. The well-marked trail goes past caves, temples, large doors cut into the rock surface. One particularly intriguing sculpture en-route, is the massive vermilion smeared Hanuman bust cut into the rocks with the devil Panvati, under his feet. On the top, there are a few ruins of the fort and a temple dedicated to Trimbakeshwar Mahadev. Once atop, the fort offers some stunning views of the Pavana Lake and the surrounding Sahyadri ranges. The base village is Tikona peth, from where the trek starts. At Tikona Peth, you will some chai, wada pav and other snacks at local tapris.
Distance from Pune: 50 km
Route Map from Pune - https://goo.gl/maps/eQhvmgLYDtx
Fort Rohida or Vichitragad is a Fort situated around Bhor village near Pune. Shivaji Maharaj won the fort from the hands of Bandal-Deshmukh of Rohida in a close battle. Rohida was among the 23 forts which Shivaji handed over to Mughals during the Treaty of Purandar in 1665. Later in 1670 this fort was recaptured by Shivaji.
The base village of the fort is Bajarwadi. The trekking path starts from the school and the route is safe and wide. It takes about an hour to reach the first entrance of the fort from where the fortification starts. Atop the fort, there is a temple of Rohideshwar or Rohidamalla from where the fort gets its name. The trek to the fort is famous for torrent winds and experiencing the winds during monsoon is one of the greatest thrills one simply shouldn't miss! Reaching the top through challenging winds rewards you with a feeling of accomplishment and astounding views.
Distance from Pune: 65 km
Route Map from Pune - https://goo.gl/maps/ChSLT2mGFMQ2
Ghangad is a fort is situated in the heart of Tamhini Ghat, but better accessible from Lonavala. The fort is surrounded by other forts like Korigad, Tailbaila and Sudhagad. In terms of the history, very little is known about the fort. Ghangad was used to keep watch on the trade route from Pune to Konkan. The trek to Ghangad is deceptively easy. En-route, there is a point where there is a beautiful cave which is around 45 min from the base village of Ekole. From here the climb becomes a bit tricky and difficult. A group of fort lovers called Shivaji Trail have installed a strong metal ladder on a rock patch which was almost impossible to climb without trekking gear. The climb after the ladder is steep and it is advisable to cover this patch in a group with an experienced guide. The summit offers some of the best views of the majestic Konkan Valley and they make all the effort seem worthwhile.
Distance from Pune: 100 km
Route Map from Pune - https://goo.gl/maps/Bpgp12zxb2z
Korigad is a hill fort located at near Lonavala near Aamby Valley. Korigad is one of the easiest treks around Pune. It is perfect for amateur trekkers or enthusiasts who want to start trekking! The base village is Peth Shahpur from where the fort is accessible through a combination of a jungle trail and steps, which takes around 45-50 min. A temple dedicated to Korai Devi is situated atop the fort. The fortification and some of the bastions are in good condition which makes it perfect to walk along the entire perimeter of the fort. During monsoons there are many waterfalls which fall into the valley from the top of Korigad.
Distance from Pune: 90 km
Route Map from Pune - https://goo.gl/maps/1ybmenncEr32
Raireshwar is famous because of our history books! At the Raireshwar temple located atop a hill and a plateau, a 16 yearold Shivaji took the oath of Swarajya. The Raireshwar plateau and the temple are located near Bhor village. The base village for the Raireshwar trek is Korle. From the base village after a 45 min trek, there is a ladder route which will take you to the top of the plateau. Recently a road has been constructed from Korle to the point from where the ladder starts. This road, though motorable, has some very difficult hair-pin turns. Post monsoon, in September, the plateau changes appearance as different flowers bloom here, similar to the more popular Kaas plateau. The adjoining Kenjalgad fort makes for a perfect additional trek after Raireshwar.
Distance from Pune: 110 km
Route Map from Pune - https://goo.gl/maps/NygovFnJP512
Tung Fort is located near Pavana Dam around 60 km from Pune. The fort was built during the Adil Shahi dynasty but was captured by the Marathas. It is a small fort and its shape and structure suggest that its main function was as a watchtower. From atop the fort, almost the complete Maval region of the Pawana and Mulshi valleys can be seen. Its sharp, conical peak makes Tung Fort a prominent landmark, even from a distance. The base village of fort is Tung Wadi from where the trek starts. The climb from the base village to the entrance of the fort takes around 45 min. The climb from the entrance to the summit is a bit difficult, probably the reason Tung is also known as Kathingad (Kathin in Marathi means difficult). Make sure this last patch is covered slowly, with caution and accompanied by experienced trekkers, particularly during the monsoon months. Considering, Tung Fort served as a watchtower, the view from top is simply breathtaking. You can see the Pavana Lake and the surrounding forts of Tikona, Lohagad and Visapur from the top.
Distance from Pune: 60 km
Route Map from Pune - https://goo.gl/maps/9dsYDDVMnSt
The article was originally published in Whats Hot Pune. Read about it HERE.