View from the Lohagad Fort
History of Lohagad fort
The Nizam continued ruling the fort until 1630 and under his reign the fort also served as a prison in the year 1564 CE. After 1630 CE the Mughal emperor, Adilshah gained control over Lohagad before Shivaji Maharaj captured it from him in the year 1648 CE right after he had captured the fort of Torna. Netaji Palkar was given the responsibility of looking after the fort and the adjoining areas. After capturing it in 1648 CE, Shivaji 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 monument by the government.
An aerial view of the fort
Construction of Lohagad fort
Lohagad fort, elevated at the height of 3,450 feet (1,052 m), has 4 doors to Lohagad from the nearby village Lohagadwadi. From Lohagadwadi, one can enter the fort through any of its four doors- Narayan darwaja, Ganesh darwaja, Maha darwaja and Hanuman darwaja. Of all the darwajas, the Hanuman darwaja is the oldest. The main gate of the fort is known as the ‘Delhi Gate’ because of its beautiful design and it is one of the main attractions of Lohagad. There are three gates one after the other after 'Delhi Gate'. The third gate especially is very exquisite. On entering this third gate one reaches the guard's post. There is provision to position guns here. This gate is constructed in such a way that the gunfire from gates above would reach the enemy at the first gate.
Inside Lohagad fort
There are several forts which one can spot, prominent amongst them are Tikona, Visapur and Tung. This fort can also be viewed from Mumbai- Pune expressway. At the top, there is vast expanse of land that is mostly flat and some of it high ground. The key highlights out there are Shivaji / Shivji and Hanuman Mandir, Shatkoni talav (Trimbak Talav), 16 koni Talav (hatti talav), Dargah, a domed structure which is the first thing that is seen as the fort is reached.
The top of the fort is quite expansive and offers uninterrupted views in all directions. Another highlight is the reverse waterfall phenomenon. There is a waterfall somewhere down the hill which is not visible, but due to very strong winds, the water changes the direction from below to upwards side and you feel like its raining. This point is behind the dargah on left side en route to VinchuKata.
Trekking at Lohagad
The trekking route to Lohagad is easy even when it rains and is an ideal '1st trek experience' with 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. Views of dazzling flora against the backdrop of the Visapur Fort mountain make the trek truly rewarding.
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).
How to reach Lohagad Fort
From the Malawli 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.