Situated close to the popular hill station of Lonavala, one of Maharashtra’s many hilltop forts, Lohagad sure makes a splendid trekking destination. 52 km northwest of Pune, the fort looms from an elevation of 3,389 ft. The fort is connected by hilly by-lanes with a neighboring fort carrying the vestiges of the Maratha legacy-- the Visapur Fort. The foundation of the Lohagad fortress was laid under the Maratha Empire and later conquered by the Mughals. The imprint of a long and chequered history of great dynasties is laid thick on the walls of Lohagad which culturally interested trekkers love to uncover. The mountain range upholding the fort happens to divide the basins of Indrayani River and Pavana Lake. Looking afar from the top of the fort, you can see the hills extending to the northwest at the feet of a fortified spur. This structure resembling the sting of a scorpion tail is known as the Vinchukada (the ‘scorpion’s tail’). Looking southwest of the Lohagad stronghold, you can see the Visapur fort raising its head and trekkers could choose to cover the tracks to that fort as well. However, the most exquisite personae of the Lohagad Fort surfaces when trekking on a rain hazed day. During the monsoon, the top of the fort is found covered in growing moss, the inroads leading to the hill remain slippery this time of the year and you need to experience and care to make the trek under such conditions. Your fort exploring treks around Mumbai and Pune will remain incomplete without a swoop over Lohagad!
The ‘iron fort’, Lohagad atop the Western Ghats hills looks over vast green river basins of the Indrayani and Pavna streams. Symbolically upholding the legacy and history of Maratha Empire, the foundation of the fort is typical of the many hilltop Maratha strongholds found around Pune built or captured during 1648 AD. Notable are the huge water reservoirs found inside the fort and the deep step-well. This is a monument protected by the Archeological Survey of India, the placards of which will let you learn many a historical trivia about the trek. If you are looking for the perfect Instagram frame to show off your accomplishment of climbing to the fort, photography the four majestic gates of the fortress! While climbing to the fort, one after another you shall be crossing the four gates. The gates are historically named as -- ‘Ganesh Darwaaja’, ‘Hanuman Darwaaja’, ‘Maha Daarwaja’, and ‘Laxmi Darwaja’. Besides these structures, you will find two huge granaries built from the era for the purpose of storage during a long holdout at war time. Upon entering the Maha Darwaaja, you can trace the remnants of a ‘Dargah’, meaning the shrine of the grave of a Sufi saint, dating back to the Mughal times. There are also remnants of a court and a cluster of intact rooms in the Laxmi Kothi. Look around to find two enormous canons placed facing the skies and marvel at history’s many hidden relics inside Lohagad. After trekkers are done visiting the Quila, the trip furthers to Bhaje Caves before finally dispersing for journeying back to Lonavala.
The Lohagad Fort is situated at an altitude of 3,389 ft.
It is unanimously agreed upon trekkers that Lohagad is best visited during monsoon when the lakes make the surroundings look fresh and verdant and contrasting with the cover of dark clouds looming behind. Attempt the trek during July to September.
By Air: The nearest airport to the trek is Pune International Airport while the Navi Mumbai Airport under construction will be even closer in the near future.
By Rail: The closest railhead to the trek is Malavli, also, suburban trains running between Lonavala and Pune on the Mumbai-Pune Railway line is also suitable.
By Rod: Daily buses to Lonavala are found from Mumbai as well as Pune. You can also access Lonavala by bus from Bangalore.
Are There Any Shops Available On the Lohagad Fort Trek?
You must conclude all purchases by reaching Lonavala, it is hard to find suitable stores for supplies in the villages on the route. However, food stores are available.
Is There Any Possibility Of Altitude Sickness?
The possibility of Altitude Sickness can be ruled out on Western Ghats Trek. However, the due diligence is required to keep fit prior to the trek.
Lohagad Trek, conveniently approachable from different cities, remains moderately trafficked around the year and especially in monsoons.