The Maratha Empire had many strong forts to defend their territories from the enemy attacks, in particular, the Moguls, one of them being Lohagad Fort, which means Iron Fort. This famous hill fort is surrounded by strong, tall boundary walls and four massive entrance gates named Ganesh Darwaja, Narayan Darwaja, Hanuman Darwaja and Maha Darwaja. The four large gates are still in good condition and reasonably functional.
|Lohagad Fort,Ganesh Darwaja, Lohagad, Maharashtra, India en.wikipedia.org/|
|Lohagad Fort, near Lonavala, www.placesnearpune.com|
Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Nizamshahis, and Mughals ruled this place once. As for the Marathas Chatrapati Shivaji captured it in 1648 but had to surrender to the Moguls in 1665 under the Treaty of Purandar. However, indomitable as he was, the fort came back under Shivaji's control in 1670 and was used for keeping his treasury.
|Vinchukata fortification en.wikipedia.org|
During the later Peshwa period a number of important buildings were built under the supervision of Nana Fadnavis.
Lohagad fort can be easily reached by trains from Lonavla. Malawi is the next station from Lonavla which is at a distance of 9 kms from the fort. Lohagadwadi is the village at the bottom from where the steps on hill to the Lohagad fort start. Distance between Malawli and Lohagadwadi can be covered in roughly 2 to 2 1/2 hours.Bhaje Gaav' is the base village from where the hikers start their uphill journey.
|Bhaja caves. The caves are right next to the Lohagad fort. You can see the fort from Bhaja village as well as from the caves. If you walk to Lohagad from the base .www.placesnearpune.com|
01. The near-by attraction is Bhaja Caves or Bhaje caves. It is a group of 22 rock-cut caves dating as far back as to the 2nd century BC near Lonavala, Maharashtra. They are protected national monuments.
|Ancient Bhaja caves. www.placesnearpune.com|
02. Bhaja was once an important ancient trade route running from the Arabian Sea eastward into the Deccan Plateau.
03. The caves are 400 feet above the village of Bhaja. They belong to the Hinayana Buddhism sect in Maharashtra that was prevalent then according to inscriptions.
04. There are a number of Stupas characteristic of Buddhism.
05. Notable features are the wooden architecture and various wooden carvings.
06. The presence of Tabla carvings suggest the percussion instrument that is used in dance performances has been in existence for at least two thousand years. The carving shows a woman playing tabla and another woman, performing dance.