Monday, 1 February 2021

Historical Loghagad Fort, Lonavala, Maharashtra

Lohgad fort, Lonavala, MH, main gate. Alamy.com

Lohagad  Fort is one of the fairly preserved  forts in the state of Maharahstra, befitting its location and sturdy structure it is referred to as an Iron Fort. Invariably, the past rulers, using various innovative methods carried out the fortification work in a  a way as to protect the kingdom from the invaders, particularly from the north and Southwest.  Location of them on the hills is an additional advantage. Such rulers glorify the forts  as they form the  main defensive structure  Lohagad Fort  has a chequered  history  and with respect to  its earlier history, it  was under the control of various dynasties  spanning several centuries. Earliest rulers included   Rashtrakutas, Nizamshahis, Yadavas,  and Chalukyas. Later  Mughals, Bahamanis and  Satavahanas managed the fort. 

Lonavala, MH. location map. savaari.com

Lonavala,-Mumbai Hwy, MH. 2hr drive.  savaari.com
 
Built by Guru Govind Singh to serve as a prison, the history of this old fort is intertwined with  the most prominent Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji. . Located on a plateau - part of the Deccan about 624  meter from MSL, accessing the fort on the hill by the invaders is a tough job as their movement could be  easily watched by the defensive forces at a higher elevation. The  hill is part of the Western Ghat  chain and unlike the Ghat areas of Kerala, Tamil Nadu  etc., this place is made of dark basaltic rocks (extrusive  igneous rocks formed by volcanoes).   Dividing the basins of the Pavana and the Indrayani rivers, the Lohagad fort overlooks Pavana on the south of the mountain range. The buttressed spur formed by the extending  mountain is  called Vinchukata.

Lohagad fort, Lonavala, MH, Holidaytravel.com

Lohagad fort, Ganesh Darwaza (gate), wikipedia.

Western Ghat mountains near Lonavala, MH, credit: wikipedia. 

This fort with multiple entry, is an important tourist destination because of its location, quiet luxuriant  greenery, fine meadows, cascading water falls, misty hills offering a fine vista of scenic beauty. One can see small hills in the surrounding areas.  This fort and the surrounding places are quite  famous for  casual  hiking in a clean atmosphere, free from urban chaos and noise. The best time to visit this historical fort is during the months of September and March, Monsoon season is not the right choice as it rains a lot during that period starting from June to August. However, many tourists prefer this particular season. The fort  can be reached from any of its four entrances―Hanuman Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja, Maha Darwaja and Naray. The Maratha rulers controlled this fort for  long period, however  this fort came under the Moguls for a short period- about 5 years.  

Lohagad fort, Lonavala, MH.tour my India com.


.As lots of  working people visit this place from near by cities of Pune and Mumbai, to have fun and relaxation, it is crowded on the week ends.  Situated at Lonavala, it is about 60 km from the city Pune 96 km from Mumbai and there is another fort near-by called Visapur fort. It  is just 11 km from Malavali railway station. One of the main attractions in Lonavala is  an old dam - Bhushi Dam, built uin the late 1860s.   

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