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Mahuli

Grade : Moderate

Region : Asangaon

Base village : Mahuli

Landmark : Shahpur

Number of Routes : 2

Highest Altitude : 2815 Feet (858m)

Trek Duration : 3.5 hours ascend, 3 hours descend

Surrounding Peaks : Bhandar Durg, Palasgad

Ideal Season : June to September


Major Attarction :

Mahadarwaja, Caves, Ladder to Reach the Top, Two Water Cistern, Water stream at the Base.


Peaks within the Mountain :

Bhandar Durg and Palasgad


Water Sources : 

Small Water Reservoir at Top. However water is not potable at times hence it is recommended to carry water from Base Village itself.


History Info :

Era :

The creator of this fort is unknown. In 1485 this place came under rule of Malik Ahmed who was the founder of Nijamshahi.

Brief War History :

When Shahaji Raje became the secretary of Nijamshahi, Adilshahi and Mughals of Delhi together tried to end Nijamshahi. In the year 1635-36, in difficult circumstances Shahaji Raje transferred himself with Jijabai and Shivaji to Mahuli. Khan Jaman, son of Mahabat Khan beleaguered this fort. Shahaji Raje asked for help to Portuguese. They refused and Shahaji Raje surrendered himself. Shivaji took this fort from Mughals on 8 Jan 1658. In 1661 it was given back and was won again by Shivrai. In treaty of Purandar, in 1665, Marathas lost these forts again. The Moghal sardar Manohardas Gaud was the in charge of this fort. He did much construction on the fort. In Feb 1670, Shivaji Maharaj tried to conquer Mahuli, but failed. Thousand of Marathas were killed by Moghals. It was a bad blow to Marathas. Even after this victory, Manohardas Gaud, the chief of the fort gave up his position and a new chief Alveerdi Beg was appointed. On 16 June 1670, after two months, Moropant Pingle conquered the forts and Mahuli, Bhandargad and Palasgad became part of Swarajya.

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Peb (Vikatgad)

Grade : Moderate

Region : Matheran

Base village : Anandwadi/Fanaswadi

Landmark : Neral

Number of Routes : 1

Highest Altitude : 2100 Feet (640m)

Trek Duration : 4 Hours ascend, 1 hour descend, 1.5 hours walk

Surrounding Peaks : Nakhind

Ideal Season : June to September


Major Attarction :

360 View and Temple at Top, Caves, Descend through Ladder, Walk on Forest covered Toy Train Rail Track and View of Kadyavarcha Ganpati


Water Sources :

There is a small water tank near the caves. However water is not potable at times hence it is recommended to carry water from Base Village itself.


History Info :

Ancient Name & Meaning (if any) :

It is assumed that this fort derived its name Peb from the ‘Goddess Pebi’ at the base of the fort. Historical references clearly indicate that Shivaji Maharaj used the caves on the fort as silos for grain storage. It is also known as Vikatgad.

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Rajmachi

Grade : Moderate

Region : Karjat-Lonavala

Base village : Kondivade

Landmark : Kondana Caves

Number of Routes : 2

Highest Altitude : 3600 Feet (1097m)

Trek Duration : 4-5 hours ascend, 4 hours descend

Surrounding Peaks : Dhak Bahiri

Ideal Season : July to September


Major Attarction :

Kondana Caves, Small Waterfall Near Kondana Caves (only in heavy rains), Shriwardhan and Manoranjan Forts, Udaysagar Lake, Ancient Shiva Temple and View of Kataldhar Waterfall


Peaks within the Mountain :

Shriwardhan Fort and Manoranjan Fort


Water Sources : 

Water stream near Kondana Caves from Karjat route and other small water streams. However water is not potable at times hence it is recommended to carry water from Base Village itself.


Special thing about structure/route :

Rajmachi Trek consists of 2 independent fort, Shriwardhan and Manoranjan Fort, you will come across ancient Kondana Caves if you trek from Karjat Route.


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Visapur

Grade : Easy

Region : Lonavala

Base village : Malavli

Landmark : Loanavala

Number of Routes : 2

Highest Altitude : 3038 Feet (926m)

Trek Duration : 3 Hours Ascend, 1.5 hour descend

Surrounding Peaks : Lohagad, Tikona

Ideal Season : June to September


Major Attarction :

Waterfall through the Stairs, Hidden Waterfall at Base, View of Lohagad, Tikona Forts,


Water Sources :

Small water streams along the way in Monsoon Season


Special thing about structure/route :

The main characteristic of this fort is the strong fortification built on a large plateau, to make it one of the strongest forts. A large plateau of this size is found on many less forts. It is difficult to fire cannons on the fort due to its position. We can see the injuries of destruction caused by Mughals and British on Bhaje caves, but this has not affected Visapur much. The long stretched ramparts fascinate us. On this same plateau we can see a huge stone wheel. It was used for grinding the mixture of lime, jaggery & lead. This mixture was used as cementing material for building purposes. The wheel was driven by bulls, and is the big one of its kind.

 

History Info :

Era :

Lohgad and Visapur lay in Nane Maval. This region came under Nizamshahi after dissolution of Bahmani rule.

Brief War History :

 It went into the hands of Mughals in the treaty of Mahuli, between Shahajiraje and Mughals. Seeing that the Mughals were not able to keep a control over the region, Shivaji Maharaj captured almost all the forts here till 1660. However, he lost the fort again to Mughals in the treaty of Purandar in 1665. However Aurangzeb broke the treaty. In 1682, Shahbuddin, a Mughal Sardar invaded the region, and killed 60 Marathas in an anguish. However Marathas escaped to Visapur. They were chased, but moved in time to the village of Kusapur. On 4th march 1818 Colonel Prother captured Visapur, and the next day Lohgad fell into his hands. The mountain of Visapur is significant, as Bhaje caves have been carved out in the same mountain. The destruction caused by Mughals and English is clearly evident from the injuries on the Bhaje caves. These beautiful caves could have been bombarded by cannon balls, because much of their part has been broken.

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Vasota

Grade : Moderate

Region : Satara

Base village : Bamnoli

Landmark : Koyna Backwaters

Number of Routes : 1

Highest Altitude : 4267 Feet (1301m)

Trek Duration : 1 Hour Boat ride and 3 Hours Trek one way

Surrounding Peaks : Nageshwar

Ideal Season : November to February


Major Attarction :

Dense Jungle Trail, Babukada, Koyna Backwater Boat ride, Mahadev Temple, Bamnoli Lakeside Camping


Water Sources : 

Before the start of the boat ride fill your water bottles


Special thing about structure/route :

A fascinating cliff named Babukada, shaped like the letter ‘U’ that reminds us of Konkan Kada of Harishchandragad. The mountain seen in front of Babukada is the Old Vasota. No way exists now that takes us to this fort. In addition there is an acute shortage of water. Also presence of wild animals in the area keeps the trekkers away from this fort.


History Info :

Ancient Name & Meaning (if any) :

Vasota, which according to the ‘Dnyaneshwari’ means a resting place. This fort is also known by the name of Vyaghragad.

Era :

We have to go back to the times of Sage Vasishtha to know how exactly old is the fort. It’s believed that a disciple of Vasishtha, a sage by the name Agasti, came to reside on a mountain on the banks of river Koyana. He named the mountain after his mentor. Later the mountain was fortified and converted into a military station. In the course of time, fort Vasishtha was pronounced as ‘Vasota’.


This fort is believed to belong to the Shilahar dynasty era, and probably named Vasota due to the name Vasantgad given to it during that era.


Brief War History :
According to ancient scriptures Shivaji Maharaj took Vasota after his successful raid on Javli region. But it is untrue. Shivaji Maharaj took Javli and other forts in the Konkan region but Vasota eluded him. When Shivaji Maharaj was trapped on Panhalgad he dispatched a battalion from his main army and won Vasota on June 6, 1660. Later in 1679, 26,000 rupees were found on the fort. Among the prisoners caught in 1661 in Rajapur, Faren and Samuel were kept imprisoned on the fort.

Later in 1706, Tai Telini brought the fort under her control. The very next year Peshwa Senapati Bapu Gokhale fought with her. After 8-10 months of intense battle, Bapu Nadkarni conquered the fort.

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Sunset Point

Grade : Easy

Region : Panvel

Base village :  Dodhane

Landmark : Matheran

Number of Routes : 1

Highest Altitude : 2625 Feet (800m)

Trek Duration : 1 Hour walk in Matheran, 2 hours descend (No Climb)

Surrounding Peaks : One Tree Hill, Sondai

Ideal Season : June to February (Monsoon months are good weather wise and Winter months for clear views)


Major Attarction :

Forest Walk in Matheran, View of different Mountain Ranges from Sunset Point, No Climb-Descend only trek


Water Sources : 

Matheran and Dodhani Village


Special thing about structure/route :

This trek can be done almost throughout the year, also in monsoon season one can combine this trek with a visit to Dodhani Waterfall

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Andharban

Grade : Moderate

Region : Tamhini Ghat

Base village : Pimpri Dam (Start Point), Patnus (End Point)

Landmark : Bhira Dam

Number of Routes : 1

Trek Duration : 5-6 hours walk, 1.5 hours descend

Surrounding Peaks : Devkund

Ideal Season : August End and September (Avoid this Trek if it is raining heavily)


Major Attarction :

Dense Forest Walk, Multiple Small Water Streams along the way, View of Bhira Dam, Start from Pimpri Dam.


Water Sources : 

Multiple water streams throughout the trek

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One Tree Hill

Grade : Easy

Region : Karjat

Base village :  Ambewadi

Landmark : Morbe Dam

Number of Routes : 1

Highest Altitude : 2625 Feet (800m)

Trek Duration : 3 hours ascend, 2 hours walk

Surrounding Peaks : One Tree Hill, Sondai

Ideal Season : June to September


Major Attarction :

View of Morbe Dam, Huge Plateau near Top, Peaceful forest walk in Matheran, Small waterfall near the top (only if it rains heavily)


Water Sources : 

Well at the start point of trek and shops near one tree hill point at Matheran after reaching top, where you will get water.


Special thing about structure/route :

One Tree Hil is famous for the small peak with a single tree, which remains risky to be climbed and hence that point on trek is just for the view and one should avoid climbing it.

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Bhimashankar

Grade : Moderate

Region : Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary

Base village : Khandas

Landmark : Karjat

Number of Routes : 2

Highest Altitude : 3390 Feet (1035m)

Trek Duration : 4-5 hours ascend, 4 hours descend

Surrounding Peaks : Padargad, Siddhagad, Kothaligad

Ideal Season : July to September


Major Attarction :

Bhimashankar Jyotirling Temple, Gupt Bhimashankar Waterfall, Thrilling Ladder Climb by Shidi Ghat, Panoramic View of Waterfalls


Peaks within the Mountain :

Nagfani Point, Padargad


Water Sources : 

Multiple water streams throughout the trek


Special thing about structure/route :

Shidi Ghat route is famous for it's thrilling patches, ladders and waterfalls.

 

History Info :

Bhimashankar Jyotirling Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlings spread across India.


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Gambhirgad

Grade : Moderate

Region : Palghar

Base village : Patilwadi

Landmark : -

Number of Routes : 1

Highest Altitude : 2250 Feet (686m)

Trek Duration : 3 hours ascend, 2.5 hours descend

Surrounding Peaks : -

Ideal Season : June to February (Monsoon months are good weather wise and Winter months for clear views)


Major Attarction :

Small Water Stream at the Start of Trek, 360 View from Top, Offbeat Forest Trail and Small Temple at Top


Water Sources :

There are 4-6 water tanks. Only one water tanks offer potable water but a rope is required for the same. However water is not potable at times hence it is recommended to carry water from Base Village itself.


Special thing about structure/route :

On the left side of the fort one can certainly see evidences of now extinct curtain wall. Also small pinncle like structure near top.


History Info :

Not much is know about the History of this fort but it was used as watchtower to protect nearby trade route.

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Alang-Madan-Kulang

Grade : Difficult

Region : Igatpuri

Base village : Ambewadi/Udadvade (near Samrad)

Landmark : Igatpuri/Ghatghar Dam

Number of Routes : 2

Highest Altitude : 4900 Feet (1494m)

Trek Duration : 7-8 hours both days

Surrounding Peaks : Kalsubai, Ratangad

Ideal Season : November to February


Major Attarction :

60 Feet Rock Climb at Alang, Multiple Rappelling Patches, Sunset and Sunrise from the Top, Stay in Caves, Water Tanks at Alang Top, View of Mountain Ranges includng famous peaks like Kalsubai, Ratangad.


Peaks within the Mountain :

This is a range trek, connecting 3 forts, Madan is highest among the three forts.


Water Sources : 

Water Citerns at Alang are reliable source of potable water.


History Info :

Era :

It is believed to be built by local tribal groups who lived in Ambevadi village. Controlled by Maratha Empire.

Brief War History :

It is said to be used by the local tribes but according to the British records, this fort was occupied by the Mughals and the Marathas as it worked as a nice watch tower during the medieval period. Its height gave them the advantage to keep a check on invaders. The height and the poor accessibility made this fort a lesser conflicted fort, according to the hilltop fort history of India. It was ceded to Peshwa by the Mughals in 1760 & later passed on to British in 1818.


Trek Leader's Note :

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Salher Range

Grade : Moderate

Region : Satana

Base village : Mulher Village for Hargad-Mulher-Mora, Salherwadi and Waghamba for Salher-Salota

Landmark : Satana

Number of Routes : 1 for Hargad-Mulher-Mora, 3 for Salher-Salota

Highest Altitude : 5141 Feet (1567m)

Trek Duration : 10-11 for Hargad-Mulher-Mora, 8-9 hours for Salher-Salota

Surrounding Peaks : Mangi Tungi, Nhavigad

Ideal Season : November to February


Major Attarction :

Rock Cut Stairs at all forts, View of Mangi Tungi and Paanch Pandav, Parshuram Temple at Top of Highest Fort in Maharashtra, Gangasagar Lake at Salher, Ancient Canon at Hargad.


Ganesh Mandir : The fort is mainly divided in two parts, the Mulher Machi (flat plateau) and the Bale-Killa (Citadel). The temple of Lord Ganesha is situated on the Mulher Machi.


Someshwar Mandir and Chandan Bav : From Ganesh Mandir, two ways emerge out. The one towards left leads to Someshwar Mandir, a temple of Lord Shiva. On the way to Someshwar temple lies a three-storey Well, known as Chandan Bav.


Moti Tank : Trailing back from Someshwar temple, we come across a bifurcation. We follow the straight route and reach the plateau from where we can reach Moti Tank, a cool drinking-water cistern.


Rajwada and Ram-Laxman Mandir : Following the straight path from the plateau, we reach at Rajwada, a Palace, of which only remnants could be seen. Near the Palace, through the thick undergrowth we reach the famous Ram-Laxman temple.


Bale-Killa : Through the right-way from Moti tank, we reach at the Maha-Darwaja of Citadel. Stepping in we can see a cistern to the right, while a cave to the left of it. On the plateau of Citadel, we can see temple of Lord Bhadangnath, 9 -10 cisterns, palatial remnants, etc. On climbing the small hill above the Bhadangnath temple and trailing down the other side, the forts like Mora, Nhavigad, Tambolya, Hanumangad, as also the pinnacles of Mangi-Tungi are worth seeing.


Peaks within the Mountain :

Salher 5140 Feet

Salota 4750 Feet

Mulher 4450 Feet

Mora 4250 Feet

Hargad 4450 Feet


Water Sources :

The water from the Gangasagar Lake at Salher and the two tanks near it is potable.


Other Special thing :

The Salher fort is famous and known as the main place where Parashuram did his penance. It is said that, after winning the earth and giving it as donation, he made land for himself to live in, by pushing the sea back with his arrows, right from this place.


History Info :

Ancient Name & Meaning (if any) :

When Aurangazeb conquered Mulher Fort, the fort came into existence with the name as 'Aurangagad'. It was also known as 'Mayurgad'. (The base village belongs to the period of Mahabharata, when it was known as Ratnapur. The King, Mayurdhwaj ruled this region, and the village was then named as Mayurpur.)


Era :

Salher : 1671 onwards built by Shivaji Maharaj

Mulher : The fort was built by Bagul dynasty, who ruled the region from 1308 A.D. to 1619 A.D.


Brief War History :

Battle of Salher :

Salher Fort was under Shivaji maharaj in 1671. The Mughals attacked the fort in 1672. Almost one lakh soldiers fought in this war. Writings of Sabhasad Bakhar describes Salher War as follows: There was a fierce battle throughout the day and night, Mughals, Pathans, and Rajput, Cannons, Elephants, Horses and Camel troops fought alongside each other. 


The battle was so fierce that the dust which was raised by the troops rose up in an area of 3 km and the troops could not recognize who was fighting on which side. 


The Elephant troops arrived and both sides saw 10,000 troops perish and blood flow like rivers. The Marathas defeated Ikhlaas Khan and Bahlol Khan in this bloody battle, which saw tremendous destruction all over. There were 1,20,000 troops of Raja Shivaji.


Shivaji's troops captured 6,000 horses, 6,000 camels, 150 elephants, heavy gold ornaments, gold coins and expensive cloth from the enemy troops. The maratha soldiers showed extreme courage during this battle. Moropant Peshwa and Prataprao Sarnaubat exchanged pleasantries. 


Suryarao Kakde became a martyr during this battle. He fell after being hit by a cannonball. He was no mere soldier. A soldier who was as brave as "Karna of the Mahabharata" lay dead on the battlefield. Many soldiers died in this battle but finally Shivaji Maharaj won the battle of Salher. Of all the face to face battles between the Mughals and Shivaji Maharaj's troops, the battle of Salher takes first place. Such a big battle was not won before. 


The bravery and strategy used by the Maratha troops in the battle spread far and wide and increased Shivaji Maharaj's fame further

After winning Salher, the Marathas also captured Mulher and established their reign over the Baglan region. In the 18th century the Peshwas occupied this fort and later by the British.


Consequences of 'Battle of Salher :

Most of Shivaji's victories until this battle had been through means of guerilla warfare, but the Maratha's use of light cavalry on the Salher battlefield against the apparently superior Mughal forces proved effective. This grand victory resulted in the saint Ramdas to write his famous letter to Shivaji in which he addresses him as Gajpati (Lord of Elephants), Haypati (Lord of Cavalry), Gadpati (Lord of Fords), and Jalpati (Master of the High Seas). Although not as a direct outcome of this battle, a couple of years later in 1674 Shivaji was crowned as an Emperor (or Chhatrapati) of his realm.


Salher was one of the celebrated forts of the Maratha Empire. The money acquired after raiding Surat was brought to this fort first on its way to the Maratha capital forts.This fort gains importance as it is on the trade route joining the Dang, Baglan and Gujarat regions.


Mulher History :

The Rathore dynasty of Bagul ancestry reigned Baglan between 1310 and 1638. Mulher fort was their capital. The Mughals then gained control of Baglan. When Akbar conquered Khandesh, Pratapshaha Bahirji, the then King of Baglan, surrendered to Mughals. He established friendly relations with Shahajahan. In 1636, Aurangazeb was appointed as the Governor of Western region. In 1638 Mughals invaded Baglan and conquered it, after which the fort was named as Aurangagad. This attack ended the prosperous Hindu rule in Baglan. 


For the Surat ransack of January 1664 & October 1670, Shivaji Maharaj had followed the route passing through Baglan to reach Surat. On the first occasion, the entire region from Pune to Surat was under the command of the Mughals while on the second occasion, Baglan was mainly under their control. The Mughals chased Shivaji Raje on his return journey but they were defeated in the Kanchana Pass. Soon after this, Shivaji Maharaj began a campaign in this region. In January 1671 the first assault brought the Salher fort under the Maratha rule. They then attacked Mulher fort but the Mughal Killedar repulsed the attack. However, the Marathas captured the Chaulher fort. In October 1671, the Mughals laid siege to Salher fort. But Shivaji despatched Moropant and Prataprao to break down the siege. They not only lifted the siege of Salher, but also attacked Mulher and captured it in February 1672. This feat resulted in the assimilation of the entire Baglan region into Swarajya. 


According to the treaty of Bhalki in 1752, the whole region of Khandesh, alongwith Mulher, was handed over to Marathas. Some hidden treasure is supposedly found in 1765, according to the citations in the accounts-books of Peshwe. In 1818, the fort was brought under the rule of British.


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