The other day, I asked my husband what’s happened to our city. It’s July, and by now the river should be flooded and the ground supposed to fill with puddles and green grass. “Global warming,” he answered. I felt sick immediately, knowing my favorite season is running short this year. How long it would take for us all to realize what we had done to the planet and try to fix it.
Like fish struggling in a drying pond, my family and I set out to find some moisture in the countryside. It also had been a while since we went out-door because of the dry, hot summer were intolerable. Summer made us lazy. We spent most of the time in the malls or eating. I suggested we found something physical to burn off those extra summer fat. So, we looked for a trekking trail around Lonavala, where, as we hoped, would have better rate of rainfall.
My husband told me about Lohagad Fort, one of many forts surrounding Lonavala. We did a research on the internet and felt that it was perfect for our weekend trip.
Firstly, check out our route. We do believe that the journey is as important as the destination. So whenever we plan our route, we try to explore and enjoy every step of the way.
We started from Pune around 6.30 am. We took Pune – Mumbai Old highway (NH4) and passed Dehuroad (Toll Road). At Kamshet town we took a left and crossed the Expressway Underpass. From there, we had already notice greenery. The road is narrow but smooth. I think everyone would enjoy driving there. We passed small villages and flower plantations on the way to Pawana Nagar. At Powna Dam, we took a right and drove up. We took a break at Powna Dam to embrace the scenery and had breakfast. Afterwards, we drove along the dam till the T Junction. We headed straight with Lonavala Road and reached Dhudiware Kind, where some trekkers preferred as the starting point of their journey. Now, when we took a left and started climbing up, the road became steep and difficult. Drive slowly and be careful. At the foot of the hill, there is a village called Lohagadwadi. There is a small toll collection (Rs. 20 for 4 wheeler) at an entrance and you can find parking area in the village ground. There are also restaurants serving local Thali and snack shacks where you can stack up your supplies. Make sure you have water and things you need before you start hiking, because up on the top, there is nothing.
For returning, we took Lonavala route, which we regretted because there was heavy traffic and additional toll fee on the old Mumbai Pune highway. But though this route is less sceneric, many people preferred it. It’s easy and there’re a lot of restaurants available on the way.
Now, back to our trip, from the village, we trekked up the stone step. It was challenging as most of the steps were broken with hard, sharp rocks lying everywhere.
The path is also very steep, and if you’re like us, trekking with kids, you’ll have to be extra careful.
But Oh mine! As we ascended, the canvas of air spread magnificent views. Livid waves of mountains and hills sprung from the ground.
Salubrious Mountain air swept in. Fresh green grass carpeted every see-able flame. These were all that took our minds off how difficult and tired the climb was.
Lohagad Fort was previously occupied by many dynasties, including Shivaji, the great ruler of Maharashtra, used as the treasury keep and security garrison.
There are 4 doors in Lohagad fort, all are in good condition. If you ask me how they survive the test of time, I do not know.
Each part of the fort had clear, ceaseless views, overlooking the humble ground below.
Impossible manual labor!
Man-made but seems naturally exist…
And there were marks of history.
The lower ramparts of the fort were undeniably an armored art.
It was built to feel as one with the sky.
The chambers eat inside the cliff.
Over the steps and in the walls, there were stories.
And finally… we made it. We touched the sky.
On the top of the fort, there is a grand plateau covered with fresh green grass. You would need at lease one hour to explore everywhere. It was popular for picnic and hang out.
A picturesque view of Pawna lake and the surrounding hills emerged across the sky.
There were structures and ruins spread throughout the plain.
We were on top of the world. Strong, cold breeze roared over us. And the view…the view… the view. The 360 degree views were worth climbing up for.
During monsoon, the top are usually cover with cool mist and rain. On that day, it was slightly drizzling, sometimes bright and sometimes cloudy. It’s advisable to have your raincoat or umbrella during rainy season because there was no shade to hide from the rain. Saying that, nobody cares about being wet. Once a while, it’s fun to soak in the rain.
There is a small strip called Vinchukata, which means scorpion tail, presented as a challenge, slippery, and narrow trail. With Yaseen on our shoulders, we didn’t make it, but had a close, glorious view of that giant thing.
And yes, we did find greenery and moisture. One of many purposes of the plateau was to collect and preserve rain water used in the fort. There were a number of ponds and pools scattered across the area.
We spent an amazing one hour on the tableland. Finally, it’s time to trace back and climb down.
And we must have local corns scorched on burning woods. It’s tradition 🙂
Words of advice: Have your best breakfast and be in your comfortable shoes. Get there early otherwise when it becomes crowded during the day, you won’t get authentic shots of the structure.
It’s a long post, and we hope you enjoy.