One of the most frequented hill stations in Maharashtra , Lonavala is nestled in the Sahyadris and adjacent to another popular hill station – Khandala.
Most Mumbaikars visit this small hill station in the monsoon as it transforms into a trekker’s paradise at the time but it can be too crowded and noisy during those months.
Last Saturday we decided to explore another side of Lonavala and finally made it to Lohagad fort , something we hadn’t been able to accomplish in a very long time and as expected this part of Lonavala was quiet and serene
Lohagad is a Marathi word which means ‘ Iron Fort’. This fort was a bastion of the Maratha warriors and was later captured by the Mughals.
Shivaji Maharaj lost control of this fort when he signed the Treaty of Purandar and later managed to regain the fort.
Overlooking the Pavana reservoir , the climb to the top is rewarding as it offers breath taking views of the mountains and the river.
The trek was easy and there were just a couple of small groups we met on the way up .
Although this fort finds a mention in the history text books of the state board , it is in a sorry state of affairs . Except the main entrance – The Ganesh Darwaza , it was difficult to identify any other significant part within the fort due to the absence of sign boards.
There is some restoration work in progress but beyond a point there was rubble and no well defined pathway , so we decided not to go all the way up.
There is no entry fee to explore the place and that is probably one reason why the upkeep of this fort has been completely neglected . A nominal entry fee is not a bad idea to preserve such heritage.
Am glad I finally made it to Lohagad , who knows in the next few years what remains of this hill fort ….