Maharashtra a state in India is one of the major cultural hubs in the country. It was the home to the mighty Maratha Empire. The Marathas had reigned over this territory for centuries. So, it is obvious that an empire of this magnitude will have mighty structures of importance. These structures were made for serving different purposes. Some served as their home, others administrative centres, forts as well as hill forts. Now hill forts are something one won’t find in most of the place sin India. But Maharashtra is flooded with hill forts. Maharashtra is flanked by the Western Ghats. So, the existence of hill forts is no wonder. Hill forts were built with the intention of serving as both political and strategic locations. They used to play an important role in the overall functioning of the empire. Some of them still exist and most of them are in ruins. But all of them are a fair sight and a visit to them gives one a peek into the architecture and history of a long lost era.
One such hill fort is the Jivdhan fort. It is a part of the ‘famous five’ forts in Maharashtra. These forts are present in the Sahyadri Mountain Range. The five forts which are a part of the famous five are Naneghat, Shivenri, Chavand, Hadsar and Jivdhan.
More about Jivdhan
The fort is mostly in ruins. The fortification has crumbled down but a few structures are still intact. This includes water tanks and three huge stone constructions. These stones constructions were presumably used as granaries or warehouses for storage purposes. One of the striking features of the Jivdhan fort is its pinnacle. The pinnacle is an upright block of stone which is 60 m in height. It is popularly known as ‘Vanderlingi’. In addition to this there exists an idol of goddess Jivai on the western side of the pinnacle. She is believed to be the patron goddess of the very fort.
Hill forts in Maharashtra have turned into popular trekking destinations. One can find hoards of trekkers flooding in Maharashtra especially during winters. Winters are ideal for carrying out trekking expeditions while monsoons are risky. October to February is the best time of the year for trekking. Jivdhan Trek is also famous amongst trekkers, adventure seekers, nature lovers as well as history buffs. In addition to this photography lovers. The panoramic view from atop this place is a fair sight.
There exist two trekking routes to reach the fort. One of them proceeds from the base village of Ghatghar. This route is the easier way up the hill. The path leads one to stone cut steps after walking for some time. It should be noted that the steps are a bit slippery. So, one must be extra careful while going atop the hill. The steps will eventually lead to the eastern side of the fort.
Another trek route is via Naneghat which leads to the main entrance of the fort. While on this route one will find a thick forest cover. It is likely that one may need the help of a guide when on this alternative route. This trail passes through the Naneghat fort and leads to a diversion that the dirt road ends. From here one must take the right diversion which will lead to a path which is filed with bee hives. The entrance is full of boulders which and one has to squeeze in to get through the entrance.
The trek is full of fun experiences. Both the routes are unique in their own way and have their own perks. When on a trekking trip to Jivdhan one must take care of one’s food and water needs. Snacks are available at the base village and the fort does have water tanks. But is advisable to carry one’s own drinking water. There is no provision of accommodation atop the hill.
The end product of the trek gives the trekkers a delightful experience. The sight of the Sahyadri Mountain range and its panoramic peaks makes one appreciate the beauty of nature.
A Tourist’s Guide
Jivdhan is open all around the year. The base village of Ghatghar can be reached from Kalyan via state terminal buses. Kalyan is connected to Mumbai through Nagpur Aurangabad Mumbai Expressway. The nearest railway head from here is Kalyan Railway Station. One can find accommodation in the city of Mumbai. Hotels are available both online and offline. Jivdhan Trek is one of the best locations for trekking in Mumbai. In addition to this place is also ideal for history lovers. This place is an amalgamation of different genres of experiences. Hence, one gets an opportunity to explore there. One must visit this place when in Mumbai. A visit here will definitely be a rejuvenating experience.