Maharashtra was home to the mighty Maratha Empire. This empire exercised control over this state for centuries. As a result of which the state of Maharashtra in India is home to remnants of this sprawling empire which includes some magnificent forts and ‘wadas’. These forts were built for catering to specific needs. Some of them were built due to political reasons, others served as the home of the Peshwas. One can find a number of hill forts in this state. These hill forts were built due to strategic reasons. One such hill fort is the Makarandgad Fort. Situated atop a hill, this fort is mostly in ruins now. Its huge fortification no more exists. Yet Makarandgad Fort is a standing symbol of the ways and existence of the Maratha rulers. One must not lose a chance to visit this ancient historic place. Presently Makarandgad Fort like other hill forts is popular as a trekking destination. The ones interested in trekking can visit this place.
More about Makarangad Fort
Makarandgad hill fort is also known as Madhumakarandgad fort. It is situated at an elevation of 4000 feet from the ground. It is sad that Makarangad Fort comprises of twin peaks namely Madhu and Makarandgad. This very well suggests the name of the Makarandgad Fort. There exists cisterns for storing water in the fort. When in here one can enjoy several beauties. This place has a little bit of everything for all of its visitors.
What to explore when at Makarandgad Fort
Makarandgad Fort as mentioned earlier is a popular trekking sight. Trekkers from all over the state of Maharashtra flock in here. The best time for going on a trek is during the winter season. The sun is not that brutal during this time. Monsoons should be avoided as the path may seem risky and slippery. The base village provides for local food and refreshments. But when on a trek one must carry a quick snack in case of sudden hunger pangs. A freshwater cistern is housed atop the hill. A temple near the fort can accommodate around 12 people.
The climb up the fort begins from the Gamdevi temple, situated at the base village. One has to walk straight from here. While doing so one has to cross a stream too. Then a village named Ghonaspur will be seen. From here one has to keep on walking until one finds a rocky path which leads to the top of the village. When on a trek in here one must stay all covered as leeches are present in abundance along the trekking path.
In addition to a rejuvenating trekking experience, one gets to enjoy a spectacular view of the Konya Dam which is located near the fort itself. The view from atop the hill fort is mesmerizing. The peaks of Pratapgad and Mahabaleshwar are also visible from here.
Thus, Makarandgad Fort is a heaven for the ones interested in photography. The portrayal of such beautiful landscapes is like a photographer’s dream.
The fort premises houses a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva known as the Malikarjun Mahadev temple. In addition to this there also exists another temple named Gamdevi temple on the way to the fort. So, devotees of Lord Shiva can visit the temple atop the fort. The peculiar feature of the top of this fort is that it is like a plateau.
The entire Makarandgad fort is surrounded by the dense and green forests of Javli. The ones interested in exploring natural beauty can pay a visit to Makarandgad Fort. The trek up the fort is a soulful experience. The very fort is a fair sight too. The presence of a structure of this magnitude that too on a hill in a lonely place makes one wonder about the strategies and working of the rulers who had made this.
A Tourist’s Guide
Makarandgad Fort is open throughout the year and entry is not ticketed here. One can readily reach this place by road. Buses are available from Mahabaleshwar to the base village at Hatlot. One can book a cab or auto to reach this place too. The nearest railway station from here is Kalyan Railway Station. The nearest airport from here is Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport. One can find accommodation in Mumbai easily.
Makarandgad Fort is an ideal location for history lovers as well as adventure seekers. If you fall under any of the above categories then make sure you visit the Makarandgad Fort.