The beauty of Lohagad is ignored by many of us, especially Punekars. The fact that it is close to Pune and has been a frequent destination for school trips has reduced its value. But the fact that it is comparatively easy to climb and very beautifully build makes Lohagad fort a top-rated attraction to visit near Pune.
In places near Pune, you will also like : Mahabaleshwar – few experiences you should not miss!
History of Lohagad
Lohagad or the Iron fort was built in the 15th century by Guru Gobind Singh to hold the prisoners. In the 16th century, it was used by Shivaji Maharaj to store gold looted from Surat. I am sure you must have heard the story of the Surat invasion; the gold belongs to that invasion. Read this blog post for an accurate account of the Surat invasion.
Later on, Lohgad fort also became the home of Nana Phadnavis in the 18th century.
I came across this interesting article, which tells about the Jain inscription discovered by a few rock-cut cave enthusiasts in September 2019. It is close to early Brahmi script and falls in the category of Pali cave inscription belonging to the period of Jain rock cave cut inscriptions. (Refer article)
How to reach Lohagad
You can reach the fort easily via Lonavala. You can take your own vehicle to the foot of the fort. Or you can catch a train to Malavali train station and hike to the foot of the Lohagad fort. This walk is around 6,5 km taking around 2 or 2.5 hours and is good for beginners.
For more information on Travel planning: do read our blog: Essential guide for travel planning
If you decide to take this hike in the monsoon, you can also visit Malavali waterfalls en route to the fort.
Lohagad fort trek
The fort is designed in the shape of a scorpion and has a cliff built in the shape of its tail. This cliff is known as ‘Vinchu kata’. With 4 gateways and strong fortifications, it is supposed to be one of the strongest forts.
The fort is open on all days for a small ticket amount to be paid at the foot. There are mainly stairs to reach the top, making it easy for kids to climb too.
Beware of the monkeys lurking around as they easily snatch the bags of eatables. We lost our bag of laddoos to them.
Many structures on the fort are in good condition. This includes the storage tanks to store water, few secret ways, and the dome at the top.
The top gives a great view of the Pavna and Indrayani basin.
Good season to visit Lohagad Fort
We went there twice – once in monsoon and once in winter.
It was absolutely crazy to climb the stairs in heavy monsoon rains as they had turned into a step-waterfall. On the top, we had almost lost our umbrella to the crazy winds and rains. We could not even see the person standing 2 feet away. That was one memorable experience.
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Then we went back to the fort in the winter season. That day we could really roam around the fort and see the nooks and corners in the fort. We had lots of water to keep us hydrated and caps to save us from the strong sun.
I would suggest keeping away from the fort in the summer season.
Also read our blog on Winter treks in India
What to eat
There are many eating options available around Lohagad fort. You can try local lunch around the place or even go back to Lonavala if you wish to have something fancy. Another option would be to make it into a picnic and have it on top of the Lohagad fort.
We ended our trip with a delicious lunch at Hotel Ramakrishna in Lonavala. If you are in the area please do not miss this place.
Places to visit near Lohagad fort
Visapur Fort is very close to Lohagad fort and many people combine the two treks in one day. If you are an ambitious hiker, go for it!
There are beautiful Bhaja caves with carvings from the 1st century relating to Jain culture. This can be another destination you can try while you are visiting Lohagad.
And of course, you can travel back to Lonavala and enjoy its beautiful sights or even spend the night.
Another great winter trip with family would be to Gandikota and Belum caves near Bangalore, better known as the ‘Grand Canyon of India’. Read all about it in our blog here.
So make sure you plan the Lohagad Fort trek this winter season using these travel tips.
Let us know which are your favorite places to visit in Pune in the comments below.