Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Lohagad Trek....

Lohagad, or the Iron Fort , from the times of Shivaji Maharaj,  lies near Lonavla/Malavli , 52 kms from Pune, and rises to 3389 feet above sea level. Another Fort,   Visapur Fort, lies nearby and is connected to it via a mountain range.

The range divides the basins of the Indrayani and Pavana rivers of the region. This fort has seen the occupation by several dynasties such as Satvahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas , Yadavas, and later on the Moghuls, the Marathas, and Peshwas (via Nana Fadanvis) . Shivaji Maharaj used the fort to store the loot from Surat, and Nana Fadanvis actually lived there for some time, setting up step wells and big tanks.

There are four gates to the fort, which are reasonably intact , and this fort is a popular destination of trekkers  due to easy accesibility .  This fort being closer to the main Mumbai Pune route, sits in a more prosperous land belt . We approached it via Malavli, a suburban station on the Lonavla Pune suburban system, from where  we proceeded on foot.

           A view of the tracks leading to Malavli station, on the Lonavla-Pune route

  The Trekkers
      The housing, relatively prosperous, due to its proximity  to the urban areas

         A typical rural agricultural scene , at the base of the Fort

          The typical landscape  of the plains, so green , despite the height of summer.

                   The landscape in another direction, slightly less populated

               The flora en route to the Fort; and capturing the ever busy bee /moth

                                              We found many such crabs ....

Agriculture in full swing, anticipating the monsoon

A view of the approach to the Fort and Bhaja Caves 

The Bhaja caves entrance

     Development on the adjoining hill ranges.  The benefits of proximity to Pune
                                   A memorial to Shivaji Maharaj at the Fort

                        Hefty Fortifications a the doors of the Fort , existing till today.

                       Clearly, this is not how the chains were to be used....

                 A close up of the chains that have existed through the centuries

An old inscription on stone possibly written in Modi language. (Nothing to do with the present PM of India, but much to do with Pali language etc)

                      The Pawna reservoir framed  beautifully from the fort.
                       Another memorial at the fort , shades of Mughal influence in the architecture 

      These hills too, are probably subject to dangers of development as we know it today, with roads being created by cuing through the hills.. 

                No backpacks, no Bisleris, no fancy shoes, the Daily Trekkers !

     Forts that are easily accessible means  they are better taken care of. These plaques  give detailed information about the Lohagad and Visapur Forts, part of the same hill range. 

                        Panorama View of Pawna Lake  from somewhere near the top

             Perils of development on the other side.  Blue tarpaulin anticipates the monsoon, not yet started.  This is at the height of summer.

                   Another panorama view of the Pawna Basin and its surounding areas.

                                                    Framed at the Fort !

                 And we are back at the Malavli station for our trip back home.

       A most delicious local seasonal fruit called Jaam , which grows here and we have enjoyed often as they sell it in leaf cups at the railway station. 

The Jamun Fruit,  a summer product, second only to Mango, which was growing by the wayside and ours for plucking !

        The Caliotropis plant, called Aak in Hindi.  This is supposed to be poisonous. Found en route.  So Beautiful, but dangerous.

    And finally, and old local gentleman , who needs to know what all the fuss is about ....

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had an awesome time. Beautiful photographs! :)