Saturday, 29 October 2011

An Unplanned Trip to Purandar Fort

Malhargad is the last fort built by the Marathas (I know you may already be thinking why the hell the title says Purandar Fort when I have started with Malhargad!!!Just wait and read along if you have the patience) and is one of the easiest treks in Maharashtra. We decided to try this on a saturday afternoon. We headed off towards Saswad. I did read that the Fort is situated at a village called Sonori. From the google map, it seemed a very easy drive towards Sonori.

Towards Saswad, as per the Map you have to take a left turn for Sonori via Dive Gaon. When we found that left turn, we enquired a couple of locals about Malhargad/ 'Sonori cha Killa' but both advised that this was not the way, instead we should drive towards Saswad. Ha!! First Setback!!

We proceeded towards Saswad. Before entering the village, I again asked another local who advised that we were on the right track. But somehow I was not at all convinced. So I asked another local, he said that we should take a U - turn and then go straight and take a right turn. He meant the left turn referred by Google!!!!! Second setback!!!!!

And if it is not enough, there's a third. I was still hopeful that we could make it so I asked a couple of more locals and both of them confessed that they never heard of Malharagad in their lives. Great!!! Even I was wondering if the fort really exists.Hmmm!!!Grrrrrr!!!

Now what!! It was already 3.30 pm and I knew we wouldn't get enough time perhaps to do even the small trek. But I was too stubborn to return, so we quickly made a 'wise' decision to leave our footprints on Purandar Fort.

This is how we ended up with Purandar Fort after planning for Malhargad Fort. And hence this justifies the title of this post.

I always love a flavorof History and to imagine how it looked duiring the old times. So here is an excerpt from MTDC -

The history of the Purandar fort goes back to the 13th century.  The Bahamani Sultans in the 14th century built here some walls and bastions.  From 1484 AD, for about a hundred years, the fort remained in the hands of the Nizamshahi rulers.  In 1596 AD, the fort was given as Jagir to Maloji Bhosale, grandfather of Shivaji.  However, Shivaji had to struggle very hard to establish his control over the fort in 1646 AD.  In 1665 AD, Purandar was besieged by the mighty Mughal forces under the command of Jai Singh and Dilir Khan.  In the ensuing battle Murar Baji Prabhu, the gallant commander of the fort, was killed.  Shivaji, under the famous Purandar treaty on June 11, 1665 , had to surrender to the Mughals his 23 forts (Purandar, Rudramal, Kondhana, Khandagla, Lohagad, Isagad, Tung, Tikona, Rohida, Nardurga, Mahuli, Bhandardurga, Palaskhol, Rupgad, Bakhtgad, Morabkhan, Manikgad, Saroopgad, Sakargad, Marakgad, Ankola, Songad, and Maangad.), including Purandar and Vajragarh.  At the lower fort a statue of Murar Baji Prabhu has been installed in his memory.

Purandar was recaptured by Shivaji in 1670 AD Later it became a favourite retreat of the Peshwas.  Purandar was captured by the British in 1818 AD.  During the Second World War, the British kept here the German war prisoners. Dr. H. Goetz, one of the German prisoners, thoroughly studied Purandar and wrote a monograph on it.  After Independence there also functioned a National Cadet Crops (N.C.C.) Training unit at the top.

Dear me, I have almost turned this post into a history lesson. Before it gets more boring (though I doubt if that's possible at all), let's get back to the recent times!

How to go: Go to Saswad and then take the road to the Balaji temple towards Narayanpur. This post will give the detailed road direction. Once you reach the following direction on your left, you have to take the left towards Puranadar Fort. Driving through a narrow road you will see the hills approaching towards you. There is small village called Purandar (no prize if you guess where it takes its name from) from where a motorable road goes to the right to the top. The trekkers actually start trekking from here on.

But we drove on through the hills. The road started winding up and nature was manifesting in front us its true beauty. It was so green. After driving for 6-7 kms, you'll come to the base of the Purandar Fort, the last stretch was full of so many potholes, that it felt like we were driving through canyons.

Roadside view

Straight through the hills

Winding up

There was so much greenery all around and the air was so fresh that it is difficult not to love the place at once. Going straight you can see a bust of Shambhaji Maharaj.
Bust of Sambhaji Maharaj


Purandar Fort at the backdrop - first glance


Tomb of Sambhaji

Purandar Fort standing still since ages
If you go towards the left of this bust, you will reach Vajragad or Rudramal. There is small valley just behind this statue, the view from this was superb.


Trekking trails

Main Road towards Sambhaji's bust

View from the top

Towards Vajragad
Towards Vajragad, if you look at Purandar, the mist and the green along with the ruined and dilapidated constructions would give you a fabulous combo for photography. I regret why I don't have a DSLR.

Purandar Fort in the background

We did not intend to reach the top but just to roam around walking as much as possible.


Vajragad in the background


Can you see the road - that's through which we came

View from the top - engulfed by the mist

The first entrance is called the Binni Darwaja, beside which there is a full fledged statue of Shambhaji Maharaj.

Binni Darwaza

Binni Darwaza - 2

Binni Darwaza - 3

Sambhaji's statue

We were amazed to see a church inside the fort. It is evident that the British built this later on.

The greenery was tremendous and so was the mist. We spend around 1.5 hours there and clicked a lot of photographs which is obvious and evident. Within minutes the Fort was behind the mist creating a mysterious ambience.

Mist started taking the control over
After only a few seconds The background is fully covered

 We planned to make a full trip here so that we can 'trek' to the top (from the parking). But that would be a different post. Though we could not make it to the Malhargad, Purandar did compensate us and we did not actually regret what we may have missed.
View from the top

Another View

On the way back, isn't it fascinating?

The roads through the heart of the hills

A glance of the Village Purandar from the top


  1. Very Nice Photo Graphs

    Thank you very much dear!

    Jay jijau Jay Shivrai !!!

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