Meaning ‘iron fort’ in the native language, Lohagad Fort is a popular tourist destination in the hill station town of Lonavala in Maharashtra. Due to its proximity to the bustling cities of Mumbai and Pune, it is a well-known trekking and a day trip destination for city dwellers. This historical fort has been associated with many rulers, most notably with the valiant Maratha king, Shivaji Maharaj, in the 1600s. Part of the Western Ghats range, the fort is situated about 3389 feet (1033 metres) above sea level and much of it is still intact. Visitors have to climb up a steep set of stairs to reach the main entrance of the fort. Amazing views of the surrounding areas can be enjoyed from the fort, especially in the monsoon season when the hills are carpeted in lush greenery. To get more details about this historic place, take a look at our guide to Lohagad Fort, Lonavala.
Things to do
Admire the sculptures at the various entrances
Lohagad fort is spread across a large area on a hill and has four entrances. Of these, the entrance called Maha Darwaja has the most exquisite sculptures and carvings on and around it. Ganesh Darwaja also has beautiful sculptures ensconced around it. The fort entrances and doors are also made in traditional Indian style and their architecture is admirable too. The other two entrances are called Narayan Darwaja and Hanuman Darwaja. A small cave used for storing food and other materials is situated close to one of the entrances.
Hike the Vinchu Kata
Probably the most popular spot in Lohagad fort is Vinchu Kata, meaning scorpion’s sting’ in the local language. The name comes from the fort’s narrow protrusion out over the hills that resembles a scorpion’s sting. This natural formation is a popular hiking trail for adventurous visitors because it offers panoramic views of Karla-Bhaja caves, Pawna Lake and the valley below. A popular time to hike Vinchu Kata is in the monsoon, but care should be taken of slippery paths and moss-covered rocks.
Check out the big and small ponds
Dotted all over Lohagad fort are several small and big ponds of water. These were created as reservoirs for storing water accumulated during the monsoon. An 18th-century tank and a stepwell are also present in the fort. All these water bodies fill up with freshwater during the monsoons and many visitors love to take a dip in them. You can choose to jump in too or just admire them from afar.
Wear comfortable footwear
If you choose to go trekking in, around or to the fort, ensure that you wear appropriate and comfortable footwear. Even if you are not trekking, there is a lot of steep climbing and walking involved while exploring the fort, so comfortable shoes are a must.
Best time to visit
Unarguably, monsoon season is the best time to visit Lohagad fort. The fort is very picturesque at this time due to the mist surrounding it, the moss-covered stones and rocks and the lush greenery carpeting the surrounding hills. Plus, rains bring cooler weather and provide a much-needed relief from the harsh sun.
Be prepared for the monsoon
The flipside to visiting the fort during monsoons is that the roads, paths and hiking trails can be wet and slippery. Rains also mean that rainwater may continuously flow over steps and stones making them quite dangerous to peruse. So, caution is to be exercised while trekking or walking. Those going on treks to or in the fort should carry supplies like food, water, raincoat, first aid, etc.
How to get there
Most locals agree that the best way to reach the fort is by taking a taxi from to the base of the hill where the fort is located i.e. Lohagadwadi village. You can then make your way up to the fort on foot.
Public transport is available in the form of local (suburban) trains running regularly between Mumbai, Pune and Lonavala. The station closest to the fort is Malavali and well-connected to all the nearby cities and towns. From the train station, you can take a taxi or trek your way up to the fort.
Hiking is by far the most popular way to reach the fort. It is also the most scenic and pleasant of all. Most visitors start their trek at Malavali and reach the fort within two hours. The trek is not difficult and especially enjoyable during the monsoons. Alternatively, you can even drive or take a taxi to the base of the fort at Lohagadwadi village and then walk up to the fort by climbing its steep steps.
You can drive your own car or a rental one to Lohagad Fort from Mumbai, Thane or Pune via the Mumbai-Pune Highway or any other nearby towns in the state. But the road to the base of the fort is said to be steep and a single lane road and gets very slippery in the monsoon. It is not advisable to drive in such conditions.
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Lohagad Fort information
Address: Lohagad, Lonavala, Maharashtra, India
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)
Department of tourism: Maharashtra Tourism
Lonavala Private Sightseeing Trip from Mumbai
Duration: 1 Day(s) Duration
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