Forts in Central India

Lohagad Fort

Lohagad (literally "Iron fort" in Marathi) is one of the many hill forts of Chatrapati Shivaji. It is situated 52 km from Pune in western India. Lohagad is at an elevation of 3,450 feet (1,052 m).Lohagad and Visapur Forts are situated atop an impressive hill near Malavali, 52 km away from Pune. These forts were built in the 18th century. A 1 km long ridge separates the two forts. These forts are regarded to be ideal for trekking and can be toured in a day from Pune. Lohagad, which is 3,400 feet high, is a very wide spread fort. Ganesh Darwaja, Narayan Darwaja, Hanuman Darwaja and Maha Darwaja are the four doors to Lohagad from the nearby village. A few sculptures are still visible on Maha Darwaja.


The history of the place dates around 2000 to 2500 years back. At that time, Lohagad was one of the major forts of the Satwaahan dynasty. The fort owes its name to the sage Lomesh who was meditating on Lohagad. It was mainly built to keep Nana Maval , Andhra Maval and Korbaarse Maval in check. But after the collapse of the Bahamani kingdom , the fort Lohagad in Pune was captured by Nizamshahi in 1489. Thereafter, the fort passed into different hands. The seventh brother of the Nizam who ruled from1590 to 1594 was imprisoned here. In 1630, the fort was captured by Adilshah, and Shivaji Maharaj took it under his control in 1648. In the year 1665, the fort was successively attacked by Mirza Raja Jaysingh who invaded Purandhar and by Kutubuddin , who looted the villages surrounding the fort Lohagad in Pune. Shivaji Maharaj captured it again in 1670, Aurangzeb , in 1700 and Balaji Vishwanath in 1720. Bajirao II ruled the fort in 1802 until it went finally to the British hands under Colonel Prother in 1818. Surprisingly, the fort is still intact till date. There are some inscriptions on the walls, which reveal vital information about its history. There are two go downs here. They are called the Narayan and the Hanuman Darwaaja . The Laxmi Kothi is the only place to rest in the fort. Besides, the tomb of Sheikh Umar , Vinchu Kata and the Ganesh Darwaaja are also worth visiting.


It divides the basins of the Indrayani and Pavna and is situated on a side range of the Sahyadris. The Visapur fort is located on its eastern side. The four large gates of Lohagad are still in good condition and reasonably intact. Historical records show that in the later Peshwa period, Nana Phadnavis (1742-1800 AD) built several structures in the fort such as a big tank and a step-well (bawali).On the west side, there is a long and narrow wall-like fortified spur called Vinchukata (Marathi for Scorpion's tail; see picture) because of its shape. Lohagad has a long history with several dynasties occupying it at different periods of time: Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Nizamshahis, Mughals and Marathas. Shivaji captured it in 1648 CE, but he was forced to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 CE by the Treaty of Purandar. Shivaji recaptured the fort in 1670 CE and used it for keeping his treasury.

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