Off to Lohagad – The Iron Fort…
People Travel to know the boundaries of the world… The boundaries within their universe, the journey which they want to experience and imagine if ever they thought of living a life they couldn’t. People travel to know more about different people. People travel to experience what their soul will take with them to a different dimension. Sometimes when I think of these quotes of mine, I realize we all have a desire in ourselves to understand fully what the beauty of this universe lies in. Be it the short trips over the weekend, adventure camps in school, trips and picnics during the monsoon or a great vacation abroad… When we travel, we unleash our inner spirit. One that adds to our charm and the experience of a life we live in.
To me, trekking is one such experience where I can relive the adventure, which I always wanted. Think of nothing but the freedom that I get when I get up there. Be it 4000 feet above or just a mere 1400 feet. Doesn’t matter, one needs to understand that the beauty of all this is in the fact that you have a goal in mind and you go up there to achieve it.
So here we are, bunch of us office guys @SocWav have decided to head to Lohagad, a very easy trek tomorrow night. This would be my second experience trekking at night after one way back in Naneghat. Since, there are a lot of newbies and girls mostly, we decided to trek to Lohagad as its the easiest of the lots. I haven’t yet been here so it should be a great experience. The last time around, my friends ditched me on my working saturday and did a quick drive to Lohagad and got back with great photos and absolutely amazing videos. That was during monsoon though. Don’t know how it will be this time around. Hope the cold and pleasant weather will make up for a little bit lack of greenery I hope.
So we plan to trek at around 10-11 in the night, reach on top about 12:00 – 1:00 AM and camp up there. Hoping to set up a barbecue if we get hold of a village local. Otherwise we’ll manage with our own Cup Maggi and other snacks.. I mean Maggi should really be the brand for all trekkers. The best part would probably come early in the morning, when we’ll take a look at the awesome views especially the ‘Vinchu Kaata’ and the Ganesh Darwaza… So courtesy Wikipedia here is a bit of trivia for all you folks about the destination.
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.
How to reach the fort
From Mumbai, you can take a train to Lonavla. Malawli is the next station from Lonavla in the direction toward Pune. There are a number of local trains operating between Lonavla and Pune; you can take any of them. From Pune, you can take any of these locals.
From Malawli railway station, the fort is just 9 km away. Vehicles can go up to the foot of the hill. From here, which is near a village calledLohagaon, there are steps to the fort, numbering approximately 500.
When it rains, the top of the fort is covered with mist and clouds and becomes particularly wet. It is advisable to carry protective gear during the rainy season (mid-June to mid-September). Further, food is not easily available on the route. Most of the food stalls sell water, poha, tea/coffee, snacks, and soft drinks.
A panoramic view of the Pawna dam can be seen from the fort. Although it isn’t raining now, hoping to get a breath of fresh air… cold winter air during the amazing trek we take.