Every time I think about my trip to Lonavala, the experience I cherish the most is hiking the magnanimous Lohagad Fort. Built almost 500 years ago, the Lohagad Fort was used by several dynasties like the Marathas, Mughals, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas. Having this information beforehand made my experience all the more worthwhile because now, I wasn’t just climbing the steps of a famous tourist spot, but was reliving history in every step.
I walked through spiked iron doors, maneuvered into dark, mysterious chambers and gently stroked small cannons that belonged to the 16th century AD; it was as though I had time traveled to a different era. I realized that History has so much to teach us, if only we paid attention to it.
This blog post is a special account of my experience at Lohagad Fort with a lot of photographs to help you visualize and perhaps inspire, to visit this magnificent fort at least once in your lifetime.
Started the Hike at 7:00 AM
My guide and I were the only ones in Lohagad Fort because we started our hike pretty early. The sun had just begun to warm the city with its gentle, golden rays and we were lucky to witness magnificent views of the mountains and the lakes.
Stopped for a Spectacular View
We stopped at a point where we could see the exquisite landscape of Lonavala. We also caught a glimpse of the glorious Fort which reminded us of the lengthy path ahead. Nevertheless, we buckled up and kept moving.
Met our Official Guides
We had three guides who led us to the fort and ensured we were safe. I had never met such friendly and intelligent guides ever in my life. Their names were Cookie, Chocolate and Sesame (And yes, I named them).
Stopped for a Second View – Pawna Lake
Our second stop was to view the expansive Pawna Lake. The Pawna Lake is Lonavala’s most popular lake and it supplies water to many villages in the surroundings.
Entered the Fort
The first door we encountered before entering the fort was the ‘Ganesh Darvaaza‘. The door had iron spikes on it, and idols of two deities on either side of it.
Explored Dark Chambers
My curious soul made me walk straight into a small chamber that looked completely dark and mysterious. After I entered, I found out that it was a room with three small windows that overlooked the entrance of the fort.
Reached the Top of the Fort
After successfully hiking for 40 minutes, we reached the top of the fort. The views were absolutely stunning and we found some really interesting places of interest.
Explored a Temple, and Three Dargahs
It was really exciting to see a temple and three dargahs at the fort. The temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva but I am unsure who the dargahs belonged to (A dargah is the tomb or shrine of a Muslim saint). However, what I learnt by seeing these two together, intact and robust, is that there was mutual respect for each other’s beliefs; a valuable lesson we should learn and imbibe from our ancestors.
Touched a 16th Century Cannon
My excitement had no bounds when I found 16th century cannons, used for defense purposes by several dynasties. As I gently felt the engravings of the date on the cannon, I couldn’t help but take a deep breath because I had time traveled back to the 16th century.
Had my DDLJ Moments
Need I say more?
On the whole, my experience at Lohagad Fort was amazing. I would strongly recommend you to hike this fort when in Lonavala and pay attention to the rich history it embodies in every step, every rock, and every door.
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