Cover Photo - Photo Memoir of Lohagad Fort

Lohagad Fort, Lonavala: A Photo Memoir of my Experience

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.

Views from Lohagad Fort
Views from Lohagad Fort

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.

All Set to Start the Hike!
All Set to Start the Hike!
Caught Magnificent Views of the Sahyadri Ranges
Caught Magnificent Views of the Sahyadri Ranges
Soaking the Pleasant Sunshine
Soaking the Pleasant Sunshine

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.

Me, my Pack, and the World
Me, my Pack, and the World
The Mighty Lohagad Fort!
The Mighty Lohagad Fort!

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).

Meet Sesame - One of the Guides
Meet Sesame – One of the Guides
Just Keep Going, Just Keep Going!
Just Keep Going, Just Keep Going

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.

Sesame Accompanied me to This View
Can you Spot the Lake?
Her Ethereal Beauty
Lonavala’s Ethereal Beauty

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.

The First Door to Mark the Entrance of the Fort
The First Door to Mark the Entrance of the Fort – ‘Ganesh Darvaaza’
Trying to Act Cool for a Candid Picture
Trying to Act Cool for a Candid Picture
But Immediately, Showed my True Colors
Showing my True Colors Immediately Thereafter

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.

Inexorable
Inexorable
Completely Mesmerised by the Sharp Spikes on the Doors
Completely Mesmerised by the Design of the Doors

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.

Caught a Glimpse of Another Neighboring Fort
Caught a Glimpse of Another Neighboring Fort From the Top of Lohagad Fort
Another Spectacular View!
Another Spectacular View!
I Don't Know why I am Saluting to the Flag, but it Felt Good.
Jai Hind!

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.

Mahadev Mandir (Lord Shiva Temple)
Mahadev Mandir (Lord Shiva Temple)
Nandi (bull), the gate-guardian deity of Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva.
Nandi (a Bull and the gate-guardian of Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva) and Cookie, Playing Dead for my Attention
A Dargah in Lohagad Fort
A Dargah With a Backdrop of the Sky and the Moon, and Chocolate on the Side
Taking a Closer Look at the Dargah
Taking a Closer Look at the Dargah

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.

Time Traveling Back to the 16th Century AD
Time Traveling Back to the 16th Century AD!
A Stepped Well to Store Water
Chilling by a Stepped Well

Had my DDLJ Moments

Need I say more?

Living the Traveler's Life
Living the Traveler’s Life
Playing Simran and Raj
Playing Simran and Raj at the Same Time

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.

Read Next: How to Spend 2 Amazing Days in Lonavala

2 Comments

  • Shashidhar R

    Varsha, nice to see you got an opportunity to visit a historical place which has its relationship with various royal dynasties. I would like to suggest you to take a similar visit to Chitradurga fort which is definitely worth seeing. I am damn sure you will get a opportunity to appreciate the thinking and strategies that went in to build forts.

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