Lohagad

Sometimes, you just need to step out. Out into the open, far – or at least far enough – from home, and take with you nothing but your spirit of adventure. And a few sandwiches, maybe.

Earlier this week, my sister and I made for Lohagad. Being mid-week, the fort was devoid of the usual crowds that the Monsoons bring in. The weather was perfect too, with no sun and no rain, quite unlike the last time I had been there with friends. It had been pouring then, and the fort had been completely shrouded in a thick veil of white mist, reducing visibility to almost zero. This time, I saw what the fort really looked like!

We drove to the fort via Malavli Village and the Bhaje Caves, along the newly constructed road. The fort loomed massive in the morning light. We trudged up the huge stone steps, stopping now and then to listen to the melodic whistling of the Malabar Whistling Thrush.

lohagad 01   lohagad 31
lohagad 02

Standing at an elevation of 3,450 ft. on the Sahyadris, Lohagad has a long history that is tied to various dynasties. It was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1648 AD, and later surrendered to the Mughals in 1665 AD in accordance with the Treaty of Purandar. However, Shivaji recaptured it in 1670 AD following his daring escape from Agra. The British eventually took control of Lohagad and the neighbouring Visapur Fort in 1818 AD.

Lohagad displays remarkable fortification, through the natural, daunting slopes on which it is perched and its four massive gateways. The fort holds two reservoirs and storage spaces for grain, to withstand a prolonged siege.

lohagad 03lohagad 27The first gate we entered was the Ganesh Darwaja. Inside, we found an inscription in stone. lohagad 04lohagad 05lohagad 28

Further on, we discovered a mysterious passageway leading downwards.

lohagad 07

The Mahadarwaja is the main entrance to Lohagad. The view of the surrounding land from here was breathtaking!

lohagad 08 lohagad 09

Climbing up the fort beyond the Mahadarwaja, we looked down to see the lower ramparts of the fort. Further up, we passed a few caves and some slippery sections where the steps had eroded to yield a somewhat smooth surface.

lohagad 10lohagad 11 lohagad 12

We finally made it to the top, passing the Narayan Darwaja and the Hanuman Darwaja.

lohagad 14 lohagad 15 lohagad 16

The first monument that we noticed within the fort was a dargah, and beyond it, a Shiva Temple with a picture of Shivaji Maharaj within its walls.

lohagad 17lohagad 18 lohagad 19

We walked on past the eight-sided water reservoir and sixteen-sided, almost circular pond before arriving at Lohagad’s famous vinchu kata or scorpion-tail fortification. This was used as a strategic lookout point in ancient times.

lohagad 20 lohagad 22
lohagad 25

It’s a wonderful feeling, standing at the site where history was made, and walking the same paths as the legends. It’s also uplifting, being one with nature, and enjoying its myriad elements…a feeling best described as freedom.

lohagad 24We clicked a few pictures to remember the day by, but the experience itself assured us that this journey would be unforgettable.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Lohagad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s