(Last Updated on : 02/02/2016)
Lohagad Fort, which means Iron Fort, is one of the most important forts of Maratha Empire
. Located on hill top with an elevation of 3450 feet this fort enjoys one of the most splendid sights. Surrounded with greenery, mist and humid clouds the fort is exhibits one of the most attractive sights during the rainy season. Lohagad fort reflects a type of architecture followed by the Marathas. Surrounded with strong boundary walls and four massive entrance gates it stands majestically on the top of Sahyadri hills.
Geographically Lohagad fort has Visapur fort on its eastern side. The fort has four large gates which are in good condition and are reasonably intact. Alongwith its magnificent gates the fort also includes a long and narrow wall like fortified spur that surrounds the fort on the western side. During the later Peshwa period a number of important buildings were constructed under the supervision of Nana Fadnavis
. The place where the fort stands had been under the rule of the Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Yadavas, Bahamanis, Nizamshahis, Mughals and Marathas. Chatrapati Shivaji captured it in 1648 but had to surrender to the Mughals in 1665 under the Treaty of Purandar. However, the fort was recaptured by Shivaji in 1670 and was used for keeping his treasury. Overall with its strategic location and well intact construction it played a major role in securing the Maratha Empire at times of crisis.
Lohagad fort is one of the most attractive forts of Maharashtra that is known for its scenic beauty. The fort remains covered with mist and clouds in the rainy season that leaves the fort almost wet. Only the foot hill is visible while the hilltop is covered with clouds. This place also attracts the trekkers who love to trek through the slopes of the mountain. The trekkers face a lot of difficulties during the rainy season when the mountaineering routes turn musky and slippery. At the foot of the hill is the Lohagaon from where the long series of 500 steps begin. The place also attracts a large variety of birds.
Lohagad fort can be easily reached through the trains from Lonavla. Malawi is the next station from Lonavla which is situated at a distance of 9 kms from the fort. However, people can also enjoy a splendid walk through the Bhaja caves that fall on the way.