History of Chandan and Vandan Fort
Chandan and Vandan Forts were built by King Bhoj II of Shilahara Dynasty in 1191-1192. Shivaji Maharaj won these forts from Adil Shah of Bijapur in 1673 along with Kalyangad, Sajjangad and Ajinkyatara forts during the campaign of Satara. It was under control of Marathas till 1689 after it was passed in the hands of Mughals. In 1707 it was occupied by Marathas under Shahu Maharaj. Later, the British took over the forts.
Structure of Chandan and Vandan Fort
There are two bastions at the entrance gate of Chandan Fort which are presently in a half-demolished state. There is a banyan tree at the upper side of the entrance which is known as ‘Panchvad’, as it is comprised of five banyan trees. A temple of Lord Shiva is situated near the Banyan tree. The fort also houses an old mosque. An intact bastion can be seen at the north end of the fort with a Shivalinga and statue of Lord Hanuman over the bastion. Three rooms without roof can be seen at the southern part of the fort believed to be store rooms. There is a large quadrangular raised platform, commonly known as ‘Sadar’, at the centre of the fort.
The Vandan Fort is in good condition. There are few rooms built near the gate. The southern part of the fort has a Dargah built using stone. The fort has two entrances. The first entrance is sturdy having bastions which are still intact. There is an idol of Lord Ganesha on the left bastion. The second entrance is completely tumbled down with Persian inscriptions on the arch. Many dilapidated structures can be seen in the fort. There is an old dried up natural lake with a mosque and a storage room nearby.
Visiting Information of Chandan and Vandan Fort
Chandan and Vandan are adjacent forts. The trek to both the forts is easy and can be completed in a day. There are two ways to reach these forts. The first one starts from Dudhanwadi village which is easiest one and the other one from Belmachi. It takes about 1 hour trekking. A narrow path separating from the main path leads to the Vandan Fort. It takes around 45 minutes to reach Vandan Fort from Chandan Fort. The path of the fort passes through scrubby vegetation.