Vikatgad Fort is famous for its caves which are maintained by disciples of Swami Samartha and the meditation chambers carved out from the rock inside the mountain. The fort also has a temple dedicated to Swami Samartha on the top and has the footwear or Padukas worn by the great saint kept on the top.
Etymology of Vikatgad Fort
Vikatgad Fort is named as ‘Vikatgad’ for its supposed shape of the Lord Ganesh. The fort also derives its name from the Goddess ‘Pebi Devi’.
History of Vikatgad Fort Historical references clearly indicate that Shivaji Maharaj used the caves on the fort as silos for grain storage. Vikatgad Fort was visited by Captain Dickinson in 1818.
Structure of Vikatgad Fort
Vikatgad Fort lies at an altitude of 2100 feet above mean sea level. It has two gates on the entrance path; however, only ruins of the gates can be seen. There are water cistern and ruins of the buildings on the fort. There is a lone bastion on the southern ridge of the fort. There is an idol of Lord Hanuman on the fort.
Trekking Route of Vikatgad Fort
The trek to Vikatgad Fort starts from a base in Neral town and it takes about 3 hours to reach the fort. It is an easy trek, with the slightly difficult paths involving a small rock patch and a ladder. As one trek towards the fort, the path passes through water streams, rocks, grassy meadows and lush green forests.
Visiting Information of Vikatgad Fort
Vikatgad Fort can be reached from Panvel and Neral towns. The Neral is well connected by rail and road. There are many routes to reach the fort. The easiest is to reach Matheran by bus or car or train and start walking along the railway track. It takes about an hour to reach the entrance stairs of the fort.