Sunday, October 9, 2011
Lohagad, literally Iron Fort, is situated in Malavali, near Lonavala, on the Mumbai Pune rail line. It is 3,450 feet above sea level. In its glory days, Lohagad was ruled by various dynasties. The last ruler was Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Two of my office colleagues, Nimish and Darshan, accompanied me on my trek to Lohagad, Visapur Fort and
. Bhaje Caves
I began to feel so sleepy that I spent the night on Lonavala station sleeping on one of the benches made for commuters to sit. I have never done this on any of my treks. My colleagues stayed awake all night, guarding our bags.
|Lohgad Fort from a distance|
At this hour in the morning, there were no other trekkers in sight, just the 3 of us. The roads were rather muddy. The fog was so thick and dense that we couldn't see even a few metres ahead of us. It was rather risky but we managed to go ahead.
On the way we met a few school children running hastly downhill, hoping that they would not be late for school. We made small talk with the children and they told us that there was no school in Lohagaon and that the nearest school was in Bhaje, a neighbouring village where the
are located. It was sad that the children had to trek for 2 hours daily to go to school, but the good thing was that the children were going to school in spite of the difficulties. Bhaje Caves
|Foggy way up to the base of Lohgad Fort|
We finally reached the top. The view was amazing. We could see Visapur Fort in the distance, a few hill ranges far away in the village below, the road which takes one to Lonavala station, Pawna Dam and a few lakes in the vicinity.
|Stairway to Lohgad Fort|
There is an extension to this fort called the Vinchu Kata or Scorpions Tail in English. The name is derived from the shape of the place, which is like the tail of a scorpion. I had been to Lohagad twice before but had never visited Vinchu Kata. This time I had made up my mind that I would visit this place come what may. As the weather was foggy and the ground was wet, we encountered a fair bit of trouble in our attempt to reach Vinchu Kata.
|Door (Darwaja) entrance to the Fort|
After viewing the entire fort, we finally decided to head for Lohagaon, where we had our lunch.
|View from top|
|Vinchu Kata, extension to Lohgad Fort|
Some of the locals advised us on the best way to reach Visapur fort. They told us that it was advisable to take someone from the village with us as we might get lost on the way. As it was already , we decided not to go to Visapur. It would take us at least 7 hours to ascend, view and descend from the fort. Visapur is much bigger than Lohagad fort.
We decided to head back to
on the way to Malavali station. On the way we sat on the banks of a small stream with our feet in the water. We badly needed this rest and felt most relaxed as we had to head to Bhaje Caves and then home. From Malavali station or Lonavala there are many trains which take us to Mumbai. Bhaje Caves