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Parnera Fort atop Parnera Hill in Atul near Valsad in Gujarat (India)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Parnera Fort is located atop of Parnera Hill in Atul, near Valsad in Gujarat in India.
Parnera Fort (Zoom in to see)

Fathima who had accompanied me in exploring the Sopara Stupa Site, joined me on my trip. Click on Sopara to read about my trip. We planned on exploring Parnera Fort at Atul, Kille Pardi in Pardi and Arjungad Fort aka Bagwada Fort in Bagwada located between Vapi and Valsad in Gujarat.
Rajkot Express
We planned the trip just 4 days in advance, there was no chance that we would get reservation in the train at such short notice but I still wanted to try my luck. So I asked Mohsin to check for Tatkal tickets for the to and fro journey. Remember Mohsin, I had accompanied him to Jaora. Click on Jaora to read about my trip.

We decided to take the train with the shortest travel time to reach Valsad from Mumbai. After researching, we finally narrowed down on the Rajkot Express. As it takes 02 hours and 10 minutes to reach Valsad from Vasai.
Rajkot Express departs from Coimbatore on Thursday night and reaches Rajkot on Saturday evening, we boarded the general compartment of the train at Vasai Railway station on the Western line as we didn't have any reservations. The unreserved train tickets cost us Rs.130 for two. The train reached Vasai at 6:10 AM. The train departed from Vasai at 6:20 AM, The train was on time, I was sure that it would reach us at Valsad at 8:30 AM. 
Stairs to Parnera Hill from Parnera Village

The train was packed, but we managed to get place to stand near the entrance. As the train gained momentum, it grew chiller. My fingers had turned numb due to the extreme cold. The sound of the diesel engine, was music to my ears. 

We alighted at Valsad station at 08:31 AM and then headed out to have some breakfast in the form of Poha and Wada. Gulped it down with a cup of hot tea. 
View from Parnera Hill
There are two ways of reaching Parnera Fort in Atul. Either we travel via a shared rickshaw from the Chauraha (crossroad or intersection of four roads). The second way is to travel by train. Atul is a small rail station before Valsad, when travelling from Vasai. As it is not the main station, only passenger trains halt here. The frequency of the passenger trains is poor so we decided to travel to Atul by the shared rickshaw. If you alight at Atul, then you can either walk it out or board a shared rickshaw to reach the Parnera Hill base. 
Fathima and Me at Parnera Fort
The rickshaw traveled via the Mumbai Ahmedabad Highway.We had already instructed the rickshaw driver to alight us somewhere near the Parnera Fort premises. We alighted us outside Parnera village. The base village to Parnera fort. The shared rickshaw charges cost us Rs.30 for two.
Cannons at Parnera Hill

We then asked the locals for directions in Parnera village and finally reached the stairs that would reach us to the top. There are two cannons here. But they are buried face down and painted yellow. Not sure why. I guess it is to make the start of a long climb.
The climb is taxing and it will test your stamina and also your leg muscles. There is shade so that the sun doesn't beat you down. After taking two halts we were finally atop the Parnera Hill.
But where is the fort, I asked myself on seeing the temple ahead of me. 
Ruins at Parnera Hill
The steps led us to the Rameshwar Mahadev Temple atop the Hill. Now the temple structure looks new. Not sure if the old historic temple has been replaced by this new one. 
Fortification at Parnera Fort

The Parnera Hill offers a wonderful view of the surrounding. We could even see the train going to Valsad. But as we were so high up, the train was so small in size. I am not sure if the photo I have taken with my phone can be zoomed in to get a  clearer view of the fort. 
Ruins at Parnera Hill
We finally managed to see some fortification, around some part of the Parnera Hill. This is the Parnera Fort. There are a couple of ruins atop the fort premises too.

Refreshments are available here. Restrooms are available  too, so no need to carry excessive baggage on back and in the bladders. LOL.
Water Tanks at Parnera Fort

There are three cannons also piled up in a corner of the fort. 

There are a couple of water tanks on the fort premises. Not sure if the water in them is portable or not. Water flowers were growing in it. 
Temple atop Parnera Fort

Again a couple of idiots have written their names on the walls of the fort. Spoiling the beauty of this historic structure. 
Fortification of Parnera Fort

There are two ways of reaching the fort premises, one is from Valsad and the other is from Atul Rail station. Both ways will take the same amount of time to reach the top.
Entrance to Parnera Fort
Fortification of Parnera Fort
Parnera Fort was built by Shivaji Maharaj. There are a couple of other temples atop the premises. But the signboards were in Gujarathi. Don't know to read it. There is also a 'PIR' of Chand Pir Baba.
Fortification of Parnera Fort
Information on Parnera Fort
We got down, the Atul route as we had to board a shared rickshaw to Kille Pardi in Pardi.


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