Hatlot, Tal. Mahabaleshwar Dist. Satara
Altitude 1236m. Hill fort.
Things to see:
The fort is also known as Madhu Makarandgad as it is believed to be consisting of two different forts Madhu and Makarandgad respectively. The peak of the mountain known as Madhu Shikhar which is the main attraction point. It has and forms a boundary between the districts of Ratnagiri, Raigad and Satara. There are temples of Bhairoba and Mallikarjun on the top of the hill. The top provides the views of Mahabaleshwar and Pratapgad on the North Eastern side and forts of Rasalgad, Sumargad and Mahipatgad on the eastern side. The fort is surrounded by the famous forest of Javli. The fort also provides view of backwaters of Koyna and Shivsagar dams. On the eastern side of the fort there is one water cistern in the cave.
Not much is known about its past but it might have been used as a watch post for tracking movements on the route of Hatlot pass and surrounding region of Maharbaleshwar.
Not much of earlier fortification is now present except some at south western corner. The way to the fort is covered with dense forest teeming with wild life and also includes Wild buffaloes and Bears. There is also danger of leeches which are blood sucking parasites present in the jungle.
How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
The fort can be accessed from two villages viz. Hatlot and Chaturbet. From both the villages one requires a hike of approximately three hours. However route from Hatlot is steep and that from Chaturbet is comparatively gradual. There is one more village Ghonaspur which is on the shoulder of the hill of Makarandgad and on the route from Chaturbet.
From Konkan side of the fort the trekkers can combine climb of Hatlot ghat which is an ancient route joining Konkan with plateu of Western Maharashtra. It starts from Birmani in Khed taluka. It requires three hours to reach Hatlot village from Birmani. There is another tougher trekking route from Birmani called Kondnal.
Trek for 5 hours via Hatlotghat/ Kondnal to Makarandgad
Mumbai/ Pune/ Kolhapur
Trek for three hours to Makarandgad
By public transport:
Reach Mahabaleshwar which is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur and Goa. Hatlot and Chaturbet are connected by ST buses from Mahabaleshwar. For taking Hatlotghat route from Konkan side reach Khed which is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur. From Goa, Khed can be reached by direct trains or getting off ST or Private buses by Chiplun and taking a bus for Khed. Birmani is connected by ST buses to Khed.
Nearby Places for stay:
Mahabaleshwar, Khed, camping on the Makarandgad or base villages of Birmani and Ghonaspur is possible.