Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Forts of Konkan 35 : Kille Avchitgad किल्ले अवचितगड

Pingalsai, Tal. Roha, Dist. Raigad
Hill Fort
Altitude 392 m.

Things to see:
The fort is spread on an area on hill top which has a shape of horse shoe. On the southern side of the fort is one bastion on which there is a stone inscription. It mentions of some restructuring on the fort in the year 1796. At the second entrance there is one water tank and a statue of Khandoba near the it. One can see beautiful views of Kundalika river, Roha town, most of the region of Pen taluka which has vast tracts of coastal saline lands along the creeks. On the eastern side one can see views of Sahyadri which include Raigad, Rajgad, Torna forts. On the southern side there is citadel. On the western side of the citadel, there are 7 small water cisterns on the western side. Amongst these cisterns there is a shrine dedicated to Shivaji's Sardar Baji Pasalkar. There is a temple of Pingalsai goddess and one deepmal. There are 4-5 cannons on the fort. There is one big water tank which constructed in dodecagonal shape. The forest around the hill is thick and has some wild life such as Wild boars, leopards, monkeys etc.

Group of water tanks on the fort.

The fort is said to have been first developed by Shilahar kings and later on was used by Nizam of Ahmednagar. It is speculated that Shivaji reconstructed the fort. The whole work was completed in hurry and hence the name Avchit (hurry) Gad (fort). The fort was constructed by Shaikh Mahammad. In the third Anglo Maratha war, Colonel Prother won this fort from Peshavas in the year 1818 along with other forts in the nearby area.

Most of the structures on the fort are in ruins. The tanks on the fort are in need to desiltation.

Nearby attractions:
Ganapati temple in Pingalsai village.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Roha Pingalsai
Further hike for 1 hour from Pingalsai village. There are two alternative routes to go up the fort. One is from Medhe village near Roha and also requires further one hour of hike. Medhe is on Kolad Roha road. Another is from Padam village. This route requires two hours to climb up but the way is less steep and less chances of getting lost in the surrounding jungle.

By public transport:
Roha is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur. While coming from Goa, get down at Mahad or Kolad on the Mumbai Goa highway and get local ST buses for Roha. Pingalsai is connected to Roha by ST buses and private auto rikshaws.

Nearby Places for stay:
Roha, Pen, Mangaon