Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Forts of Konkan 53 : Kille Manohargad and Manasantoshgad किल्ले मनोहरगड व मनसंतोषगड


Location:
Shivapur, Tal. Kudal, Dist. Sindhudurg or off Shirshinge, Tal. Sawantwadi, Dist. Sindhudurg
Hill Fort

Things to see:
The fort of Manohargad is the only accessible fort in this couple of fort. These are two peaks of the same hill and are separated by a col. Manasantoshgad fort is not accessible and can be only viewed from Manohargad. On Manohargad there are remains of Wada (palace), a well and Vasa or place of worship.


Past:
The fort was used as a base by Shivaji Maharaj in the year 1667 as the base during his south Konkan campaign against Bijapur Sultanate and also agains his step brother Vyankoji. The another important incident which happened on the fort was revolt against British rule by the forces of Kolhapur Bhonsle and Sawant of Sawantwadi in the year 1844. However it was unsuccessful and British forces defeated them on 26th January 1845 and the revolters had to flee from the fort.

Present:
The fort is in ruins. Much of the path reaching the fort has been eroded.

Nearby attractions:
Nil

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Mahad Rajapur
Kudal
Mangaon Shivapur
Pune Kolhapur
Kankavli
Goa
Sawantwadi
There is alternate route from Shirshinge village which can be reached via Sawantwadi. Uphill climb for 2 hours from Shivapur or Shirshinge. One has to reach first Manohargad. Then on the same range, separated by a gorge is Manasantoshgad, which requires approximate 2 hours further walk on the hill. Local guidance is required.

By public transport:
Shivapur is connected by direct ST buses from Kudal and Shirshinge is connected by direct ST buses from Sawantwadi. Kudal and Sawantwadi are well connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Kolhapur

Nearby Places for stay:
Kudal, Sawantwadi, Mangaon

Forts of Konkan 52 : Kille Bharatgad किल्ले भरतगड


Location:
Masure, Tal. Malvan, Dist. Sindhudurg
Creekside Fort

Things to see:
The fort is situated on the top of the hillock. The walls of the fort and bastions are still existent. There is a well on the northern side which is said to be 200 ft deep. Some people say that there is a tunnel in the fort which can take one upto the Sindhudueg fort. There is a moat around the fort. There is a temple of Siddhanath in the temple.

Past:
The site of the fort was visited by Shivaji Maharaj as a prospective site for the construction of the fort. Later this plan was discarded due to non availability of water. In 1680, due to dispute of Bhonsle of Kolhapur and Sawants of Sawantwadi, Sawants constructed the fort. A well was first dug by him and then the fort was constructed. Many fights occurred for the control of the fort between Kolhapur Bhonsles and Sawants of Sawantwadi. In 1818, British forces lead by Capt. Hutchinson attacked the fort and due to blasting of cannon near the well, the spring in the well was dried.

Present:
The fort is in ruins. There are some private orchards of Manog and cashew on the fort.

Nearby attractions:
Kalavali Creek in Hadi and Masure has very good mangrove cover on its banks.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,

Mumbai
Chiplun
Kankavli Achra
Hadi Masure
Pune
Kolhapur
Goa
Vengurla/ Kudal
Malvan


By public transport:
One should reach Malvan which are connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Kolhapur. From Malvan there are ST buses available for Masure.


Nearby Places for stay:
Malvan

Forts of Konkan 51 : Kille Bhagavantgad किल्ले भगवंतगड


Location:
Peth Bhagavantgad, Tal. Malvan, Dist. Sindhudurg
Creekside Fort

Things to see:
The fort is located on the Hadi creek. The area is very small. There is one small temple of Bhagavant on the temple and hence the name Bhagavantgad.

Past:
The fort was built in 1701 by Sardar Bavdekar who was a Sardar under Kolhapur Bhonsle. It was built as an answer to the construction of the fort Bharatgad on the opposite side of the creek by Phond Sawant of Sawantwadi. The fort fell into the hands of the British on 30th March 1818 with the attack of British forces lead by Col. Immelock.

Present:
The fort is in ruins.

Nearby attractions:
Achra village has a temple of Rameshwar and famous for Dashavatar, a traditional art form of southern Konkan which combines music, songs and drama.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Chiplun
Kankavli Achra
Peth Bhagavantgad
Pune
Kolhapur
Goa
Vengurla/ Kudal
Malvan Hadi

By public transport:
One should reach Devgad or Malvan which are connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur. While coming from Goa, go to Malvan. From Devgad or Malvan there are ST buses available for Achra and a few directly for Peth Bhagavantgad. From Achra one has to walk for about 1.5 hour to reach Bhagavantagad.

Nearby Places for stay:
Malvan, Devgad, Kankavli, some homestays available in Achra.

Forts of Konkan 50 : Kille Purnagad किल्ले पुर्णगड


Location:
Purnagad, Tal. Dist. Ratnagiri
Seaside Fort

Things to see:
The fort is located on the hillock which is on the northern side of Muchakundi creek. At the main entrance of the fort there is one idol of Hanuman. There is carving of Sun and moon on the main entrace. There are remains of palace of fort in charge (killedar).There is a well outside the fort near the entrance. There is also another entrance towards the side of the sea.


Past:
It is said that Shivaji Maharaj stopped his fort construction after this fort hence the name Purna (complete) gad (fort). Some people also say that the fort was built by Sekhoji Angre, son of Kanhoji Angre.

Present:
The fort is in ruins but many of the walls of the fort are still in good condition/

Nearby attractions:
Gaonkhadi village beach, Shaikha Ali Baba Pir in the Muchkundi creek

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Mahad
Hatkhamba Ratnagiri
Purnagad
Pune
Satara Chiplun
Kolhapur
Amba Sakharpa
Goa
Kudal
Rajapur Gaonkhadi

By public transport:
While coming from Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur catch direct ST or Private buses available for Ratnagiri. Ratnagiri is also connected by train to Mumbai. From Ratnagiri frequent ST buses are available for Purnagad. While coming from Goa and Sindhudurg districts, come to Rajapur by ST bus and then catch ST buses which can take you upto Dhartale. At this road junction you can get ST buses for Purnagad.

Nearby Places for stay:
Rajapur, Ratnagiri, Pawas

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Forts of Konkan 49 : Kille Pachad किल्ले पाचाड भुईकोट


Location:
Pachad, Tal. Mahad, Dist. Raigad
Land Fort

Things to see:
The fort is spread on one hectare area. There are two bastions, a small room of security guard, palace of fort in charge, a water tank, ammunition store room and bases of many houses. There is also one base of queen mother's Rajmata Jijabai's house. There is one well. There is a temple of Somjai outside the fort. Near the fort, near one rivulet there is Jijabai's Vrindavan.
Past:
The fort was built by Shivaji Maharaj as a house for his mother Rajamata Jijabai. The fort was lost to Mughals when Raigad was lost to them on 3rd November 1689. The Mughals handed this fort over to Siddi of Janjira. The fort came into the hands of Peshavas 1734.

Present:
The fort is still in good condition despite passage of time and lack of maintenance.

Nearby attractions:
Nil

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,

Mumbai
Pen
Mahad Pachad
Pune
Tamhini Ghat
Goa
Rajapur
Chiplun
Kolhapur
Karad


By public transport:
Mahad is connected by direct buses from Mumbai, Goa, Pune, Kolhapur. ST buses, shared and specially hired auto-rikshaws are available from Mahad to go to Pachad.

Nearby Places for stay:
Raigad fort, Mahad

Forts of Konkan 48 : Kille Nivati किल्ले निवती


Location:
Nivti, Tal. Vengurle, Dist. Sindhudurg
Seaside Fort

Things to see:
The fort is located on 50m high ground from the sea. There is a moat around the fort. The fort provides beautiful views of surrounding Bhogave beach and sea. There is a perennial spring in the fort.

Past:
The fort came into the hands of Kolhapur Chhatrapati in the year 1786 from Sawant of Sawantwadi. It was returned to Sawants in the year 1803. Even after downfall of Marathas in 1818, British could not take this fort till 4th February 1819 as some factions of these forces kept on fighting with them.

Present:
The overall fort is in ruins although some of the walls of the fort are in good condition. The ground is covered with thorny bushes.

Nearby attractions:
There is one rocky island off the coast of Nivti which is famous as a nesting site of Swift birds.These birds make nests having semi circular shape by mixing their saliva with other available materials such as leaves, sticks etc. These nests are developed on the rock faces. Some people used to collect the nests of these birds (in the process leaving the new borns of the birds homeless and unprotected) and smuggled them to China where they are used for making soup. The whole racket was found out by a local organisation called Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra Mandal and the site is being now protected by the locals.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Chiplun
Kudal
Nivti
PuneKolhapur
Kankavli
Goa
Aronda/ Satarda Shiroda
Vengurle


By public transport:
Nivati is connected by ST buses to Kudal, Vengurle and Malvan. These towns are further connected to Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur and Goa by ST and private buses.

Nearby Places for stay:
Tarkarli, Vengurle, Kudal, Malvan

Friday, 25 June 2010

Forts of Konkan 47 : Kille Devgad किल्ले देवगड


Location:
Devgad, Dist. Sindhudurg
Seaside Fort

Things to see:
The fort walls and bastions are in good condition. There is one Ganesh temple inside the fort. There is a light house in the fort. There are mango plantations around the fort.

Past:
The fort was built in 1705 by Kanhoji Angre. When fort was built the site was at the mouth of the creek and was surrounded from all the sides by water. It was thus known as Jazeere Devgad. Change of control of this fort from Marathas to British took place on the date 7th April 1818.

Present:
The fort is in ruins.

Nearby attractions:
Kunakeshwar Mandir, Wind Energy Project near Government Cicruit House. Neighbouring villages of Devgad are famous for growing Alphonso mangoes. Devgad is known for its snake species called Phurse in the local langugae. These snakes are caught here and sent to Haffkine Institute for producing anti venoms. Vimaleshwar Mandir at Wada Padel near Devgad.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,

Mumbai
Chiplun
Rajapur Sagve
Devgad
Pune
Kolhapur Gaganbavada
Talere
Goa
Kankavali


By public transport:
Devgad is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Kolhapur.

Nearby Places for stay:
Devgad has some lodges and some homestays.

Forts of Konkan 46 : Kille Dhak Bahiri किल्ले ढाक बहिरी


Location:
Dhak, Tal. Karjat, Dist. Raigad
Hill Fort

Things to see:
The fort has remnants of some old walls and 5-6 water cisterns. It is known for its cave of God Bahiri which is a deity of local Thakar Adivasis. This cave is located on a pinnacle which is separated from Dhak fort plateu by a narrow gorge. There are some rock cut steps and a very narrow path made on the rock. One has to take support of the ropes made with creepers on the way. The cave has some rock cut pillars. There are also two water cisterns. From the fort one can view Rajmachi, Duke's Nose, Manikgad, Karnala, Bhimashankar etc.

Past:
Not much is known about the past.

Present:
The fort is more popular for its thrill in the climbing of Bahiri cave.

Nearby attractions:
Kondheshwar Mandit near Jambhivali village.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,

Mumbai
Panvel
Karjat Gaurkamat Dhak
Goa
ChiplunPen
Khopoli
Kolhapur Pune


By public transport:
Reach Karjat by trains from Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur. If one wants to come by the ST buses then one has to reach Panvel or Khopoli and then take local buses for Karjat. While coming from southern Konkan and Goa reach Panvel by bus or train and then take bus or train for Karjat.

Nearby Places for stay:
Karjat

Forts of Konkan 45 : Kille Janjira किल्ले जंजिरा


Location:
Murud, Dist. Raigad
Island Fort

Things to see:
The entrance of the fort is towards east and there is one stone inscription in Arabic on the arch of the main entrance. There are tigers, elephants etc. carved on the stones of the walls near the entrance. The wood of the doors is still in good condition. There is big water tank in the southern side and a small tank can be seen in the North Western side. In citadel there are remnants of the palace and many other buildings. Some remnants of Hindu sculptures can also be found. There is one Dargah of Panchayatan Peer which is said to have been earlier the place of Shri Ram Panchayatan. The fort has 19 bastions and three big canons on the fort. The biggest one is known as Kalal Bangdi. There are also some smaller cannons which number around 200. There is one seaside entrance on the west and it never goes under water. An old Shiva temple from the ancient period has been found out on the fort.

Past:
The fort came into existence during 1500's when local fishermen community built some protective walls on the island with the permission of local Sardar of Rajpuri. Ram Patil, the leader of fishermen then became independent of the same Sardar and did not allow him to come on the island. The Sardar then reported this Nizam of Ahmednagar. He sent Sardar Piram Khan who went in the island as a trader of liquor and then killed Ram Patil and his entire army present on the island. After Piram Khan, the island and surrounding area came into the control of Burhan Khan who was of Abyssinian descent. He built the fort during the year 1567 to 1571. The fort came to be knonw as Jazeer- e- Mehruba (Island of the Moon). It later on started to be known as Janjira. Siddi Malik Ambar received permission from the Badshah to rule the area as feudal King.
In 1657, Shivaji Maharaj first tried to win the fort through his sardars Raghunath Ballal Sabnis and Nilopant. This and all the later efforts done by him in the years 1659, 1669, 1672, 1675 and 1678 failed. Later Sambhaji Maharaj attacked the fort in the year 1682 and came very near to the victory but had to end the attack due to attack of Aurangzeb on the territory of Deccan. Peshava and Angre tried to take the fort again for various times. In 1746, Siddi was defeated and during the war one of the family member of Siddi was killed. But as part of the treaty, Siddi kept Janjira with themselves but gave six Mahals to Peshavas. In one more effort Pehava minister Nana Phadnis brought Balumiya Siddi on their side but later he was killed by another member of the family. During Peshava time one big cannon was brought to attack the fort which was later on taken by Siddi to the fort itself. The cannon was known as Kalal Bangdi. The Siddi dynasty became a princely state during British Rule and later on was annexed to the Free India in the year 1947.

Present:
The fort is a very big tourist attraction. There are various complaints about the bad quality of restoration work.

Nearby attractions:
Siddi Palace and tombs in Murud town, Ganapati Mandir and beach at Nandgaon village, Datta Mandir near Murud town. Khokari tombs near Murud town.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,

Mumbai
Panvel
Pen
Murud
Pune
Khopoli
Goa
Kankavli
ChiplunMahad
Kolhapur
Karad

By public transport:
Murud is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai and Pune. While coming from Goa and Kolhapur one has to reach Mahad or Kolad which are on Mumbai Goa National Highway and then take bus for Murud. There is regular boat service for Janjira from Rajpuri port.

Nearby Places for stay:
Murud

Forts of Konkan 44 : Kille Jeevdhan (Naneghat) किल्ले जीवधन (नाणेघाट)


Location:
Ghatghar, Tal. Junnar, Dist. Pune; off Vaishakhare, Tal. Murbad, Dist. Thane
Hill Fort (Altitude 1145 m)

Things to see:
There are two entrances to the fort. One is on the eastern end and another is on western end. The eastern entrance has one water cistern near to it. The arch of the entrance is partly collapsed. There is one store house. A sculpture of Gajalakshmi marks the entrance of the building. Some ash from the old fire during the war in 1818 can be found over here. There is one more water cistern near this place. There is one small temple of Jeevabai, the deity of the fort. The western entrance is actually main entrance of the fort and it is through a tunnel carved out of rock. One can have beautiful views of neighbouring hills Nimgiri, Hadsar on the east, Naneghat, Nanacha Angtha rock on the west. In the North one can see Kalsubai, Ratangad, Ghanachakkar, Ajoba, Harishchandragad, Bhairavgad and Dhakoba in the south. In the Northern plateu there is a big water tank. A pinnacle which is separated from the main hill by a col is famous with the rock climbers and is called as Vanarlingi.

Past:
The fort must have been used to keep watch on Naneghat and in use since ancient times. However first mentions of the Jeevdhan fort is found out in Nijam rule of Ahmednagar. In 1489, the fort was won from Bahamani Kingdom by the Malik Ahmed who was the founder of Nizamshahi of Ahmednagar. In 1633, Mughals ended this rule by killing Nijam Husain Shah. His son Murtaza who was a minor was imprisoned and kept on this fort. Shahaji Raje Bhonsle who was in the service of Nijam during that time freed him and put him on the throne. King Shivaji again won this fort from Mughals in the year 1672 but again went back to them. It was won by the Marathas again in 1702 but immediately lost to the Mughals. In 1757, by Peshava Nanasaheb's orders it was won from the Musalman sardar on the fort. It came in the hands of British during the final Anglo Maratha war on 3rd May 1818. There was huge storage of grains on the fort and it caught fire during the war. In 2007, a trekkers group from Pune YZ Trekkers cleared the path of Western Entrance and opened it.

Present:
The fort is in ruins.

Nearby attractions:
Naneghat at the base of the hill.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Kalyan MurbadVaishakhare (Climb Naneghat 3 hours walk)
GhatgharJeevdhan
Goa Mahad Panvel
Kolhapur Pune
Junnar


By public transport:
Vaishakhare village is on the Kalyan- Ahmednagar State Highway and is at the base of Malshej Ghat. There are some direct ST buses from Mumbai and Pune which can drop one at the start Naneghat on the highway which is marked by a stone on the highway. One has to climb Naneghat and reach Ghatghar village (3 hours) and then climb Jeevdhan fort further up (1.5 hour). Some knowledge of rock climbing is must for climbing the fort from Western side.
From Junnar there are some ST buses as well as private Jeep service for Ghatghar. Junnar is connected with ST bus service with Mumbai and Pune.

Nearby Places for stay:
Camping in Ghatghar village or in Naneghat cave possible, Murbad, Junnar

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Forts of Konkan 43 : Kille Jaigad किल्ले जयगड


Location:
Jaigad, Tal. Dist. Ratnagiri
Seaside Fort

Things to see:
Near the main entrance of the fort there is one Killedar Smarak which is in the memory of Jaiba Mahar who was a chief on the fort. The main entrance has some lotuses carved on it. There is outer wall and 20 bastions on the fort. On the eastern side there is one secret entrance. There are some wells inside the fort. There are many private houses inside the fort. There is a cave near one of the walls and a temple of Mohamayadevi exists in the temple. There are two pillars constructed in laterite stone in the cave which attract the visitors. All along the wall on the outer side are moats. On the western side there are some remains of the old store houses.
A grand structure inside the fort
Past:
Jaigad is located on the Shastri river which was an important creek having the inland port of Sangameshwar. Jaigad Fort was built for protection of this creek. Jaigad village has also been an important port since historical times. The fort was first developed by Bijapur Sultanate in 1500's. The story goes about this construction that they were not getting the work successfully completed. One Jayba Mahar offered his own life for the human sacrifice which was suggested as a solution to the problem. In his memory the fort was named as Jaigad. Bijapur Sultanate could not retain their power in the area however and it was lost to Naik of Sangameshwar just a few years after its completion. The Naiks successfully protected it against attacks from Bijapur Sultanate and Portuguese. Subsequently it came into the dominion of Shivaji and his descendant Kingdom of Shahu. Peshavas handed this fort to Angre but somewhere in the timeline afterwards it again came back to Peshavas and then was lost to British in 1818.

Present:
The fort walls and bastions are in good condition. There is one government guest house in the fort premises.

Nearby attractions:
Karhateshwar Mandir which was built during the Shilahar period in 11th century is a beautiful site. The lighthouse of Jaigad which was built in 1832 is also worth a visit.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Mahad
Chiplun Abloli Bhatgaon Khandala
Jaigad
Pune
Satara
Goa
Rajapur
Hatkhamba Nivali
Kolhapur
Amba Pali
The fort is about 100 m away from the Jaigad port and there is pathway constructed in laterite stones for reaching the fort.

By public transport:
Jaigad is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai and Pune. While coming from Kolhapur and Goa one has to get down at Hatkhamba and catch the local ST buses going to Jaigad from Ratnagiri which stop at the junction.

Nearby Places for stay:
Ratnagiri, Ganapatipule, resorts and homestays in Jaigad

Forts of Konkan 42 : Kille Chanderi किल्ले चंदेरी


Location:
Tamsai, Tal. Panvel, Dist. Raigad
Hill Fort Altitude 790 m. (uphill hike of 700m)

Things to see:
The fort is an easy climb and at the same time provides thrill of heights. To reach the topmost point of the hill, however requires prior experiences of hill trekking or guidance. The way up the fort is through thick vegetation. On the southern side on the way to the top there is one cave and a water cistern. The top provides breathtaking views of nearby hill ranges and mountains such as Matheran and Peb on the towards south and Malanggad, Nakhind range to the North. The only sign of this site which can prove now that this is a fort is a remains of wall near the cave. Near the base of the pinnacle there is one more water cistern.

Past:
The remains on the fort indicate that the site has been used since ancient time. It was used more as a watch post than a fully equipped fort. It is claimed that first organised rock climbing activity in Maharashtra started here on 7th October 1957. An idol of Shivaji Maharaj was placed on the fort on 1st May 2008.

Present:
The fort is populat site for rock climbing activity on its pinnacle. Being a spot which can be visited within one day, many trekkers from Mumbai visit this place. An organisation named Ajinkya Hikers from Badlapur organised an event in the memory of Shivaji Maharaj every year on the date 1st May. They also undertake regular clean up drives.

Nearby attractions:
Malanggad

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Panvel Tamsai
Goa
Kolhapur Pune
From base village of Tamsai there is uphill climb for 2.5 hours.

By public transport:
Panvel is connected by ST as well as private buses to Mumbai, Goa, Kolhapur and Pune. Trains link Panvel to Mumbai, Pune and Goa. Hired or shared autorikshaws and ST buses are available to reach Tamsai village.
There is alternate route to reach the fort from Vangani village which is on Kalyan Karjat Mumbai suburban train route. Then one has to walk to Goregaon village along the railway track and then go to Chincholi village which lies on the eastern side of the base of the fort. The total walking and uphill climbing upto the top takes 4 hours from this side. This route is more popular with trekkers.

Nearby Places for stay:
Panvel, Badlapur, Camping on the forts

Forts of Konkan 41 : Kille Sagargad किल्ले सागरगड


Location:
Khandale, Tal. Alibaug, Dist. Raigad
Hill Fort
Altitude 415 m. (uphill climb of 350m)

Things to see:
The fort is located on southern end of a hill range which runs parallel to the sea coast of Alibaug taluka.The mountain around Sagargad is covered with thick vegetation which includes trees such as Mango, Cashew, Teak etc. The way up the fort also has two attractions. One is a cave which is named as Saptarshi cave. Another is a waterfall named Dhondane and having height of 100 m approximately. It is active in monsoon season only. Main entrance is on the Northern side and has two bastions around it. Sagargad has a small water tank on the western side. It provides beautiful views of mid Konkan ranges in the east in which one can see Manikgad, Karnala, Mirya Dongar and Mirgad. On the western side it provides views of Arabian sea and sea coast around Revdanda. Towards north one can see Dharamtar creek. On the southern side there is pinncle called Vandarlingi. There is also a citadel on the highest point and it is covered by wall and 5 bastions. On the southern end of citadel there is one water tank which is all silted now and has a small temple and stone lamp post.

Past:
It is speculated that the fort has been standing here since ancient times i.e. Satavahan period around 100 A.D. The fort is also called as Kheddurg in some records. The known history of the fort starts from 1665 when Shivaji Maharaj lost this fort to Mughals as part of the treaty of Purandar. It was given to Angre, naval chief of Maratha forces, along with 16 other forts, so that he won't separate from them and remain loyal to Shahu Chhatrapati of Satara. Later it was lost to British. Some British officers during 1800's built their retreat homes on this fort.

Present:
The fort is in ruins. The fort has some stray buffaloes and may harm the humans if disturbed.

Nearby attractions:
Nil

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Panvel
Pen
Khandala
Pune
Khopoli
Goa
Rajapur
Chiplun Mahad
Vadkhal Naka
Kolhapur
Karad
From Khandala one has to walk for about 1.5 hours to reach the top of the fort. The way up goes via Siddheshwar Mandir.

By public transport:
Reach Pen which is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai, Pune, Goa and Kolhapur. Private buses coming from Goa can also drop you at Pen. Pen is also connected by train to Mumbai and Goa. From Goa get local buses going to Alibaug and get down at Khandale village.

Nearby Places for stay:
Alibaug, Pen

Forts of Konkan 40 : Kille Khanderi, Underi and Thal किल्ले खांदेरी, उंदेरी व थळ


Location:
Thal, Tal. Alibaug, Dist. Raigad
Khanderi, Underi -Island Forts, Thal- Seaside Fort

Things to see:
These islands between Alibaug and Mumbai in the sea are very rocky and sea around them is dangerous.
On Khanderi there are two hillocks, the southern hill has one lighthouse which has been constructed by the British and it is still in use. Another hill which is on the northern side has one temple of Vetal. On the southern hill there is one rock which gives out metallic sound when struck. In the fort there is one old temple of Shiva. The bastions of the fort have some cannons on it. Three canons are with the carriages which were used to transport them. There is one well on the fort. A tomb of Doud is also there and worshipped by the local fishermen community.
Underi island has one cave with some carvings in it. The fort has on underground chamber which was used to keep prisoners. There are 15-16 canons on the fort.
Thal is a seaside fort in the Thal village and provides views of these two island forts. Its walls are still strong. It has one water tank in it. It is also known as Khubladha killa.
A picture of Khanderi Island

A video of musical stone on Khanderi Island
Underi Fort


Past:
The earliest records of Khanderi and Underi islands are found in Portuguese documents in 1538 where the then viceroy Dorn Joao da Castro refer them as uninhabited islands. In 1674, an Italian traveller named Paschar visited this island. The fort Khanderi was built by Mainak Bhandari who was a Sardar in navy of Shivaji Maharaj to check the increasing powers of Siddi of Janjira and British in the North Konkan seas. It was completed in the year 1678. British forces aggravated by this move attacked Khanderi in the year 1679. In a series of fights between the two forces, British lost to Marathas on 11 November 1679 and the fort remained with them till 1775. In 1718, British again tried to capture the fort but their effort was not successful. Angre, naval chief of Marathas revolted against Peshavas and took control of this fort and both the other forts viz. Underi and Thal in 1799. Peshava forces regained it 1814. But they lost them to British in 1818 after their downfall.
Underi fort was built by Siddi Kasam in 1680 as part of the help to British forces who fighting with Marathas. Marathas although tried to regain this fort many times, succeeded only in 1760 when Peshava sardar Naro Trimbak defeated Siddi's forces. It is also called as Jaidurg.


Present:
Khanderi fort is under control of Mumbai Port Trust and one needs to have prior permission to enter on the island. Land on the Underi island is owned by privately by some farmers in Thal and he fort is in complete ruins. It has been in news that the Underi fort land has been sold to Mr. Ramesh Kundanmal who has plans to build a hotel in the fort. Further some news also suggest that this sale has been illegal as the farmers did not have rights of ownership of the land but only of its use. Thal fort is not easily recognised as it is used for drying fish by the local community. Walls of the Thal fort are still strong.

Nearby attractions:
Alibaug, Mandava beaches

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Panvel
Pen Thal Khanderi Underi
Goa
Kudal
Chiplun Mahad
Kolhapur
Karad
Pune
Khopoli
One has to arrange special boat from Thal to visit Khanderi and Underi. Underi can be visited only during low tide.

By public transport:
Thal is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai. Another route from Mumbai is get launch from Gateway of India and reach Mandva and get down at Thal by the bus going to Alibaug. For coming from Pune and Kolhapur it is better to reach Alibuag and go to Thal by the bus. While coming from Southern Konkan and Goa reach Pen by ST, Private buses or train and then take bus which goes to Thal or go there via Alibuag.

Nearby Places for stay:
Alibaug

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Forts of Konkan 39 : Kille Vishramgad किल्ले विश्रामगड


Location:
Kurdu Peth, Tal. Mangaon , Dist. Raigad
Hill Fort

Things to see:
At the base of the hill of Vishramgad are temples of Devi Kurdai and Kurdeshwar Mahadev. The fort is sometimes called Kurdugad from the name of the base village Kurdu Peth. On the way to the fort there is one water cistern. At the northern entrance of the fort there is one bastion called Hanuman Buruj. It is named because of the presence of big idol of Hanuman near it. There is one gorge on the fort. There is one cliff as well. Existence of some water tanks can also be seen although they are now filled up with soil. A pinncle near the southern end is separated by a col provides very good views of valleys of Konkan.

Past:
The fort is said to have been developed during the reign of Shivaji. Shivaji's Sardar Baji Pasalkar was involved in the work. It was later under the control of Peshavas. But during British rule this site had gone into obscurity. Baji Pasalkar's descendant Shri. Dattoba Pasalkar brought this fort again in light.

Present:
The fort has been damaged a lot by soil erosion.

Nearby attractions:
Nil

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Pen
Mangaon
Jite
Goa Kankavli
Chiplun
Kolhapur Karad
Pune
Tamhini
Shiravali

One has to walk for about 1.5 hours to reach Kurdu Peth from Jite. From Kurdu Peth the uphill climb is for 0.5 hour.

By public transport:
Reach Mangaon which is connected by ST buses to Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur. While coming from Goa Mangon does not have general halt for the ST and one has to get down by request. Mangoan is also connected by train to Mumbai and Goa. For reaching Kurdu Peth one has to reach Jite or Shiravali which has ST bus service from Mangaon and then walk to Kurdu Peth for an hour.

Nearby Places for stay:
Mangaon, Tamhini

Forts of Konkan 38 : Kille Padmadurg किल्ले पद्मदुर्ग


Location:
Kasa Island, Tal. , Dist. Raigad
Island Fort

Things to see:
The fort is located on an island in the sea on the Northern side of fort Janjira. The fort has some walls, a water cistern and remains of old buildings. The fort walls are still strong especially due to the mortar.

Past:
This fort was constructed by Sambhaji Maharaj in 1675 to check the increasing powers of Siddi rulers of Janjira. However it was lost to Siddi in 1695 and remained with them till their princely state was annexed to India. There are stories said about the usage of fort for down loading of RDX which was later used for Bombay Blasts in 1992. There are also rumours about the fort site used for smuggling of drugs into India.

Present:
The fort walls are still in good condition. Special permissions are required to be obtained from either Customs or Navy to enter into the fort.

Nearby attractions:
Kille Janjira and town of Murud which has many buildings from the Siddi rule.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Panvel
Pen
Murud
Pune
Khopoli
Goa
Kankavli
ChiplunMahad
Kolhapur
Karad
From Murud one has to hire a special boat to go to Padmadurg. The boar journey can be combined with Janjira fort.

By public transport:
Murud is connected by direct ST buses from Mumbai and Pune. While coming from Goa and Kolhapur one has to reach Mahad or Kolad which are on Mumbai Goa National Highway and then take bus for Murud. There is boat service for Janjira but needs specially hired boats to see Padmadurg.

Nearby Places for stay:
Murud

Forts of Konkan 37 : Kille Kothaligad किल्ले कोथळीगड


Location:
Peth, Tal. Karjat, Dist. Raigad
Hill Fort

Things to see:
The fort is characterised by its straight pinnacle and famous for its way on the top which has been carved from insides of the pinnacle. There are some water cisterns and caves which have temples of Goddess Durga and Bhairoba. The caves are supported by pillars which have been carved out of the same rock and have some carvings on them. Some cannon balls can also be seen in the fort. There is one water tank on the top. Fron the top one can have views of nearby hills and forts of Raigad district which include Malanggad, Kalavantin Durg, Nagphani, Chanderi, Matheran etc.

Past:
The fort must be in existence since ancient history but its known histrory is from Maratha period. It was won by Mughal forces from Sambhaji Maharaj. The forces lead by Abdul Kadar won this fort. Abdul Kadar sent a golden key to Aurangzeb as the proof of his victory and it was named by him as Mifta-ul-fatah which means key to the victory. But this victory was short lived as Mughals lost to Marathas again. In Shivaji's period the fort was used for storing weapons where as it was used as prison during the time of Peshavas. Some trekkers's group notably Durgamitra started clean up drive on the fort.

Present:
The fort is very popular site for trekkers from Mumbai as it is a one day trek from Mumbai.

Nearby attractions:
At the base of the hill there is one cave.

How to reach:
By your own vehicle:
Follow the route as given below to reach,
Mumbai
Panvel
Karjat Ambivali Peth
Goa
ChiplunPen
Khopoli
Kolhapur Pune

There is uphill climb of 1 hour to reach to the fort.

By public transport:
Reach Karjat by trains from Mumbai, Pune and Kolhapur. While coming from southern Konkan and Goa reach Panvel by bus or train and then take bus or train for Karjat. From Karjat there are ST buses and shared auto rikshaws available for Ambivali. One has to walk to Peth village for 1.5 hours and then further climb is for an hour.

Nearby Places for stay:
Karjat, camping on the fort.