Unveiling Maharashtra's History: Torna Fort Exploration Guide

Things to do in Maharashtra

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Torna Fort: Maharashtra's Treasured Heritage and Trekking Paradise

Torna Fort, also known as Prachandagad, stands majestically in the Sahyadri mountain range, approximately 50 kilometers southwest of Pune, Maharashtra, India. With a rich history dating back to the 13th century, this formidable fortress holds a significant place in Maharashtra’s heritage.

Originally built by the Shaiva Panth, a religious sect, Torna Fort witnessed several battles and changing rulers over the centuries. It gained prominence under the Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who captured it in 1646, marking the beginning of its association with the Maratha empire. Torna played a crucial role as the first fort captured by Shivaji Maharaj, symbolizing the dawn of Maratha sovereignty.

Visiting Torna Fort offers not just a glimpse into its historical significance but also a thrilling adventure amid nature’s bounty. The trek to Torna Fort is renowned among outdoor enthusiasts for its challenging yet rewarding experience. As you ascend through rugged terrain and lush forests, each step echoes with tales of valor and conquest, making the journey more immersive.

Upon reaching the summit, travelers are greeted with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Sahyadri hills and the lush greenery below. The fort’s architectural marvels, such as bastions, gates, and temples, stand as a testament to its erstwhile grandeur. Exploring the intricacies of its design and layout offers a deeper understanding of medieval military architecture and engineering.

For history enthusiasts, Torna Fort serves as an open-air museum, where every stone narrates a story of bygone eras. Ruins of residential quarters, granaries, and water tanks provide insights into the daily life within the fort. The significance of Torna in the Maratha empire’s expansion and defense strategies adds layers of historical intrigue to the site.

Moreover, camping under the starlit sky near Torna Fort allows visitors to immerse themselves fully in the serenity of nature while relishing the aura of ancient history. Whether you seek adventure, historical exploration, or tranquility amid nature’s embrace, Torna Fort promises an unforgettable experience that transcends time and leaves an indelible mark on your soul.

The details of the trek to Torna Fort

LocationSahyadri mountain range, approximately 50 km southwest of Pune, Maharashtra, India
History– Built by the Shaiva Panth in the 13th century – Captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1646
Features– Formidable fortress with bastions, gates, temples – Ruins of residential quarters, granaries, water tanks
Extra Places To Visit– Machindranath Cave, Khadki Point, Sita Kha, Yeshwant Lake, Torna Devi Temple
TypeHill Fort
Fort RangePune
Height Above Sea Level1400 ft
Difficulty RatingMedium
Base VillageVelhe
App Time To Reach Top2 hrs from the base village
Water Availability– Bokad tank near Mengai Devi temple provides sufficient water in winter. – A small pond near Kothi Darwaaja provides potable water.
FoodOne should arrange for food himself.
ShelterTemple of Goddess Mengai
Best Time To VisitAfter the south-west monsoon, from September to December.
How To Reach– Start from Swargate bus stand (7:45 am first bus to Velhe, reaches around 9:30 am). – Routes: Khed Shivapur, Cheladi/Nasarapur/Baneshwar, Winzar, Velhe. – Main path to Torna starts from Velhe. – Ridge walk from Rajgad.

Tentative itinerary for the trek to Torna Fort

Day 1:

  • 10:00 PM: Start from Pune.
  • 01:00 AM: Arrive at the Base Village, freshen up, and start the trek.
  • 04:00 AM: Reach the summit of Torna Fort and take a rest.
  • 06:00 to 10:00 AM: Witness the sunrise and explore the fort. Have breakfast.
  • 10:30 AM: Begin descent to the Base Village.
  • 01:00 PM: Return to the Base Village, freshen up, and have lunch.
  • 02:30 PM: Commence return journey to Pune.
  • 07:00 PM: Arrive in Pune.
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