52 Best Forts, Historical Places & Heritage Sites in Maharashtra

Historical & Heritage | City

Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. About 149 km from Pune, it is the wealthiest city in India with highest number of billionaires and is also one of the must include places in Maharashtra tour packages.

Mumbai is more affectionately known as the city of dreams. The city is a collection of 7 islands and was named after the goddess Mumbadevi. Gateway of India, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus), Elephanta Caves, Kanheri Caves, Haji Ali Darga, Siddivinayaka Temple, Juhu Beach, Marve Beach, Marine Drive, Chowpatty, Film City, Mani Bhavan Gandhi Sangrahalaya, Babulnath Temple and Mount Mary Church are some of the popular places to visit in Mumbai as part of Mumbai tour packages.

Mumbai is the entertainment capital as well as financial powerhouse of India. The city is also famous for fashionable clothes and imitation jewellery. Mumbai is the perfect stopover point because this city is the gateway to a plethora of tourist destinations - you can choose from ancient temples, hill stations, and historic forts for a quick weekend getaway. Alibaug, Lonavala, Mahabaleshwar, and Panchgani.

Historical & Heritage

Ajanta Caves are one of the oldest UNESCO World heritage sites in India, and among the must include attractions in Maharashtra Packages. One of the most visited ancient monuments in India, these caves are situated about 98 km from Aurangabad, 326 km from Pune, and 443 km from Mumbai.

Carved between 2nd Century BC and 6th Century AD, Ajanta Caves are excavated in a horse-shoe shaped bend of rock surface nearly 76 m in height overlooking the Waghur River. The complex consists of 29 rock-cut cave monuments built during the Satavahana period and the Vakataka period. The caves at Ajanta are famous for beautiful mural paintings and sculptures that depict tales of Jatakas. The world-famous paintings at Ajanta also fall into two broad phases. The earliest is noticed in the form of fragmentary specimens in Cave 9 & 10, which are among the must-visit places as part of Ajanta tour packages. The second phase of paintings started around the 5th - 6th centuries and the specimen of these exemplary paintings could be noticed in Cave 1, 2, 16 and 17.

Various incidents from the life of Gautama Buddha and the Jataka Tales are represented and recreated on the walls of these caves.

Historical & Heritage

An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ellora Caves are the most visited places of heritage in India and among the top Maharashtra Tourist Places. Situated about 28 km from Aurangabad, 253 km from Pune, and 344 km from Mumbai.

The Ellora Caves is an impressive complex of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain Cave temples carved out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills between the 6th and 10th centuries AD. The caves have a slightly less dramatic setting than those at Ajanta, but more exquisite sculptures. The cave complex comprises of 34 caves includes 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu, and 5 Jain Caves. The central attraction at Ellora is Kailash Temple (Cave 16), which is the most remarkable. Shaped by hand from a single massive rock, it is a stupendous piece of architecture, with interesting spatial effects and grand sculptures.

Every year Ajanta-Ellora Festival is organized in Aurangabad to pay tribute to the legendary caves of Ellora, Ajanta, and other historical monuments in the region. Earlier the venue for this festival was Kailasa Temple of Ellora Caves but it has now been shifted to Soneri Mahal, among the must include places in Aurangabad tour packages.

Historical & Heritage | Beach

Alibaug, or Alibag is a coastal town in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. About 75 km from Lonavala, & 102 km from Mumbai, it is one of the popular places for beaches in Maharashtra, and among the must include places in Maharashtra Tour Packages.

Located in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Alibaug is well known for its beautiful beaches and ancient forts that are the most visited places as part of Alibaug packages. Alibaug Beach, Kihim Beach, Akshi Beach, Mandwa Beach, Kashid Beach, Varsoli Beach, Nagaon Beach, Murud Beach, Kolaba Fort, and Murud -Janjira Fort are the most popular places to visit in Alibaug.

It can also be visited along with Mahabaleshwar tour packages.

Historical & Heritage

Aurangabad is a historical city and also the tourism capital of Maharashtra. Situated about 232 km from Pune, and 350 km from Mumbai, it is one of the top places to visit near Pune and also one of the top places to visit as part of Maharashtra tour packages.

Named after the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, Aurangabad is a tourist hub of Maharashtra. The city is surrounded by many historical monuments, including the world-famous Ajanta - Ellora Caves, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Daulatabad Fort, Jama Masjid, Panchakki, and the 52 gates are the important tourist attractions to visit as part of Aurangabad tour packages. There are also many temples, mosques, museums, and even some gardens to explore.

The city is also home to the famous Bibi ka Maqbara, a beautiful mausoleum of Rabia-ul-Daurani alias Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb's son, Prince Azam Shah built the mausoleum between 1651 AD and 1661 AD in the memory of his mother. This mausoleum is a replica of the world-famous Taj Mahal. Also known as Mini Taj, the mausoleum is far less ornamental than the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Historical & Heritage | City

Situated at the confluence of Mula and Mutha Rivers, Pune is one of the most popular cities in India and the second-largest city in Maharashtra. About 161 km from Mumbai, Pune is one of the must include places in Maharashtra tour packages.

Pune boasts of several historical monuments from the Maratha period and many places of tourist interest. Shaniwar Wada, Osho Ashram, Dagdusheth Ganapathi, Pataleshwar Cave Temple, Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park, Shinde Chhatri, Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, National War Museum, Bund Garden, Saras Baug, Parvati Hill, Aga Khan Palace, Rajgad Fort, and Darshan Museum are the some of the prominent attractions one must visit as part of Pune tour packages.

Also, Pune is considered as the cultural capital of Maharashtra and is renowned for its cultural activities such as classical music, spirituality, theater, sports, and literature. The city is also known for its IT, manufacturing and automobile industries, and prestigious educational institutions. Pune is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the Asia-Pacific region. The 'Mercer 2015 Quality of Living' rankings evaluated local living conditions in more than 440 cities around the world where Pune ranked at 145, second in India after Hyderabad (138).

Historical & Heritage | Beach

Ratnagiri is a port city on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra. About 308 km from Pune, and 350 km from Mumbai, Ratnagiri is one of the popular destinations for beaches in Maharashtra. Ratnagiri can be visited along withMahabaleshwar tour packages.

Surrounded by the beautiful hills of Sahyadri ranges, Ratnagiri offers the most diverse attractions for tourists in the form of the most beautiful beaches, historical monuments, and serene temples. However, the beaches in Ratnagiri dominate all other tourist attractions. Mandvi Beach, Pawas Beach, Ganeshghule Beach, Bhatye Beach, and Ganpatipule Beach are the other famous beaches you must visit as part of Ratnagiri tour packages.

Apart from the beaches, there are other places to visit in Ratnagiri like Ratnadurg Fort, Thibaw Palace, Gateway of Ratnagiri, Vijaydurg Fort & Beach, Ganpatipule, and Jaigad Fort & Lighthouse. Ratnagiri is also the birthplace of the great freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak. Ratnagiri is also home to Alphonso mango, known as the King of Indian mangoes.

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 11 km from Lonavala, 59 km from Pune & 107 km from Mumbai, the Karla Caves or Karle Caves are a complex of ancient Indian Buddhist rock-cut cave temples located at Karli near Lonavala, Maharashtra. It is one of the best Lonavala tourist places and also among well known historical places to visit near Mumbai & Pune protected by Archaeological Survey of India.

Karla is one of the most famous centers of early rock-cut architecture in India. The caves are excavated nearly 100 m on a high spur of the chain of hills on the north flank of the Indrayani valley. These caves were developed over two periods - from 2nd century BC to 2nd Century AD and in 5th - 10th Century AD. The oldest of the cave shrines is believed to date back to 160 BC, having arisen near a major ancient trade route, running eastward from the Arabian Sea into the Deccan. These caves are among the must include places in Lonavala tour packages.

The Karla complex consists of 16 rock-cut excavations of which cave 8 is the chaityagriha. The complex of Karla Caves has its interior lighted by windows. The Karla Caves of rock excavations are not that elaborate when compared to its counterparts at Ajanta and Ellora. However, the grand chaityagriha of Karla is the grandest and the largest of all the chaityagrihas of India, ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 16 km from Aurangabad Railway Station, Daulatabad is an ancient hill fort situated on the way to Ellora Caves from Aurangabad in Maharashtra. It is one of the best-preserved places of heritage in Maharashtra, and also one of the best Aurangabad tourist places.

The historical triangular fort of Daulatabad was built by Yadava king Bhillama V in 1187 AD. It is one of the best historical places near Pune. The city was then called 'Deogiri', meaning the hill of gods. Daulatabad or 'the abode of wealth' was the name given by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq when he made his capital here in 1327 AD. The region and the fort passed on into the hands of Bahamani rulers under Hasan Gangu in 1347 AD and Nizam Shahis of Ahmednagar in 1499 AD. Daulatabad became the capital of the Nizam Shahi dynasty in 1607 AD. The fort passed several hands, captured and re-captured by the Mughals, Marathas, Peshwas, and finally placed under the control of the Nizams of Hyderabad in 1724 AD till independence. It is one of the most visited places as part of Aurangabad tour packages.

Daulatabad Fort was one of the most powerful forts during the medieval period. Built on a 200 m high conical hill, the fort was defended by a moat and a glacis. The fortifications ...

Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 11 km from Lonavala, 66 km from Pune & 114 km from Mumbai, the Lohagad Fort (Iron Fort) is a historical fort situated along the Sahyadri hills in the Lonavala region of Maharashtra. It is one of the best tourist places to visit in Lonavala and also one of the popular heritage in Maharashtra.

Perched atop a hillock at an altitude of 1050 m, the Lohagad Fort separates the Indrayani basin from the Pawna basin. It is also among the popular trekking places to visit near Pune & Mumbai. It is one of the most visited forts in Maharashtra as part of Lonavala tour packages. The fort was built by Guru Govind Singh in 1564 CE to serve as a prison. Shivaji Maharaj captured it in 1648 CE, but he was forced to surrender it to the Mughals in 1665 CE by the Treaty of Purandar. Shivaji Maharaj recaptured the fort in 1670 CE and used it for keeping his treasury. Later in Peshwa's time, Nana Phadnavis used this fort for living and built several structures in the fort such as a big tank and a step-well. Recently the fort has been declared as a protected monument by the government.

The hillfort is designed in the shape of the tail of a scorpion. The fort can be reached from any of its four entrances, namely Maha Darwaja, Ganesh Darwaja, Hanuman ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 17 km from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Elephanta Caves are a network of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island or Gharapuri in Mumbai Harbour. The Caves, listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Mumbai's oldest historic site and also one of the best Mumbai tourist places.

Among the prime places to visit as part of Mumbai Packages, the identity of the creators of Elephant Caves is disputed. It is believed that the Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas were behind the creation of the caves and sculptures. The island was ruled by the Chalukyas and later by the Gujarat sultanate. It was later handed over by the Gujarat Sultan to the Portuguese in 1534 AD.

The caves are known for beautiful Hindu temples and sculptures. The Elephanta Caves were named by the Portuguese after they saw a statue of an elephant on the island. The statue is now placed at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum at the Jijamata Udyan at Byculla in Mumbai. The main cave (Cave 1) was a Hindu place of worship until Portuguese rule began in 1534 AD, after which the caves suffered severe damage. This cave was renovated in the 1970s after years of neglect and was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 to preserve the artwork. It is currently maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Elephanta Island has two groups of caves in the rock-cut architectural ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 5 km from Murud, 21 km from Diveagar, 53 km from Alibaug, 84 km from Raigad Fort, 170 km from Mumbai, and 162 km from Pune, Murud - Janjira is an island fort situated near Murud in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. This is one of the top places to visit in Alibaug, and also one of the popular heritage places to visit near Pune and Mumbai.

Janjira Fort is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on all sides and is one of the strongest marine forts of India. It is one of the popular places of heritage in Maharashtra, and among the must include places in Alibaug tour packages. The name Janjira is derived from the Arabic word Jazeera which means island. The original structure was built in the 15th century by a Koli chief as a defense against pirates and thieves. Originally a small wooden structure, Janjira Fort was later captivated by Siddi Sirul Khan an Abyssinian Siddi of Ahmednagar kings in the 17th century. During its construction, the fort structure collapsed thrice. Siddi realized that a sacrifice is needed, so he offered his 22 years old son to God. It is one of the

The fort was attacked many times by the Portuguese, British, and the Marathas but it was successful in resisting attempts to capture. Shivaji's all attempts to capture ...

Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 32 km from Pune Junction, Sinhagad or Sinhagarh means the Lion Fort, is a fortress located southwest of Pune City. Sinhagad Fort is one of the popular places of trekking in Maharashtra, and among the must include places in Pune packages

Previously called Kondana, the fort has been the site of many important battles, most notably the Battle of Sinhagad in 1671 CE. It is one of the top places to visit near Pune City. According to history, the fort was built 2,000 years ago and it is said that the name Kondana was derived from sage Kaundinya. Mohammed bin Tughalak captured the fort from the Koli tribal chieftain, Nag Naik in 1340 CE. And in 1496 CE, Malik Ahmad, the founder of the Nizam Shahi dynasty took control of the fort.

Nearly 200 years later, the Maratha leader Shahaji Bhonsale captured the fort. In 1647 CE, Shivaji held the stronghold and renamed it Sinhagad. In 1665 CE, as per the Treaty of Purandar, Shivaji handed over Sinhagad to the Mughals and again captured it in 1670 CE, under the direction of Tanaji who was Shivaji's favorite general. Aurangzeb laid siege to Sinhagad in 1701- 03 CE, but could not hold it for long. Finally the British seized the fort from the Marathas in 1818 AD. The fort was later used as a retreat for many European residents of Pune.

Counted as one of the ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 5 km from Lohagad Fort, 15 km from Lonavala, 71 km from Pune & 119 km from Mumbai, Bhaja Caves are one of the popular Buddhist caves of Hinayana faith in Maharashtra. These caves are one of the top places to visit in Lonavala and among the well known tourist places to visit near Pune & Mumbai. These caves are well known historical places near Pune protected as National Monument by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Bhaja Caves or Bhaje caves are a group of 22 rock-cut caves dating back to the 2nd century BC. The caves are 400 feet above the village of Bhaja on an ancient trade route, which extends from the eastern side of the Arabian Sea towards the Deccan.

The Bhaja Caves are similar to the Karla Caves in style and architectural designs. The most prominent among the excavations is the chaityagriha (Cave 12). The chaityagriha is considered to be the earliest of its kind. It consists of a large apsidal hall and is divided into a central nave and side aisles by 27 pillars. The ceiling of the nave is vaulted and original wooden beams are fixed. Chaitya contains stupa at its far end with a hole in the top for wooden umbrella.

Cave 18 is a monastery and consists of a rectangular hall with a front pillared verandah. Depictions of the Sun God Surya and Lord Indra are present ...

Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 20 km from Mahabaleshwar, 140 km from Pune & 221 km from Mumbai, Pratapgad, also known as Pratapgarh, is a large hill fort located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. It is one of the best heritage places to visit near Mumbai, and among the popular attractions not to miss as part of Mahabaleshwar packages.

The fort lies at an altitude of 1080 m and is built on a spur that overlooks the road between the villages of Par and Kinesvar. Maratha king Shivaji Maharaj had commissioned Moropant Pingle, his prime minister, to commence the construction of this fort to defend Nira and the Koyna River banks, and also to guard the Par pass. It is one of the most scenic places to visit in Mahabaleshwar. The construction of the fortress was completed in the year 1656. The fort stands as the witness of the historic Battle of Pratapgarh between Shivaji and Afzal Khan, the commander of the Bijapur Sultanate, on 10th November 1659. In 1818, the Maratha forces had to surrender the Pratapgad Fort after losing the third Anglo-Maratha War.

After the Battle of Pratapgad, the Afzal tower was constructed outside the fort as a lookout for enemies. It is said that Afzal Khan's head is buried under the Afzal tower which is also known as Afzal Buruj. Afzal Khan's tomb is situated to the northwest ...

Beach | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 5 km from Korlai, 18 km from Alibaug and 15 km from Kashid, Revdanda Fort is an ancient Portuguese fort located at Revdanda in Raigad district of Maharashtra. The fort is located at the mouth of the Kundalika River.

Revdanda Fort, also known as Revdanda Aagarkot, was built by Portuguese Captain Soj in 1558 CE. In 1740 CE, Revdanda along with the Korlai Fort came under Maratha kingdom as per the treaty signed by the Portuguese. Angres defeated the fort in 1817 CE but it came under the British Raj in 1818 AD.

The periphery of the fort is around 5 km. The entire fortification has two main doors one from north and the other from south. Of which the northern gate was for land connection and the southern gate was used as a passage to the sea. This route opens to the main sea through the Revdanda creek. Portuguese built a dock over here which had become non-existent over time. The north and south gate is connected directly by a long road made of stones. Now, only the western part of the compound has some relics of the ancient fort. The remaining portion has eventually become the Revdanda village with houses and patches of farmlands.

The fort has a 4 storey tower and a couple of cannons within its walls. There is an old passage beneath the principle walls which is presently blocked. Revdanda had a chapel where St Francis Xaviers delivered one of his earliest sermons in the Indian subcontinent. Revdanda was also the first place in India where Afanasy ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 8 km from Nashik Central Bus Station, Pandavleni Caves or Trirashmi Caves are the ancient rock cut caves situated on Trirashmi Hills to the south of Nashik. The location of the caves is a holy Buddhist site in Maharashtra and also one of the popular places to visit in Nashik.

Pandavleni Caves are a group of 24 caves carved between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD, representing the Hinayana Buddhism and has nothing to do with the characters of Mahabharata (the Pandavas).These caves were built by the rulers of that time like Satavahanas and Kshaharatas for Hinayana Buddhist monks. More ancient name of caves is Trirashmi Caves where the root 'Trirashmi' means 'triple royal'.

Most of the caves are Viharas except for the 18th cave which is a Chaitya. Caves 3, 10, 18 and 20 are the most significant and fascinating caves among the 24 caves which are noted for their magnificent sculptures. Cave 3 has a large Vihara with fascinating sculptures. Cave 10 is also a Vihara but it is much older and finer than Cave 3. It is believed to be as old as the Karla Caves near Lonavala. These caves houses shrines, cisterns, rare inscription, carved figures of Buddha and Bodhisattva, along with icons of some of the Jain Teerthankaras like Vrishabhdeo, Ambikadevi, Veer Manibhadraji etc. The Chaitya (Cave 18) is well sculptured with an elaborate facade.

There are several inscriptions found in these caves. Inscriptions in caves 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19 and ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 15 km from Lonavala, 15 km from Khandala, 82 km from Mumbai & 82 km from Pune, Rajmachi Fort is an ancient fort situated in Pune district of Maharashtra. It is one of the popular tourist places near Mumbai for trekking and also among the best places to visit in Lonavala. This famous fort in Maharashtra lies at an altitude of 2710 feet. This is a protected monument and is among the most popular attraction not to miss in a Lonavala tour packages.

Historically, Rajmachi fort was a strategic fort to control Bor Ghat (between Khopoli and Khandala on Mumbai-Pune route) which was a historical trade route. It is one of the ideal one day trip near Mumbai. The fort complex was originally constructed by the Satavahanas. In 1657 CE, Shivaji Maharaj captured this fort along with other neighbouring forts from the Adilshahi ruler of Bijapur. In 1704 CE, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb captured the fort from the Marathas. However, the Marathas regained its control in 1705 CE. In 1713 CE, Shahu Maharaj handed over Rajmachi fort to Kanhoji Angre. Eventually in 1818 CE with the downfall of the Marathas, the British took over the Rajmachi Fort.

Rajmachi Fort consists of two citadels namely Shrivardhan and Manaranjan Forts. It is a very famous ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 26 km from Mahad, 83 km from Mahabaleshwar, 105 km from Alibaug, 118 km from Lonavala, 136 km from Mumbai, 138 km from Pune and 196 km from Ratnagiri, Raigad is a hill fort situated at Pachad near Mahad in Raigad district of Maharashtra. This is one of the most popular forts in Maharashtra and popular places for trekking near Mumbai. This fort is one of the prime places to visit on a Maharashtra tour and also one of the must include historical forts in Mahabaleshwar Tour Packages as well as in Lonavala Tour Packages.

Earlier called as Rairi, Raigad was initially under the control of Chandrarao More of Jawali and was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's in 1656 CE. After taking over the Rairi Fort, Shivaji Maharaj got it completely renovated and renamed it as Raigad (the King's Fort). Shivaji Maharaj made it his capital in 1674 CE when he was crowned as King. The fort was destroyed by the British in 1818 CE after they conquered it.

Perched at an altitude of 2700 feet above sea level, Raigad Fort falls under the Sahyadri Mountain range of India. The fort is constructed on an irregular wedge-shaped mass of rock and is inaccessible from three sides. The main structures inside the Raigad Fort, which today stands mostly in ruins, comprise of Queen's Quarters, Public Durbar, Watch Towers, Darwajas, etc. The Queen's Quarters consist of six chambers, ...

Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 3.5 km from Neral Railway Station,13 km from Matheran, 88 km from Mumbai & 117 km from Pune, Peb Fort, also known as Vikatgad, is an ancient fort situated near Neral. This is one of the popular places of trekking near Mumbai, and among the must-visit places as part of Matheran Tour Packages.

Situated at an altitude of 2100 feet, the fort derives its name from the Goddess Pebi at the base of the fort. The fort is also named Vikatgad for its supposed shape of the Elephant Headed God, Ganesh. Historical references clearly indicate that Shivaji Maharaj used the caves on the fort to store the grains. It is one of the popular places to visit in Matheran.

The fort is famous for its caves which are maintained by disciples of Swami Samartha and the meditation chambers carved out from the rock inside the mountain. To get inside the meditation chamber, one has to crawl through a narrow passage and then climb down into the meditation chamber. The chamber is very well maintained with tiles on the floor for people to sit and meditate. The fort also has a temple dedicated to Swami Samartha on the top and has the footwear or Padukas worn by the great saint kept on the top. The view of the entire Neral and Karjat region from the top is worth the climb. Another ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 46 km from Matheran, 16 km from Panvel, 61 km from Mumbai and 117 km from Pune, Prabalgad Fort or Prabal Fort is located between Matheran and Panvel in Maharashtra. It lies at an altitude of 2300 feet in the Western Ghats. This is one of the most beautiful tiny forts in Maharashtra and a great place for trekking near Mumbai.

The fort was built on a plateau very close to Matheran. Prabalgad Fort was built during Bahmani Sultanate to keep an eye on Panvel Fort and Kalyan Fort in North Konkan. It was known as Muranjan until it was taken over and renamed by the Maratha forces under Shivaji's rule. This magnificent fort was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji from the Mughals. Historians believe that there was a treasure hidden inside the fort at the time of its capture.

Prabal Fort presently in ruins is located at the flat summit of the Prabal hills in the western side of Matheran. The fort contains a temple to Ganesh and some stone ruins. The fort initially had two gateways and eleven towers. However in 1818 AD, these gateways were destroyed in uncongenial fights. At present, one can see only four towers in the fort and a pond on the top of Prabal hills.

Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, this heritage site is a popular tourist attraction of the region. One can see this fort from various viewpoints of Matheran including Little Chowk Point and Louisa Point. Right next to Prabalgad, to its north, ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 5 km from Ulhasnagar Railway Station, 37 km from Matheran, and 59 km from Mumbai Central, Ambarnath Shiv Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated on the banks of Waldhuni River in Ambarnath. It is one of the popular places of heritage in Maharashtra, and among the most popular places of sightseeing in Matheran.

This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a popular religious shrine of the region that can be visited during your Matheran Tour. The temple is believed to be constructed in 1060 AD by King Mahamandaleshwar as a tribute to his ancestors. The temple is carved out of stone in the Hemadpanthi architectural style of construction and is known for its resemblance with the famous Dilwara Temples of Mount Abu in Rajasthan.

The temple is built with black basalt stone. The main attraction of this shrine is the marvelous architectural designs carved on the walls and ceilings that grab the attention of the visitors. The beautiful images of Lord Shiva in different moods, including his renowned dancing pose, adorn the ceilings and pillars. To reach the Garbhagriha, one has to descend 20 steps. There is a Swayambhu (self-manifested) linga enshrined under the open sky in the inner sanctum. A statue of Nandi Bull is located at the center of the main porch of the ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 40 km from Matheran, 19 km from Karjat, 66 km from Mumbai & 115 km from Pune, Irshalgad is a fortress located between Matheran and Panvel in Maharashtra. It is a twin fort to Prabalgad and among ideal weekend getaways near Mumbai. The area of the fort is not large but there are several water tanks cut from the rock.

Irshalgad pinnacle is accessible by an easy to moderate 3 km trek and it takes about 1.5 hours. The trek starts from Karja village which is about 11 km from Karjat Railway Station. From Karja village one can follow a well-defined path till Irshalwadi village. The path from Karja passes through a steep ridge and then tapers to an easy ascend till Irshalwadi. From the village one has to walk straight up to a small temple dedicated to a local deity. Take left from the temple, standing at this point one can see the Irshalgad peak on the right side. However one has to traverse from left to reach the base of the pinnacle.

There is a water tank on the route from the Irshal plateau to the peak. From there, visitors will reach the needle hole near the top through a simple rock-climbing route. To reach the top of the pinnacle, it is essential to have rock climbing equipment. From the top one can see the forts of Prabalgad, Matheran, Chanderi, Malang gad, Karnala and Manikgad.

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 18 km from Bamnoli, 56 km from Satara, 70 km from Mahabaleshwar and 82 km from Panchgani, Vasota Fort is an ancient hill fort situated at an altitude of 1171 m near Bamnoli in Satara district of Maharashtra. The fort is situated in the deep forests and valleys of Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. It is one of the best places to visit in Satara and also one of the popular places of trekking in Maharashtra apart from being an ideal picnic spots near Pune for one day trip.

Situated on the banks of the Shivsagar Lake, Vasota Fort is surrounded by water on three sides. The Fort was built by King Bhojraj II of Shilhara dynasty in 1178-1193 AD. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj captured the fort in 1655 AD and renamed it as Vyagragad. In 1818 AD along with other forts of Marathas this fort also came under British control.

Vasota Fort, now in ruins, is famous for its traditional Maharashtrian architectural style. The fort comprises of three main sections - Old Fort, New Fort and Nageshwar. The bastions of the fort are still in well condition. There are two temples on the fort, the Mahadev temple and the Nageshwar temple. The temple of Lord Hanuman is placed at the entrance. Babu Kada is a huge U shaped cliff lies next to the Vasota Fort. From this point one can view the Old Vasota Fort which is closed for trekkers due to the presence of wild animals. Nageshwar is a cave carved in the pinnacle with Mahadev temple inside. ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 26 km from Satara, Chandan - Vandan Forts are twin forts situated at Belmachi in Satara district of Maharashtra. Chandan - Vandan Forts are among the top Satara tourist places.

Chandan - Vandan Forts were built by king Bhoj II of Shilhara dynasty in late 12th century. Shivaji Maharaj won these forts from Adil Shah of Bijapur in 1673 CE along with Kalyangad, Sajjangad, and Ajinkyatara during the campaign of Satara. It was under the control of Marathas till 1689 CE after it passed in the hand of Moghuls. In 1707 CE, the fort was occupied by Marathas under Sahu Maharaj.

There are two bastions at the entrance gate of Chandan Fort which are presently in a half-demolished state. There is a banyan tree at the upper side of the entrance which is known as Panchvad, as it is comprised of five banyan trees. A temple of Lord Shiva is situated near the Banyan tree. The fort also houses an old mosque. An intact bastion can be seen at the north end of the fort with a Shivalinga and statue of lord Hanuman over the bastion. Three rooms without roof can be seen at the southern part of the fort. According to villagers, it was a storage room for ammunitions. There is a large quadrangular raised platform, commonly known as Sadar, at the center of the fort.

The Vandan Fort is in good condition. There are few rooms built near the gate. The southern part of the fort has a Dargah built using stone. There fort has two entrances. The first entrance is sturdy having ...

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 40 km from Sangli, and 61 km from Kolhapur, Sri Kopeshwar Temple is an ancient Hindu temple situated at Khidrapur village in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Located at the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka, it is one of the ancient temples in Maharashtra, and among popular places to visit near Kolhapur.

Built on the banks of River Krishna, Kopeshwar Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and is one of the must include places in Kolhapur tour. According to archaeologists, the construction of the temple began by Badami Chalukyas in the 7th century AD and remained incomplete for a long time. It was patronized by the Shilahara Kings during the 12th century. Lord Shiva has worshiped here in the form of a Shivalinga as well as a sculpture of his fierce form, Veerbhadra. Legend has it that Lord Shiva got angry when Sati sacrificed herself and he was then brought to this temple by Lord Vishnu. This is how the temple got its name as Kopeshwar which means furious god.

Kopeshwar Temple is a magnificent piece of intricate Chalukyan architecture. Built with basalt stone, the entire temple is divided into four parts Swarga Mandap, Sabha Mandapa, Antarala, and Garbhagriha / Sanctum Sanctorum. The Swarg Mandap of the temple is unique and stunning. The mandap is supported ...

Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 80 km from Kolhapur, and 89 km from Ratnagiri, Vishalgad Fort is an ancient fort situated at Vishalgad village in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. It is one of the historical forts in Maharashtra, and among the best places to visit near Kolhapur.

Also called Khelna or Khilna by the locals, Vishalgad Fort was one of the important forts of the Maratha empire. According to history, Vishalgad Fort was built in the year 1058 by Shilahara king Marsinh and was initially known as Khilgil. In 1209, the then king of Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri defeated Shilaharas and captured the fort. In 1309, Allauddin Khilji defeated King Ramchandra of the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri and soon the fort was attached to the Khilji dynasty. Later, the fort was under the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire, and then the Adishlahi dynasty. In 1659, Shivaji captured the fort from Adilshah and renamed the fort 'Vishalgad' which means grand or giant fort.

In July 1660, the fort witnessed Shivaji's escape from the Adilshahi blockade around Fort Panhala and the Battle of Pawan Khind. After Shivaji's death, Chhatrapati Sambhaji would spend most of his time on the fort. He took initiative in the renovation and reconstruction of some parts of the fortresses and gates of the fort. During the times of the Maratha Empire, Vishalgad was made the capital of a large region consisting of ninety towns and villages in Kolhapur and Ratnagiri districts. In 1844, as a result of mutiny by the Killedars, ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 22 km from Kolhapur, Panhala Fort is an ancient fort situated at Panhala town in Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. Also known as Panhalgad, it is one of the historical forts in Maharashtra, and among the best places to visit near Kolhapur.

Panhala Fort is strategically located looking over a pass in the Sahyadri mountain range which was a major trade route from Bijapur in the interior of Maharashtra to the coastal areas. Due to its strategic location, it was the center of several battles in the Deccan involving the Marathas, the Mughals, and the British East India Company, the most notable being the Battle of Pawan Khind. It is also called the 'Fort of Snakes' as it is zigzagged in shape.

Built between 1178 and 1209 CE, Panhala Fort was one of the 15 forts built by the Shilahara ruler Bhoja II. A copper plate found in Satara shows that Raja Bhoja held court at Panhala from 1191-1192 CE. It was successively held by the Yadava and Bahamani Kings. In 1489 AD, the fort and the territory were taken over by the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur. Shivaji seized the fort in 1659 AD. In July 1660, Shivaji escaped from the Adilshahi blockade around Fort Panhala and the Battle of Pawan Khind. The fort went to Adil Shah, and it was only later, in 1673, that Shivaji occupied the fort once again, stationing 15,000 horses and 20,000 soldiers here. Panhala would be the second-most important fort in the Maratha empire after the capital, Raigad.

After the death ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 42 km from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Kanheri caves are located inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park to the north of Borivali in the outskirts of North Mumbai in Maharashtra. These Caves are considered one of the top tourist places in Mumbai.

The name of these caves has originated from the Sanskrit word Krishnagiri, meaning black. These are the must-include places in Mumbai tour packages, especially for history buff.The Kanheri Caves constitute a group of rock-cut monuments chiseled out of a massive basaltic rock. The caves demonstrate the Buddhist influence on the art and culture of India. These caves were formed between the 1st century BC and 10th century AD, with the earliest rocks comprising 109 tiny rock-cut cells. Most caves were named Buddhist Viharas in ancient times and were meant for living, study, and meditation. The site also served as a university during the rule of Kushanas and Mauryas.

Kanheri caves are divided into three different caves, each of which has a stone plinth for a bed. The caves have chaityagrihas with rock-cut stupas where Buddhists worshipped. There are single and multiple celled viharas or monasteries that were abode to Buddhist monks. The caves also had podhis or water cisterns which were dug skillfully to trap rainwater for use during summers.

The initial caves are small ...

Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 8 km from Khireshwar, 15 km from Malshej Ghat, 50 km from Bhandardara, 166 km from Pune & 218 km from Mumbai, Harishchandragad is a historical hill fort situated in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra. It is one of the popular places of heritage in Maharashtra, and among the famous places to visit as part of Malshej Ghat packages.

Situated at an altitude of 1,424 m, the fort once played a major role in guarding and controlling the surrounding region. Among the most prominent tourist places in Malshej Ghat, the fort originally dates back to the 6th century during the rule of the Kalchuri dynasty. The citadel was built during this era and various caves probably have been carved out in the 11th century AD. Sage Changdev used to meditate here in the 14th century AD. Later the fort was under the control of Mughals and Marathas captured it in 1747 AD. Remnants of Microlithic human inhabitants have been discovered here. The fort of Harishchandragad has been mentioned in various Puranas like Matsya Purana, Agni Purana, and Skanda Purana.

Rohidas, Taramati, and Harishchandra are the three peaks in Harishchandragad. Taramati peak is the highest peak in the fort and provides a beautiful panoramic view of the nearby surroundings and the forest area. Many peaks and attractions ...

Hill Station | Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 48 km from Malshej Ghat, Ajoba or Ajaparvat is one of the highest peaks in the Sahyadri ranges of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. Situated near Dehene village, it is one of the popular places of trekking near Mumbi and among the best places to visit as part of Malshej Ghat Packages for adventure enthusiasts.

Standing at a height of over 4,511 feet, Ajoba Hill is one of the highest peaks in the Western Ghats. Midway to the fort lies Valmiki Ashram which is believed to be the place where Valmiki wrote the epic 'Ramayana'. According to the legend, this is the place where Goddess Sita was said to be staying after being separated from Lord Rama. Carvings on the Ashram wall depict stories of Gods and Goddesses. The fort was named 'Ajobagad' after the great sage Valmiki who was called 'Ajoba' or grandfather by Luv and Kush.

Nestled amidst thick greenery, the Ajoba Hill Fort is a delight for trekkers as it presents an exciting trail to the top. People interested in rock climbing also come here to feel the adrenaline rush. The trek to the Ajoba hill starts from the Dehene Village. The trek is in two halves where the first half is till the Valmiki Ashram which is a leisure walk through the sacred forest with rich flora and fauna. There are some carved stones and a small hut near the ashram where one can stay. A little downhill from the Ashram lies a mountain stream carrying clear potable water. While, the second half of the trek is to Luv Kush Cave from Nalichi ...

Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 13 km from Malshej Ghat, Sindola or Shindola Fort is a small hill fort situated on top of Malshej Ghat Plateau. It is one of the wonderful places of trekking near Pune and among the famous places to visit in Malshej Ghat.

Situated at an altitude of 1128 feet, Sindola mountain is distinct by its pinnacle structure visible from anywhere. Sindola is more of a sort of military base as it offers a whole view of Malshej and the Pargaon region and all of its neighboring forts. Sindola dates back very old at similar times of Nimgiri and Hadsar. Sindola fort is a small fort. Ruins of bastions & only a couple of water cisterns and idols of Ganesh are present on the top.

Sindola is one of the popular trekking places in Malshej Ghat and is a one day trek. There are 3 base villages from where one can start the trek to Sindola Fort. The trek that starts from Karanjale village, is one of the best and popular routes. Bagadwadi at Pargaon is the other starting point of Sindola Fort trek. Karanjale is situated on Kaylan-Malshej-Alephata Highway in between Khubi phata & Velkhind. It is about 2 km from Malshej Ghat Bus Stop at Khubi Phata. The route starts from the fields opposite the signboard of Karanjale village. The 2.5 km trek route is pretty straight forward and easy to moderate climb (monsoon). The route is not marked but is quite distinct as one has to go up and reach Sindola plateau, the start point of the ridge. Climb to the ridge can be started from any ...

Historical & Heritage | Adventure / Trekking

At a distance of 2 km from Naneghat and 32 km from Malshej Ghat, Jivdhan Fort is a hill fortress located near Malshej in Maharashtra. Situated near Naneghat, it is one of the historical forts in Malshej Ghat and among the popular trekking places near Pune.
Situated at a height of about 3,757 feet in the Sahyadri Mountain range, Jivdhan Fort is a part of the 'Famous 5' forts near Pune. The other four being the Chavaand, Hadsar, Shivneri, and Naneghat. As per the history, Jivdhan Fort dates back to the Satavahana era and has been a significant fort throughout history due to its proximity to the historic Naneghat. Jivdhan Fort guarded this route, which was a strategic location for many kingdoms. The Mughals imprisoned Murtaza, the last ruler of Adilshahi of Ahmednagar, at Jivdhan Fort. In 1635 Shahaji Bhosle, the father of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj freed him from the prison and declared him the king of Ahmednagar. The fort was sacked and plundered by the British upon siege between 1815 and 1818.

Although the fortifications have crumbled down, one can see a huge storehouse or Kothi, which has was used to store grains. Besides the storehouse, there are several interesting ruins and remnants, including a few water cisterns and a temple dedicated to Goddess Jivai, who is supposed to be the patron deity of the fort. The fort's Northern bastion is in a pretty good condition even today. One can also see a few cisterns and remnants of old buildings near this bastion. From this ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 73 km from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Vasai Fort, also known as the Bassein Fort, is an ancient fort located at Vasai in the suburbs of North Mumbai. The fort, overlooks the confluence of the Ulhas River, is one of the top places to visit in Mumbai.

Vasai was known as a place for ship building in the 15th Century. Bahadur Shah, a Mughal Emperor had built the Bassein Fort in the 1530s. The fort covers an area of around 110 acre. The Portuguese conquered and destroyed most of the fort a year after it was built. The Portuguese remodeled the fort into a flourishing city by building a citadel inside. The fort was under the Portuguese control till 1739 AD. In the 18th century, the fort was raided and overtaken by the Maratha army under Chimaji Appa. They stood strong for 3 long years, and then the British took over the fort in the First Anglo-Maratha War.

Once a strategic place on the Western coast of India, this fort has now mostly turned into ruins. Despite the fort is so old and in the condition of ageing, there are many remains, which are still livens the wonderful architecture of the olden days. Three chapels inside the fort are in the condition, which can be easily recognized. The southernmost chapel has a well-preserved barrel vaulted ceiling and the walls are covered with tree roots and palm groves. Many of the watchtowers still stand so strong, with secure staircases. Surrounded by sea on the three sides, it is a favourite location of ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 54 km from Pune, Rajgad is an ancient hill fort situated in the Pune district of Maharashtra. It is one of the top tourist places in Pune and also one of the popular places of trekking in Maharashtra.

Rajgad Fort is one of the grand forts of the Sahaydris and lies at an altitude of 1400 m (4, 600 feet). Formerly known as Murumdev, Rajgad Fort was the capital of the Maratha Empire during the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for 25 years, before moving the capital to Raigad Fort. The Rajgad Fort was built with the treasure found on the adjacent Torna Fort. This was one of the favourite forts of Shivaji Maharaj and he stayed the most in this fort. Many historical events took place in this fort, such as the birth of Shivaji's son, Rajaram Chhatrapati, his queen, Saibai's death and Afzal Khan's head is buried in the fort.

The fort is divided into four parts, Padmavati Machi, Suvela Machi, Sanjeevani Machi, and Balekilla (small fort). The fort is an example of splendid design and construction. The diameter of the fort at the base is 40 km making it difficult for anybody to lay siege to it.
? Sanjeevani Machi: The three layer fortification of Sanjeevani Machi is simply a marvel and is located on the southwest end. This extends approximately for 2.5 km along with many cisterns. The lower layers of the fort were separated by fortified bastion along with gate in order to defend independently. There is also an underground escape route which leads directly ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 94 km from Pune Junction, Shivneri Fort is an ancient fort situated near Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra. Shivneri Fort is one of the most magnificent as well as historically rich forts of India. It is a famous trekking destination and also a popular weekend picnic destination near Pune. It is also one of the top tourist places in Pune visiting.

The Shivneri Fort was built during the time of Satavahanas. After the Satavahanas, the Shivneri Fort was occupied by the Shilaharas, the Yadavas, and the Bahamanis. In 1599 AD the hill fort was granted to Shivaji's grandfather, Maloji Bhosale and passed down to Shahaji. Jijabai (Shivaji's mother) spent the days of her pregnancy here and this was the birth place of Shivaji, the famous Maratha warrior who was born in 1630 AD. Shivaji spent his childhood in Shivneri Fort and also undertook his military training here.

Shivneri is a triangular shape hill fort and has its entrance from the South-West side of the hill. Apart from the main gate there is an entrance to the fort from Eastern side called locally as the chain gate, where in one has to hold chains to climb up to the fort gate. The fort extends up to 1 mi with seven spiral well-defended gates. There are mud walls all around the fort. The fort also exhibits a small water pond named Badami Talav, located in the center of the fort. Close to the pond lies the idol of Jijabai along with her son Shivaji. Shiv Janmasthan, Ambarkhana, Kadelot Point, Ganga ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 30 km from Nashik, Sinnar is a town and a municipal council in Sinnar taluka of Nashik district in Maharashtra. Sinnar is mainly famous for Sri Gondeshwar Temple and Gargoti Museum.

Gondeshwar Temple is situated about 2 km from Sinnar Bus Station and it represents the best example of the Hemadpanti style of architecture. The structure was constructed using the locally available black basalt stone and lime. The temple's origin dates back to 12 - 13th century during Yadava dynasty. Some sources claim that Raj Govinda of Yadava dynasty built this great temple. Yet another tradition assigns the building to Govindaraja, another Yadava king who ruled about the beginning of the twelfth century AD.

It is a Shaiva Panchayatan, or a group of five temples within a large enclosure. The central shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the remaining four temples dedicated to goddess Parvati, Sri Ganapathi, Surya Bhagwan and Lord Vishnu. This is the largest, most complete and the best-preserved example of the mediaeval temples of the Deccan of the Indo-Aryan style.

The temple is an astonishing display of stone carvings and sculptures portraying the stories from the Puranas, Mahabharata & Ramayana. Sculptures of Gods, Goddesses, Apsaras, Yakshas, Kinnaras and Gandharvas ornaments entire complex. The temple of Lord Shiva is beautifully proportioned and consists of an assembly hall called sabha mandapa and the Shivlinga is enshrined by a towered ceiling called ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 18 km from Kannad and 77 km from Aurangabad, the Pitalkhora Caves are an ancient rock cut caves located on Chandora hill near Ambala village in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.

Pitalkhora consisting of 14 Buddhist Caves and are believed to be one of the earliest of the rock cut cave structures in the vicinity. It is believed that Pitalkhora Caves belongs to 2nd century BC. They are cut in a variety of basalt rock which weathers faster in contrast to other parts in Maharashtra. All the caves belong to the Hinayana period but the painting executed in the caves are of Mahayana period. The caves boast paintings, many sculptures, animal motifs, miniature chaitya windows, wonderful Yaksha figures, the elephants, dwarapalas and mithuna figures. The sculptural representations here are similar to that of found in the stupas of Sanchi, Karla, Nasik, of the same period.

The caves are in two groups, one is a cluster of 10 caves and the second of 4 caves. Out of the 14, four are chaityas (one housing votive stupas, one apsidal and single-cell) and the rest are viharas. The 1st cave, which has been damaged, was used as a monastery or vihara. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th caves have similar courtyards and seem to belong to the same period.

The Cave 3 has the best paintings and there are 37 pillars that separate the aisle from the hall. The inscriptions on each pillar indicate that they were added individually ...

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 52 km from Pune and 11 km from Yavat, Bhuleshwar is an ancient Hindu temple situated on a hill near Malshiras in Pune district of Maharashtra. It has been declared as a protected monument and is maintained by Archeological Survey of India.

The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was built in 13th century during Yadava Rulers. It is believed that the temple was ruined by Muslim invaders and reconstructed later because the entrance of the temple is hidden like Gaimukhi Buruj construction of Shivaji's time. The fort on which the temple is situated is called as Daulat Mangalgad Fort.

The temple is unique because of its architecture. Black basalt rock was brought to construct this temple which is different as compared to surrounding brownish color basalt rock. From outside it appears to more as a mosque than a temple due to its resemblance to Islamic architecture like circular domes and minarets. There are classical carvings on the walls.

The temple contains five Shivlingas in its sanctum. Owing to their being hidden in a trench, these Shiva Lingams can be seen in light. Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu and Lord Mahadev are also housed in this temple. The temple also has an idol of Ganesh in female attire and is popularly called as Ganeshwari or Lambodari or Ganeshyani.

This temple gets huge crowds during Mahashivratri. There is a local belief, when a bowl of sweet is offered to Lord Shiva, one or more of the sweets disappear. A little further ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 96 km from Pune, Junnar Caves are ancient rock cut caves situated at Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra. Junnar has the largest and longest cave excavations in India. These are the ASI protected monuments and also one of the popular Pune tourist places.

Junnar has over 200 independent excavations spread over four hills. All the excavations belong to the Hinayana phase and are datable from mid-3rd century BC to late 3rd century AD. The presence of largest number of rock cut excavations and a large number of inscriptions enabling a paleographical study makes Junnar a prominent site for the study of rock cut architecture. Here there are 24 inscriptions, which provide useful paleographical data for the relative dating of the caves.

Junnar Caves are classified into various groups depending upon the location of these excavations. They are Tulja Caves, Manmodi Group of Caves, Shivneri Group of Caves and Lenyadri or Ganesh Lena Caves. The Lenyadri or Ganesh Lena Group is the main group and located 6 km north of Junnar across the River Kukdi. The hill is variously known as Sulaiman Pahar and Ganesh Pahar. There are nearly 40 caves in this group of which the main group of 30 caves are located in a line and stretch from east to west, all facing south and overlooking the Valley of Kukdi River. Among them Cave 6 and 14 are chaityagrihas and the remaining are viharas. Of which Cave 7 is the largest and also houses the image of Ganesh. It is one of the Ashtavinayak ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 41 km from Panchgani and 59 km from Mahabaleshwar, Kamalgad, also called Bhelanja or Kattalgad, is a square hill fort situated near Wai in Satara district of Maharashtra. It is one of the popular places of heritage in Maharashtra, and among the must include places in Panchgani packages.

Situated at an elevation of over 4511 feet, the fort offers breathtaking views of the magnificent Dhom Dam. The builder of the fort is unknown. During Maratha times, Kamalgad, Pandavgad, and other forts in the area were administered by a Mokasaddar from Bijapur. Early documents written in Modi script of the Marathi language refer to the fort as Kattalgad. In April 1818, Kamalgad surrendered after resistance to a British army commanded by Major Thatcher. Under the British, the fort was used to execute prisoners of war. It is one of the famous places to visit in Panchgani.

The fort covers a flat area of nearly 3-4 acres and is surrounded by thick woods and steep rocks which have to be carefully scaled to reach its base. Earlier, the only way to reach this place was through an artificial tunnel, which is now blocked by a big rock. There are no buildings on the top or walls of any kind or even a gateway, which is unusual for a fort in this area.

The only structure on the top ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 18 km from Lohagad Fort (3 km by Walk) and 24 km from Lonavala Railway Station, Visapur Fort or Visapoor Fort is a hill fort near Visapur village in Pune district of Maharashtra. It is part of the Lohagad-Visapur fortification. It is one of the popular trekking places in Lonavala and also one of the important places of interest in Lonavala.

The fort has an elevation of 1084 m above sea level. It was built during 1713-1720 CE by Balaji Vishwanath, the first Peshwa of Maratha Empire. Visapur fort was built to guard the Lohagad Fort and it has an impressive fortification and plateau at its top. Making use of its higher elevation and proximity to Lohagad, the British troops set up their cannons on Visapur and bombarded Lohagad, forcing the Marathas to flee. Thus, in 1818, Lohagad and Visapur were taken over by the British.

Visapur Fort is larger and at a higher elevation than Lohagad fort. The fort is famous for its protective walls and intricate designs. The fort has several structures like caves, cisterns of water and the ruins of a large stone built house known as the Peshwa's palace. In addition to a huge carving of Hanuman, and several temples scattered all over the place. Hanuman was likely the patron deity of Visapur fort. Presently the fort is in ruins and not many structures left in the fort. The scenic surroundings ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 21 km from Lohagad Fort, 25 km from Lonavala, 53 km from Pune, 135 km from Mumbai and 22 km from Tung Fort, Tikona Fort, also known as Triangle Fort, is a dominant hill fort located in the Maval region of Lonavala in Maharashtra. The fort is one of the top places for trekking near Pune and also one of the popular tourist places near Pune & Mumbai for day trip. Renowned as Vitandgad Fort, Tikona Fort is located at an altitude of 3633 feet above sea level.

This mighty Fort lacks historical information unlike the many other forts present in the state. The Nizam Shahi dynasty conquered the fort in 1585 AD and annexed it to the Nizam territory. In 1657 AD, Shivaji Maharaj brought the whole of Konkan, which had been Nizam territory, under his control when he conquered Tikona along with the forts of Karnala, Lohagad, Mahuli, Songad, Tala, and Visapur. Tikona fort was surrendered to the Mughals according to the Treaty of Purandar signed on 12th June 1665 AD, but it was later recaptured by the Shivaji Maharaj in 1670 AD.

Built in a triangular shape, the fort is small and is located near Pawna dam. The fort comprises of numerous tanks and lakes, which served as the main source of water in earlier days. The fort also encloses within it the famous Trimbakeshwar Mahadev temple along with enchanting Buddhist and Satvahan caves.

Tikona Peth is the nearest ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 14 km from Guhagar and 90 km from Ganpatipule, Gopalgad is an ancient hill fort located at Anjanvel village in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. It is one of the most popular forts in Konkan and also one of the best tourist places to visit near Ganpatipule.

Popularly known as Anjanvel Fort, Gopalgad Fort is believed to have been built by Siddisad, a sardar of Bijapur rulers in the 16th century. The fort was captured by Shivaji Maharaj in 1660 CE. In 1699 CE, it was captured by Khairatkhan, a Siddi ruler who ruled from Murud Janjira. Tulaji Angre then won this fort in 1744 CE and then later lost it to Peshwas in 1755 CE. During the Peshwa rule, the Anjanvel was a center for ship building industry and cloth weaving. With the fall of the Maratha Empire in 1818 CE, the fort came under the control of the British until India got its independence in 1947 CE.

Gopalgad Fort was built on the banks of Vashishti creek for the protection of Dabhol, an ancient port city. It spreads over an area of around 7 acres and the fort is divided into two parts. The lower part of the fort walls is called Padkot while the upper walls are referred to as Balekot. Strong fort walls comprising 12 burujs have been constructed to protect the fort against attacks. It has two main entrance gates, situated on the eastern and western sides.

Now, the fort is in ruins with some of its walls crumbling. There is a well in the fort almost at the center around which there are remnants ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 24 km from Lonavala, 67 km from Pune, 121 km from Mumbai and 31 km from Lohagad Fort, Tung Fort is an ancient hill fort situated near Pawna dam in Pune district of Maharashtra. It lies at an altitude of 1075 m and is one of the best Lonavala attractions. It is also among well known Pune places to visit.

Tung fort is also named as Kathingad fort. It is one of the well known forts around Pune. The word Kathin in Marathi means difficult. While climbing, one can experience the difficult challenge of reaching this fort. Tung Fort was built by the rulers of the Adilshahi dynasty before 1600 CE. However it was later occupied by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj of the Maratha Empire. It is a small fortification and supported around 200 soldiers only. This fort served as a watchtower in the past because the site offers a panoramic view of the Maval region of Pawna and Mulshi valley. The Dhamale family, one of the Deshmukhs from the Maval region, was charged with ensuring the security of Tung Fort. During invasion, it served to provide a temporary distraction for invaders. Thus, the major forts of Visapur and Lohagad would have time to prepare themselves to meet the invading army.

The fort is conical and consists of strongly fortified walls, ramparts and also has several bastions. It ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 19 km from Ganpatipule and 42 km from Ratnagiri, Jaigad Fort is coastal fortification that is located near Jaigad village in Maharashtra. It is one of the popular forts in Konkan region and also one of the top tourist places near Pune for history lovers. It is a protected monument under Archeological Survey of India.

Jaigad Fort is one of the prime places to include in Ganpatipule tour The meeting point of the river Shashtri and Arabian Sea is called as the creek of Jaigad. For the protection of this creek two forts were constructed, one is Vijaygad at the north direction and the other is Jaigad at south. Situated on a cliff, Jaigad has a commanding view of the bay and the open sea. A jetty port and a lighthouse are located nearby.

It is believed that the construction of Jaigad was initiated in 14th century and completed by Sultan of Bijapur and was named after Jayba Mahar's sacrificing his life for building the fort. It was conquered by Kanhoji Angre, the commander-in-chief during Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaja's regime. Shivaji also controlled the fort for some time before handing it over to the Peshwas who finally lost the fort to the British in the year 1818.

Although in ruins, most of the fort's outer wall and ramparts still intact. Spread across an expanse of 4 acres, the fort is surrounded by a moat and strong bastions on the southern ...

Adventure / Trekking | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 16 km from Tung Fort, 25 km from Lonavala and 32 km from Lohagad Fort, Korigad, also called Koraigad, is a hill fort in Pune district of Maharashtra. Situated at an altitude of 929 m, Korigad is one of the popular forts near Lonavala and also one of the famous weekend getaways from Pune and Mumbai, well known for trekking.

Its date of construction is not known but likely predates 1500 AD. This fort was taken over into his kingdom by Chhatrapati Shivaji along with the forts of Lohagad, Visapur, Tung and Tikona in 1657 AD. Later in 1818 AD this fort went under the British reign. The fort is in good condition and well maintained. There are many cannons, temples and small caves on the fort.

On the top of the fort is a huge plateau. There is temple of Goddess Korai Devi on the fort and the idol of Korai Devi is around 4 feet. This temple has been renovated recently. There are many bastions on the Southern side of the fort. There are 6 cannons and two more temples on this fort. Of these, the biggest cannon named Laxmi lies next to the Korai Devi temple. There are also two lakes on the top of the fort and ahead of them are two caves. Here visitors can see the idol of lord Vishnu holding the Conch, Discus, Mace and Lotus flower. One can enjoy beautiful view of Aamby Valley city developed by Sahara Group from the fort.

The base village of the fort is Peth Shahpur or Ambivali, which is about 1 km north ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 2 km from Devgad Beach, 31.5 km from Vijaydurg Fort, 55 km from Malvan and 103 km from Ratnagiri, Devgad Fort is located at Devgad in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. Devgad town got its name from this legendary fort.

Devgad Fort is situated at the confluence of Devgad Creek and Arabian Sea. Placed strategically on a narrow strip of land jutting into the Arabian Sea, Devgad Fort was constructed by Kanhoji Angre, the brave warrior of Konkan coast, in 1705 AD on a highland of the sea port of Devgad. It was used as a surveillance center. It was attacked by the British Naval Battalion in charge of Commander Walter Brown.

After changing many hands, this 120 acre fort finally came under the British in 1818 AD. Now, only a few strips of the fortifications remain. The walls and the structures of this fort are still intact and in good condition. Devgad Fort commands a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea as well as the casuarinas lining the long stretch of Devgad Beach. A Ganesh temple, three old cannons and a 15 m high Lighthouse are situated inside the fort and is worth a visit.

The fort offers a pleasant panoramic view of the harbor and the Arabian Sea. The best time to visit the fort is in the evenings. The enticing views of the sunset are an added attraction, making it a favourite picnic destination for the family and friends.
Lighthouse Timings: 4 PM to 5 PM.

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 10 km from Ganeshgule and 24 km from Ratnagiri, Purnagad Fort is an ancient sea fort situated at Purnagad village in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. It is one of the popular forts of Konkan and also one of the best places to visit in Ratnagiri.

Purnagad Fort is situated on a mountain which is at the confluence of Muchkundi creek and the Arabian Sea. It is believed that the fort of Purnagad was constructed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, but some evidences suggested that it was constructed by Sakhoji Aangre, son of Kanhoji Angre.

Spread over an area of 22 acres, Purnagad Fort has two entrance gates, one facing east and the other facing west. The main entrance door is a very robust structure between the two bastions. There is a Hanuman shrine and a well at the entrance. Pictures of Moon, Sun and Lord Ganesh are carved onto the main entrance door. Vestibules of security guards are present on the either sides of the main entrance door. There are stair cases from four sides to reach the top of the fort.

Although covered in thick vegetation and overgrown trees, this small fort is in good condition. The main entrance door and its buruj, boundary wall are still in good condition. The fort is located very close to the village Purnagad and it is a ten minutes' walk. One can get a captivating view of the Arabian Sea, Muchkundi creek and surrounding places from the top of the fort.

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 29 km from Devgad, 73 km from Malvan and 100 km from Ratnagiri, Vijaydurg Fort is an ancient fort situated on a hill near the mouth of the Vaghotan River in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. It is one of the largest forts on the Konkan coast of Maharashtra and also one of the top places to visit in Ratnagiri. It is a protected monument under ASI.

Vijaydurg Fort is located at the tip of the peninsular region of Vijaydurg in Devgad Taluka. It was earlier known as Gheria because of its proximity to the village Girye and functioned as a strong military base for Admiral Kanhoji Angre. The fort is also known as the 'Gibraltar of the East' since it was so impregnable, surrounded by the Arabian Sea from three sides.

The original fort was built by Bhojraja Shilahar between 1196 and 1206 AD. The Maratha king Shivaji took control of this fort from Adil Shahi dynasty in 1656 AD and renamed it as Vijay Durg. Thereafter the fort was the main Maratha naval base under Kanoji Angre. The fort was attacked in 1717, 1720 and 1724 AD by the British, Portuguese and Dutch - but could not be conquered. The fort was under the control of British and Peshwas in 1756 AD and remained with the Peshwas till 1818 AD. In 1818 Vijaydurg was totally fell into the hands of the British Empire.

The earlier fort encompassed an area of 5 acres and was surrounded by sea on all the 4 sides. Presently the area of fort is about 17 acres and is surrounded by Arabian Sea on three sides. ...

Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 5 km from Mahad, 28 km from Raigad Fort and 62 km from Mahabaleshwar, Gandharpale or Pale Caves are situated on a hill near Mahad on Mumbai-Goa highway at the confluence of Savitri and Gandhari Rivers in Raigad district of Maharashtra. These caves are the popular tourist attractions near Raigad Fort.

The Gandharpale Caves have probably taken the name from two villages in the vicinity of Mahad viz Pale village. These Buddhist caves built between 150 and 300 AD. According to the mythological story, the ancient Pandav Leni in Gandharpale is the sculptured houses built in one night by the Pandavas. But according to historians and archaeologists these are Buddhist caves built during the reign of Prince Vishnupalita Kambhoja.

Gandharpale Caves are a group of 31 Buddhist caves. Some caves are on upper side of the hill and some are on the lower side of the hill. They are mostly Buddhist viharas belongs to Hinayana Sect. The caves have a few small stupas located in prayer halls called chaityagrihas. There also exist a few carvings of Lord Buddha the Bodhisatvas along with attendants on the vihara walls and pillars. There is also an inscription in the brahmi script carved on the wall of one cave.
One can see water cisterns and rooms and other remnants near these caves.

Cave 1, Cave 8, Cave 15 and Cave 21 are the important caves in Gandharpale Leni. Cave 1 has a Verandah in front, which is 53 feet long and 8 feet wide. Shrine has sculpture images ...

Beach | Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 5 km from Revdanda, 12 km from Kashid Beach, and 22 km from Alibaug, Korlai Fort is a Portuguese fort situated at Korlai in Raigad district of Maharashtra. It is one of the best places of sightseeing in Alibag and also one of the popular historical places near Mumbai.

Korlai Fort, also called Morro or Castle Curlew, was built by the Portuguese in 1521AD under the permission of Sultanate of Ahmednagar. It was built on Morro de Chaul Island which secures the way to the Revdanda Creek. It was meant as a companion to the fort at Chaul. The Portuguese built this fort as a strategic decision to defend their rule from Bassein to Korlai.

In 1521 AD, taking advantage of the confusion in the aftermath of the death of the Burhan Nizam the Portuguese tried to take over the fort but the Ahmednagar sultanate occupied the island. However in 1594, the Portuguese won the fort but not having enough men to stand guard there chose to destroy it leaving only the central tower and a battery intact. The fort was taken by the Marathas who held it from 1739 - 1818 CE.

A huge and tall fortification surrounds the entire fort area, which is of a length of 2828 feet and width of 8 feet. There are 11 large gates, of which four are outside and the remaining 7 are inside. All the gates exhibit the ancient Portuguese inscriptions. The area within the fort walls is divided into three enclosures by two lines of bastioned fortifications. The outside fortification has 305 parapets ...

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