Nandgiri Fort / Kalyangad Fort
Adventure / Trekking | Historical
At a distance of 23 km from Satara, 59 km from Panchgani and 75 km from Mahabaleshwar, Kalyangad or Nandgiri Fort is a hill fortress situated on a ridge of Nandgiri hill in the Mahadev range of Satara district in Maharashtra. Situated at an altitude of 3500 feet, Kalyangad is one of the strongest forts in the region and also one of the top places to visit in Satara.
Kalyangad Fort was built by king Bhoj-II of Shilhara dynasty from 1178 AD to 1209 AD. It appears from many copper plate inscriptions of Shilhara kings that they gave many donations to Jain saints. In 1673 AD Shivaji Maharaj conquered Satara and surrounding regions. After Shivaji, the administration of Kalyangad went into the hands of Pratinidhis and then to the Peshwas. It was finally brought under the British control in 1818 AD by General Pritzler.
The architecture of Kalyangad Fort is very beautiful. There are two main entrance gates facing towards the north and east. Taking the steps to reach the east gate is preferred by most visitors. At the entrance, there is a cave pond, which is about 30 m deep. The roof of the pond is supported by carved pillars. There are statues of Lord Dutta in one corner and Lord Parshavnath on the right side of the cave. A large number of Jain devotees from Maharashtra come here to offer prayers.
The fort also has many ruined structures and water reservoirs along the way. There are temples of Lord Hanuman, Lord Ganapathi and a memorial of Kalyan Swami, a disciple of Saint Ramdas. The tomb of Abdul Karim, a Muslim Saint is situated inside the fort. An Urs is held in his honour for five days before Holi festival.
This is an excellent spot for trekking, hiking and rock climbing. The approach is through a steep trek up the mountainside. From Nandgiri village, one has to walk towards the fort and it will take 45 minutes to reach the fort.
The best time to visit the fort is from November to February.