Nested in the Western Ghats or the Sahyadri Mountain range, the Indian state of Maharashtra – the land of Shivaji Maharaj is dotted with a number of magnificent forts.
It is a land where you can still hear the echoes of the wars fought and where you can witness the glorious past and rich culture of the Marathas and the Mughals. Here the Marathas and the Mughals built some of the most iconic and magnificent buildings and forts.
Let’s take a look at the magnificent and picturesque hill forts of Maharashtra that you must visit.
These are the 6 Must-Visit Forts In Maharashtra.
1. Pratapgad Fort (Mahabaleshwar)
Located at a distance of 24 km from the hill station of Mahabaleshwar, Pratapgad literally ‘Valour Fort is a large fort located in Satara district, in the Western Indian state of Maharashtra.
Significant as the site of the Battle of Pratapgad, the fort is now a popular tourist destination. There are four lakes within the fort, many of which overflow during the monsoons. There is a watchtower just beside the Mahadarwaza, or the main entrance, at the end of the motorable road. There is a statue of Shivaji Maharaj in his full glory, which was installed about 60 years ago. There is a Bhawani temple at the top of the fort, and a cultural library showcasing the heritage of the fort. There is a handicrafts centre en route to Pratapgad from the base village, which draws a lot of tourists.
Today this fort has become a famous tourist spot near Mahabaleshwar as it is still in fairly good condition. There is a motorable road up to the entrance of the fort. You have to explore the fort by walk/trek (around 1 km ). Inside the forts, there are small eateries for food and a rest house available for tourists. The best time to visit Pratapgad Fort is from June to October.
A trip to Pratapgad Fort can be planned at any time of the year but during monsoons, the beauty of the region is magnified further.
2. Rajmachi Fort (Pune)
Rajmachi is a small village situated in the Sahyadri mountain range of the Konkan region of Maharashtra where Rajmachi Fort is one of the most popular forts around the Lonavala region. The height of this fort from sea level is 2710 feet and it offers an amazing view of the Sahyadri mountains and the backwaters of Shirota Dam.
Rajmachi has two fortified peaks – Shrivardhan and Manaranjan forts, located near two famous hills of Lonavala and Khandala. The best season to visit Rajmachi is the monsoon and the winter season. Nature is at its best during this time and one can see amazing waterfalls and lush green forests en route.
Rajmachi Fort Trek is a trek that blesses you with lush green mountains, numerous waterfalls, deep valleys, beautiful fort, amazing trails, flowing river, vast plateaus, village life, water reservoir, and much more.
So, if you’re looking for a place where you can experience most of nature’s gifts in just a one-day trip then Rajmachi Fort trek is waiting for you.
3. Lohagad & Visapur Fort (Pune)
Being a part of the Lohagad-Visapur fortification, Lohagad & Visapur Fort is a hill fort near Visapur village in Maharashtra that is situated atop an impressive hill near Malavali, 52 km away from Pune.
These forts were built in the 18th century. A 1 km long ridge separates the two forts. These forts are regarded to be ideal for trekking and can be toured in a day from Pune. Lohagad Fort, which is 3,400 feet high, is a very widespread fort. Ganesh Darwaja, Narayan Darwaja, Hanuman Darwaja, and Maha Darwaja are the four doors to Lohagad from the nearby village where a few sculptures are still visible on Maha Darwaja whereas Visapur Fort, which is 3,500 feet in height, is situated between Lohagad and Bedse Caves. A huge cannon of 10 feet in length feet is the main attraction of Visapur, as it has an impression of a royal crown. Vinchu Kata is the famous spot of Lohagad – which is a range of hills that looks like Capricorn.
Pawana Dam can be viewed from the backside of Lohagad. Sinhagad fort, Tung fort, and Tikona fort can be clearly seen from the Visapur fort. These two forts are historically very crucial and must be visited by trek lovers and history lovers.
4. Raigad Fort (Raigad)
Formerly known as Rairi, Raigad Fort was built by Chandraraoji More, the King of Jawali which is a hill fort situated in Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra.
Called the “Gibraltar of the East” by the Europeans, the Raigad Fort consists of several gateways, namely, the Nagarkhana Darwaja, the Mena Darwaja, and the Palkhi Darwaja, along with the Maha Darwaja which is the main entrance to the fort and has a majestic ambiance.
This fort is located in the Sahyadri mountain range and is only accessible by a pathway on one side which has about 1737 steps, through several steps in a stiff climb, while the other sides are surrounded by deep valleys draped in green.
The Raigad fort is not just a tourist spot; it is a sacred place of pilgrimage which holds the imprints of the grand vision of Hindavi Swarajya as cherished by Chhatrapati Shivaji. While most of its parts are in ruins now, the fort still boasts of the brave history of Marathas which is a must-visit place.
5. Surgad Fort (Raigad)
Surgad, is a hill fort located in a spur, fragmented from the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra. The fort is situated near Roha, next to the village of Gherasurgad in the Raigad district which was an observation fort, which guarded the trade route along the Kundalika river from Sudhagad to Revdanda fort.
The Fort has water tanks, ancient temples, and buildings and is historically associated with Chatrapati Shivaji. Surgad top offers great views of the meandering Kundalika River as it originates from Tamhini Ghat and finds its way to the sea at Roha.
This Fort is great for trekking which is a soft trek and suited for any individual with basic fitness. Recommended for beginners, soft trekkers, and family groups looking to have a nature experience.
So, if you’re a nature lover and can trek into the wilderness then a visit to Surgad Fort is a must for you.
6. Murud-Janjira Fort (Raigad)
Murud-Janjira is the local name of a famous fort and tourist place situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra whose erected structure has 22 massive bastions and high protective walls and ramparts with massive black granite walls that seem to be standing right on the water.
The sea fort at Murud-Janjira is one of the most unique and beautiful forts in India.
Situated in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, it is surrounded by the Arabian sea on all sides. The fort is only accessible by sailboats and ferry services from the coastal village of Murud.
The best thing about this fort is that it is surrounded by water on all sides and that is why is also referred to as Island Fort. It is one of the premier attractions of the town.
Janjira Fort is one of its kind in the whole of India. So, this is one place that should not be missed out on your trip to Raigad.