While exploring the new hiking trails, we came across Chandan Vandan Forts in Bhuinj, Satara District, Maharashtra, India. The two forts which fall adjacent to each other are Chandan Fort and Vandan fort. These two forts are known as "Twin Forts". Talking more about the Chandan fort, the fort is still in good condition. Many treks often take place on this trek. The fort is about 3836 feet above sea level. The villagers are welcoming nature to all the visitors on the forts. The regular pilgrimage also takes place on the fort. If properly planned, one can explore both the forts Chandan Fort and Vandan Fort on the same day itself.
Starting Point: Village Ibrahimpur (Banawadi) or Belmachi, Bhuinj, Satara District.
Chandan Vandan Trek Gradient is an easy grade level trek, a simple trail that leads to an incredibly fantastic view from the top point of the fort.
Water Resources: No sources of drinking water are available on the fort. Carry sufficient water for the fort trek. Each one should carry a minimum of 2 liters of water for the hike.
Best months to visit: It is preferable to visit the Chandan fort in Shravan month as the villagers and all the villages around the fort held a celebrated festival. Shravan month is the month of July in the English calendar.
Chandan Fort is also called as Chandangad Fort as "gad" in Marathi means Fort. The fort's entrance is ruined, but the rest of the defense is still in good condition. There are many attractive spots on the fort to visit. Gaus Pak Baba (Mebub-e-Subhani) Dargah is located in the fort area. The old Shiva temple is also situated there with several Linga sculptures. The best month to visit the fort in July. The base villages are a good source of sugarcanes. Sugarcane crop and other cultivations are seen at the base of the fort. There are several rooms found on the fort, which were used as storerooms. The rooftop of this rooms are now ruined. The devoted pilgrims visit the temple in the month of Shravan.
The trek begins with a small entrance gate. There is a huge water tank at the beginning for trekkers and visitors to drink. Proper steps are maintained throughout the way up to the fort. The steps are in good condition and well maintained. After climbing stairs for about one and a half hours, one will reach the top and see a Shiva temple. The temple is still in good condition, and besides the temple, there is a huge banyan tree for people to rest under the shade. Moving ahead, one can see the Dargah, which is named as "Dastgir Dargah."
Vandan Fort has many doors to explore the fort fully. The first and the main entrance is known as "Maha Darwaja" by locals. There are few steps upwards after entering the door. The second door on the fort, which will come across, is for now under construction. The doors are destroyed and not in proper condition. Moving ahead will visit the third door, which is an entrance to the market in golden times. It is said that local markets in the past used to be set up here. There's a lot more to explore on the fort, but many things on the fort are still a mystery due to the distorted conditions. Well-marked route and broken steps are there to reach till the top point of the fort. In total, there are three huge godowns on the fort built by stones and bricks. Similar to Chandan fort, a Dargah is also present at the Vandan fort. The Dargah is locked from the outside but is still in good condition.
Highlights of the Trek
Leisurely and recreation hiking with adoring serene from the top of the fort. Attractions on the fort are water cisterns, Dargah, Temples, bastion, Doors, Ruins. Amazing views of the two adjacent twin forts, Vandan and Chandan forts.
Both the forts' summits serve an extraordinary landscape worth the climb and explore mysterious mountains and ruins. The history of the Chandan fort is extraordinary. The manuscripts found on the copper plates say that the forts Chandan and Vandan were built by King Bhor – II of the Shilahar Dynasty. Chandan Vandan forts are said to be built around 1191. After King Bhor – II, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj fought and won these forts in 1673 from Adilshah of Bijapur. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj won the fort after taking oath on Raireshwar, and was the citadel was under Maratha rule till 1689. Moghuls came into power soon after again. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj won the forts in 1695.