The way clouds conquer the sky with their eternal beauty in monsoons; similarly, the Sahyadri's are spread over the western ghat. The tremendous welcoming and adventurous terrain which brings everyone on their toes. Forts of Maharashtra are well known for their elevation, terrain, serene, beauty. But if you're fond of exploring new and alternative trails, then surely visit Pandavgad Fort.
Pandavgad Fort is about 4177 feet elevated above the sea level. The fort is located in the Satara district of Maharashtra, India. The square fortification of the fort is with the mountain of cut black stone. The fort is largely spread over six acres. There is a temple at which is in memory of Vaman Pandit, the famous Sanskrit poet of the 15th century. Water Cisterns are available at the fort's shoulder, which is about 150 feet below the top point. The fort gives a mesmerizing view from all sides of the fort. Kenjalgad is used as a prominent spot towards the west of the fort.
Starting Point: Menavli Village, Wai, Satara.
Trek gradient: Moderate; The trail is a bit challenging throughout the way up till the fort. In between the trail narrows up, and there's barely a foot-wide path to hike uphill. The trail edges towards the hill slopes and deep valleys on another side.
Water Sources: There are about 18 ponds in total situated at the fort from which only three are used for drinking.
Best Months to visit: The best period to visit the fort is from Diwali to winter end. The cold environment offers a cheery on the cake to enjoy the surrounding beauty of the fort.
• Pandavgad Fort is about 47km from Satara District. The nearest town is Wai, which is 9.5 km away from the fort.
• One can also take a local bus from Menavli to reach the fort is also an alternative. The local bus will drop at a distance away, which one has to walk for a while to reach the starting point.
• From Mumbai to Pnadavgad fort is about 222 km. One can drive to the fort, which will take around four and a half hours to reach.
• From Pune, the fort is about 148 km. From Pune, one can reach Wai, which is the nearest town to the fort.
• Busses are available from Mumbai to Wai at intervals, and then from Wai to Pandavgad, regular local vehicles are available.
• Pune also provides good local transportation between Pune and Wai. One can catch a local ST bus from Swargate.
• Similarly, from Wai to Menavli and return busses are available.
The chief of Kolhapur Silahara chief Bhoja II built the fort. The fort had great importance about the boundary walls for many battles in history. The defense walls are now of scrap ranging from 40 to 60 feet high. The fort is not so known and famous, but the villagers and hikers need to enjoy a panoramic view from the top. The fort used to have 18 ponds, which were then used as a water supply for the villagers and troops, but now only three are left. The three ponds on the fort are still used as water sources for the people visiting the fort. The fort's history is typically a fort that was captured and used for many wars and defense of that regime. Almost all the walls and buildings of the fort are ruined and destroyed over the years. All the ancient sculptures on the fort have been reduced to just pieces of bricks and stones. The only small temple made up of stones is still available for the visitors.
To visit the caves, one must walk straight instead of turning towards the fort from the fort's shoulder. These caves are in the south-east projection of the fort. After walking for about 300 yards, a small spur with caves is found. From here 200feet above the main spur, the caves are found. Several caves are found, including most of them are still in good condition. Many people do visit these ancient caves.
Highlights of the trek:
The trail towards the fort is very narrow and moving ahead, and it gets more and more challenging. The route towards the caves is walking straight and not moving upwards to the fort from the fort's shoulder. A bird's eye view of the town Wai from the top of the fort. Kenjalgad as a prominent spot on the west of the fort. Numerous caves to explore along with the square fortification of the fort.