Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rajgad | राजगड

Pali Darwaja (Gate) from top

Steps at entrance of chor darwaja
Steps to BaleKilla
Kaleswari buruz

Rajgad (literally meaning Royal Fort) is one of the forts in the Pune district of Maharashtra state in India. The fort is around 1,400 m (4,600 ft) above sea level. Formerly known as Murumdev, it was capital of the Maratha Empire during the rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for almost 26 years, after which he moved the capital to Raigad Fort. Treasure found at an adjacent fort was used to fortify this hill. The diameter of the fort at the base is 40 km (25 mi) making it difficult for anybody to lay siege to it, adding to its strategic value.
The fort is located 60 km (37 mi) to the South West of Pune, about 15 km (9.3 mi) West of Nasrapur, in the Sahyadris range. The highest part of the fort has remains of palaces, water cisterns and caves. The main entrance door is known as the Mahadarwaja. This fort is built on the hill called Murumbadevi Dongar (Mountain of the Goddess Murumba). Rajgad boasts of the highest number of days stayed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on any fort.


The fort has witnessed lots of historic events, including the birth of Shivaji's son Rajaram, the death of Shivaji's Queen Saibai, the return of Shivaji from Agra, the burial of Afzal Khan's head in the Mahadarwaja walls of Balle Killa, the strict words of Sonopant Dabir to Shivaji, and the Khandoji Khopade event.
This fort was also one of the 17 forts that Shivaji kept when he signed the Treaty of Purandar (1665) with the Rajput king Jai Singh in 1665 who was leading the Mughal forces. 23 other forts were handed over to the Mughals under this treaty.


One can climb the fort from numerous route from villages at the base of Rajgad, 1)starting from Gunjavne (Gunjavne Darwaja or Chor Darwaja both on Padmavati Machee, and a tough route to Chor Darwaja near Nedhe on Suvela Machi). Pali Darwaja is historically the main and easier route. 2) The route for Pali Darwaja is from Wajeghar-Pali. 3) From Chirmudi village (Chor Darwaja on Padmavati Machee), the route meets corresponding route from Gunjavne); 4) From village Bhutunde (Alu Darwaja on Sanjeevani Machee via Dhanghar Vada); 5) From Male (Chor Darwaja on Kaleshwari Buruj, Suvela Machee). 6) From route coming from Budhla Machee of Torna comes through a connecting ridge to Alu Darwaja on Sanjeevani Machi.


 source : blog.pune99.com | Thrillophilia.com | JungleKey.in | sandeepmenonphotography.blogspot.in | wikipedia.com | punegetaways.blogspot.in


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Friday, November 18, 2016

Chavand fort ( Prasannagad ) | चावंड किल्ला

shiv linga


Chavand is a hill fortress situated 30 km from the modern-day town of Naryangoan in Junnar Taluka of Pune district in Maharashtra, India. The fort, which rises 1,036 meters (3,399 feet) above sea level, is located in the Sahyadri mountain range. The fort was looted and destroyed by the British upon siege. This is one of the forts known as the 'Famous 5'. Chavaand, Hadsar, Shivneri, Jivdhan and Naneghat form the Famous 5 trek. The fort has remnants of construction that are more than 800 years old. Village of Chavandwadi lies at the base of the fort. Under the rule of Shivaji this was known as Prasannagad.

 Founder of Nizam Dynasty, Nizam Ahmed was the first Nizamshah who acquired the fort of Chavand after the dissolution of the Bahmanid Empire. The seventh Nizamshah was Burhanshah II. Bahadurshah's grandson was imprisoned 1594 and was taken away to this fort. Bahadurshah is the nephew of Chandbibi. In 1636, the Mughals got the fort of Chavand by signing a treaty with the Nizams.
Mythological references
1) The forts named after the names of great sages (for e.g. Vasota, named after Vasistha) are pre-ancient forts.
2) The forts decorated by Buddhist carvings and sculptures (for e.g. Shivneri) are ancient forts.
3) Forts belonging to the medieval period are related to Shaiva, Shakta or Naath.
4) The goddess Chamunda is an idol of destruction of evil, with a terrifying appearance, armed with weapons. The deity belongs to Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka.

Spots to view :
1.       Saptamatrika (The seven cisterns) : The British in their attack have destroyed many a construction in the eighteenth century. Here a temple half buried in the earth can be seen. As we go ahead on the left, we can see 7 water tanks aligned along each other. These have much mythological significance, & their names are as follows: Brahmi, Maheshwari, Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Indrayani & Chamunda, the most powerful goddess of all.
2.       Human made caves : As we proceed towards the northern direction around the fortification, we can see that a proper way was constructed hereby to move around to keep watch. On the north side of the fort, human made caves are situated where the fortification ends. Here it is said that a secret passage exists, amidst the wall, right below the caves. As we go the south side, we can have a beautiful view of the river Kukdi that originates from Kukdeshwar, a famous pilgrimage near the fort. On the southeastern side, no fortification exists as steep fall dominates this place. Again as we proceed westwards, we can see the fortification here. This fort being strongly secured was used for imprisoning Bahadurshah Nizam in 1594.
3.       Temple of goddess Chamunda : On the topmost part of the fort, i.e. on a small hillock, is situated the temple of Goddess Chamunda. Here rises the question, that who brought this deity here in Maharashtra, which is predominantly from the provinces of Bengal, Bihar & Mysore. The answer is also quite simple. Naneghat had been the main route for transport of goods that came from other provinces via harbour of Sopara & Kalyan, the place of junction. Some well established businessman from Mysore, who came through Naneghat, must have established Chamunda here. Folks were unable to utter Chamunda, & they called it as Chavand, hence was named the fort.
The places in the region of Naneghat reflect the rich culture of Satvaahan dynasty, and the well-developed artistic works that existed during this era. The temple of “Kukdeshwar” must be visited when we go to Chavand. The simplicity of this place is worth experiencing. The caves of Shivneri and “Lenyadri”, another famous pilgrimage, are worth visiting.
From the top of the fort, we can have a glimpse of the mountain of Shambhu & the fort of Jeevdhan on the west, Hadsar on the north, Shivneri on the east & the route of Naneghat along the fort. The topmost part of Shivneri is clearly visible from here. Along with a rich geographical position, the fort also has a rich history, which can be stated in a few steps.

How To Reach :
The way to the top of the fort goes along the village school, from the western side of the fort. From here, it takes about 45 minutes to reach the entrance door. From here the footsteps take us to the plains, on which we can see the remnants of many constructions.

source : en.wikipedia.org | trekshitiz.com | itsmytravelogue.blogspot.in | Google maps |
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