Sahyadri is one of the biggest trekking hot-spot for all adventurous trekkers around Maharashtra. Known as the Western Ghats, this Sahyadri attracts thousand of trekkers throughout the year. What makes Western Ghat a perfect destination for trekking? Ruins of the fort, beloved history of King Shivaji and tough paths makes Sahyadri everyone’s favorite Trek point. King Shivaji who endorsed his life to win all forts of Maharashtra, is worshipped all over the state. The King Shivaji born at Shivneri Fort in 1630 in the month of February. At the age of 16th, he won the Torana fort. Since then King Shivaji captured almost all the forts of Maharashtra.
It was 11th June 2017, when 13 crazy trekkers from Kalyan started monsoon’s maiden trek to Shivneri fort.
Where is Shivneri?
Shivneri fort is located in Junnar Taluka of Pune district. From Mumbai, it is approx. 150 km and from Pune it is 90 km. The best way to reach Shivneri is by private vehicle as there is no good bus connectivity by MSRTC. If you are travelling from Mumbai, take Malshej Ghat route, alight at Alephata and within 30 km Shivneri comes up. The vehicles go till half way of the fort. It will surely save a lot of your time and energy. Parking charges – Rs 50 for Car, Rs 20 for Bikes & Rs 100 for a bus. There is no entry fee for Shivneri fort. Planning by public vehicle? Catch an ST bus from Kalyan or major city. The first bus departs at 6.30 am from Kalyan. It takes 3 hours to reach Shivneri fort. Get down at Junnar bus depot. Local rickshaw will drop you at Shivneri base. They charge Rs 10-15 for one way. The last bus which departs from Shivneri is at 4 pm.
Facilities at Shivneri?
If you are a Trek lover, this fort will disappoint you a little. The state government has maintained this fort very beautifully. There are a number of gardens in between to relax. There is one toilet but the condition is worst. There are drinking water booths but none of them has a water. So carry water bottles with you. There aren’t any restaurants at the fort, however, you can find some stalls which sell Cucumber and raw mangoes. You will find a local restaurant at the base of the fort. So pack your lunch if you are in a picnic mood. There is no much climbing. This fort is perfect for family travelers. A trekker could find 2 difficult paths where you can try some trekking. One is near to the main gate and other is near Shivai temple. There is no guide facility at the Fort. So burn up your general knowledge and be prepared with historical events.
What to see at Shivneri?
The fort is surely scenic and its glorious during monsoon time. Being a birthplace of King Shivaji, this fort holds many other attractions.
- Gates – You will pass through 7 gates while reaching the top of the fort. Each gate holds it’s history & importance.
- Amberkhana – A place which used to store the grains. This place is huge and a good spot for photography.
- Jijamata statue – As you finish the climbing, you will see Jijabai’s statue with young Shivaji.
- Ponds – There are a number of water tanks & ponds on the fort. The largest pond is a home of bats. The odor at this pond will not let you stand for a longer time. Curious minds can observe the bats life at this pond.
- Mosque – Next to the statue of Jijabai and young Shivaji, you’ll find a mosque. It shows King Shivaji never discriminated against any religion.
- Birth Place – A 2 floor building which still has a crib of Shivaji. It is locked inside a room but it can be seen easily. The upper floor has good views of the surrounding.
- Picnic area – The passage near the birthplace building is an ideal location for a picnic. It has a small pond where you can wet your legs and sit back.
- Badami Lake – A heart-shaped lake is a huge and used for many purposes.
- Kadelot – A traitor or a criminal used to sentenced a death by throwing from a cliff. This place is known as a Kadelot point. While walking on this path you can feel the emotions of a criminal.
- Goddess Shivai – While getting down from the fort, you can visit this ancient temple of Goddess Shivai. It is said that King Shivaji received his name from this goddess. You can find ancient caves here.
Best time to visit Shivneri?
Of course Monsoon! ❤
- A day just before the birth of King Shivaji, Jijabai was at Asangaon’s Mahuli fort. Due to a sudden battle at Mahuli, she was sent to Shivneri fort.
- The fort once was occupied by Mughals, won over by Marathas and later captured by East India Company.
- Monsoon makes the surrounding views better. You can find the dual world at the same time. I mean, From one side of the fort you can see agriculture, farms, and fields, the second side will have huge mountain ranges and another side will have a big Junnar city. It is a mixture of urbanization which you can see from a single point.
So plan up your trip at Shivneri & explore the fort.