Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Torna Fort

Torna Fort or Prachandagad is about 40 km southwest of Pune on the Mumbai Bangalore Highway. It is the highest fort in Pune district.

Torna Fort  is a large fort located at 1405 metres above sea-level (the tallest in the district). It is historically significant because it is the first fort captured by Shivaji in 1643, forming the nucleus of the Maratha empire. The name derives from Prachanda (Marathi for huge or massive) and gad (Marathi for fort).

Zunjar Machi
From Pune, drive to the Mumbai Bangalore Highway. You can either use the old Katraj ghat route or take the new bypass route through the new Katraj tunnel. Just after passing the first Toll Plaza on this highway take the first right to Nasarapur. From here get to Velhe village, which is about 25 kms. Its from the Velhe village that you climb the fort.

Those seeking public transport from Pune can start early in the morning from Swargate bus stand. The relevant routes go by via Khed Shivapur, Cheladi/ Nasarapur/ Baneshwar, then Winzar, to the village of Velhe.

The climb to Torna is not difficult though it’s very exhausting due to its constant steep climb. There are railings installed where ever needed. This fort should be more difficult to climb during monsoons as it may be getting very slippery considering the path which is full of rocks and mud.

If you are deciding for a single day trek, be sure you start early and climb down early too. Due to the bushes one may get lost if it gets dark and trust me you don’t want that to happen.

Sun set while climbing down

Bini Darwaja (Door)
About the fort, there is a cistern out there which has enough water. You have the Meghai Devi temple, which is recently renovated and can easily accommodate 15 to 20 people at a time. Be sure to carry your meals. (The only place where you may get some it is at the foots of the fort at Velhe village.) The walls of the fort are in good conditions and the two machis viz; Budhla Machi and Zunjar Machi are in opposite directions with the cistern in the center.

My Recommendation

I would strongly recommend to plan a stay out there. The climb leaves you exhausted and the fort is quite big to see around. By the time you finish seeing the fort; you suddenly find out that it’s time to climb down. So go out there for a stay so that you could enjoy the beautiful fort and the nature out there peacefully.  

Way to Budhla Machi
Meghai Devi Temple

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