Bahadurgad Fort is in Ahmednagar district in Maharashtra.
Bahadurgad was once a chief store and frontier post of the Moghul Army during the Moghul Empire. In 1672, Deccan Viceroy Khan Jahan tried to pursue Maratha army headed by Shivaji Maharaj and even built a water channel for bringing water from the river Bhima. Khan Jahan renamed Pedgaon as Bahadurgad, and the fort was later captured by Shivaji Maharaj after fooling the Mughal Chief.
Legend has it that Shivaji heard of 200 top-notch Arab horses and some wealth that had arrived at Bahadurgad, and he just couldn’t resist the temptation to plunder them. He organized a force of 9,000 and split it into two, with 2,000 sneaking into the fort through the main entrance while the other 7,000 waited outside. Bahadur Khan, the administrator of the fort at that time, caught wind of Shivaji’s plan and kept the main entrance open, preparing his own troops for battle.
But Shivaji was one step ahead. He leaked the Marathas’ plan to attack Bahadurgad, causing the Mughals to attack the 2,000 Marathas inside the fort. However, the Marathas weren’t interested in fighting and quickly retreated, with Bahadur Khan hot on their tails. This was exactly what Shivaji wanted, as it left the fort exposed and ready for the second wave of 7,000 Marathas to swoop in and grab the horses and wealth. And they did just that, with Bahadur Khan unable to catch up with the quick and highly mobile Marathas.
Among the ruins of , there are still remnants of its past glory, including the Mastani Mahal and five temples, two of which are the Lakshmi Narayan temple and Baleshwar temple. The Lakshmi Narayan temple is a beautiful example of architecture, with carved columns and animal images on the walls, although there are no images in the temple today. The Baleshwar temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is also in a dilapidated state, but still boasts eight columns with great carvings.
As we wander through the fort, we’ll come across many ruined buildings hidden in the bushes, Virgal, Satigal, some cannon balls, a Deepmal, and even a statue of Lord Shiva. We’ll also see a 5-foot-tall statue of Maruti and a Bhairavnath temple, which is part of a group of five temples built in the Yadav period. Unfortunately, the temples are not well-maintained, but the Bhairavnath temple still has some colorful artwork that has stood the test of time.
All in all, you’ll need about three hours to explore Bahadurgad Fort fully. Just remember to start alongside the fencing and make your way through the ruins, taking in all the history and adventure that this fascinating place has to offer.