Dategad Fort is a small fort located 75 kilometres, south of Satara, in the Maharashtra.
This small fort packs a big punch. And by punch, I mean a steep bridle path that’ll have you feeling the burn in no time. But don’t worry, it’s only a 45-minute trek from the base village of Tolewadi.
Once you reach the entrance of the fort, you’ll be greeted by a thirty-foot steep climb. But don’t let that discourage you, scattered boulders make for an easy climb in some places. The fort itself is about 600 feet long and 180 feet broad, oblong in shape and covers an area of about three acres.
The entrance is located in the center of the west face and is reached by a passage that’s seven feet broad and cut about twenty feet down from the top of the scarp. There used to be a gateway of a single-pointed arch ten feet high, but it’s fallen in. I mean, who needs a gateway anyway, right?
As you make your way to the top, be sure to check out the rock-cut steps that lead out on the top turning south halfway up. And don’t forget to pay respects to Lord Maruti in the corner of the angle. The walls are in ruins, but you can still see the original structures made of large laterite blocks without mortar. And let’s not forget about the loopholed parapet about four feet high that used to be there.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Who ruled this place?” Local tradition says Shivaji, but documents show that the Muhammedans had possession of the fort. However, its appearance suggests that it’s older than either of those rulers. And get this, the well is even ascribed to Rishis.
Fast forward to 1818, and Captain Grant was able to obtain the surrender of Dategad in exchange for five horses of the fort commandant. And here’s the kicker, he promised to allow the garrison to keep their arms and property. Who says you can’t negotiate your way out of a sticky situation?
Today, the fort is in a state of bad repair, and the tanks are out of use. But that doesn’t mean you should skip this place. It’s a historical gem that’s definitely worth the trek. Just don’t forget to bring plenty of water and snacks for the journey. Happy trekking!