Markandya Fort is located just 52 km from Nashik in Maharashtra, this fort is a hidden gem that not many people know about.
The trek to Markandya Fort is at an altitude of 4,384 ft above sea level, you’ll be treated to stunning vistas of the surrounding peaks and forts.
Legend has it that the Hindu sage Markandeya once lived on the fort and protected the Brahmins from demons like Bhimasur. You can still see a temple dedicated to Markandeya on the top of the fort today. During the monsoon season, the temple is surrounded by lush green grass and blooming flowers, making for a picturesque scene.
As you make your way up to the fort, keep an eye out for the Mulanbari pass between Markandya and Rawla-Jawla fort. The climb up to the plateau is marked by carved steps, and you’ll spot two caves on the left side under a cliff – perfect for some meditation if you need to catch your breath!
Further up the path, you’ll see the ruins of a tower on the right side and the remains of a fort on the left side. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Saptashringi Fort, Rawla Jawla, and Dhodap. And of course, don’t forget to visit the temple of Markandeshwar, where you’ll find an idol of Sage Markandeya and a Shivling.
Getting to Markandya Fort is relatively easy – just head to Vani village, which is 40 km from Nashik on the Nashik-Saputara road. From there, a road leads to Kalwan village, and Babapur village is just 9 km away – this is where you’ll find the base of Markandya Fort. The trek itself is best done between August and February, when the weather is cool and the wildflowers are in full bloom.
But be warned – summer temperatures can get scorching hot, so it’s best to avoid the trek during this time. And during peak monsoon season, the rocky sections of the trail can become slippery, making the trek unsafe. But if you time your visit just right, you’ll be treated to a trek that’s not too crowded, full of stunning views, and just the right amount of adventure. So what are you waiting for? Lace up those hiking boots and hit the trail to Markandya Fort!