Pandavgad Fort is near Wai in Maharashtra.
Located at a distance of 11 km from Wai and 23 km from Panchgani, this fort is one of the major tourist attractions in the area.
The fort was built by King Bhoj II of the Shilahar Dynasty, and was formerly under the rule of Adilshahi. Later, Shivaji Maharaj captured it in 1673 AD, but Aurangzeb took over the fort in 1701. Pandavgad Fort played an important role in the battle between Trimbakji Dengle and the British in 1817 AD.
Now let’s move on to the interesting part – the fort’s architecture. The fort is a square-shaped structure and is about six acres in extent. Its defenses consist of a slope of forty to sixty feet high, along with several strong masonry ramparts surmounted by a huge wall. The main feature of this fort is that it has the natural protection of a sharp rock which is about 6 m high. However, all the buildings in the fort, except the temple of Pandjai Devi, are in a ruined state. Nevertheless, the fort possesses 18 ponds which used to supply water to the residents, but now only three ponds possess water.
The approach to the fort is very difficult and at places, the path is very narrow with the hill slopes on one side and deep valleys on the other. Though the hill is not covered with thick forest, it has considerable foliage of bushy shrubs. It is a 1.5 – 2 hours moderate trek and the last 200 m has stone-cut steps. So, if you’re up for a challenge, this trek is definitely for you!
And for all the heritage lovers out there, don’t forget to visit some nearby attractions like Bhairavgad Fort, and Ajinkyatara Fort. Moreover, tourists can take part in trekking and camp expeditions that take place around the fort.
But before you head off on your adventure, let’s talk about some practical details. There is no specific parking place, but the villagers have kept a place for parking for trekkers in their farms, and it’s free of charge. Make sure to carry your own food and water as there are no food and water facilities at the base or on the fort. However, there are many restaurants nearby, within a 5 km radius of the fort, such as Mandhardevi Ghat and Wai City.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a fun and challenging adventure, with a sprinkle of history, then Pandavgad Fort is the perfect destination for you. So, start from the house near the road, and if you can’t find the path, just ask the locals. Happy trekking!