Fort State: In ruins
Difficulty level: Medium
Endurance level: Medium
Things to carry: Trekking shoes must, Two liters of water, some snacks.
Time to Reach the top: One hour from either route
Camping: Tents can be set up or 4-5 people can stay in the Lord Mahadev temple.
How to Reach: Follow Google maps for route from Hadsar village for rock climbing else follow route to Pethichi wadi village and use steps to reach the fort.
Nearby Tourist places: Forts like Shivneri, Chavand, Nimgiri. Ozar temple, Lenyadri temple, Naneghat, Tulja Caves, Manikdoh and Pimpalgaon Dams, Malshej Ghat, etc.
Hadsar fort is in Junnar region of Pune. It is also knows as Parvatgad. It is just 100 km from Pune. There are two base villages to this fort. The path from Pethichi wadi village is the actual way to the fort which leads to the main entrance gate via steps. The path from Hadsar village is by climbing the rock wall and takes us to the other side of fort near a bastion.
It could have been used for the protection of old trade route between Mawal and Kalyan. The fort is believed to be built in the Satvahana era. The fort was with Nizamshahi. Shahaji Raje tried saving Nizamshahi from being annexed by Adilshahi and Qutubshahi by posing some resistance. Hadsar fort was the witness to these events. Eventually fort was acquired by Adilshahi. Chhtrapati Shivaji Maharaj won and brought it under Maratha Empire. Later it was given to Mughals in the treaty of Purandar. It was once again won by Marathas. Britishers captured this fort in the early 19th century. Currently it is under the control of Govt. of Maharashtra.
There are primarily two ways to reach this fort. The proper and easy route is from Pethichi wadi village. There is a watchtower from where one needs to walk for 15 minutes to reach the steps. The other route is from Hadsar village. It was created by villagers by piercing the iron rods in the rock and making some holds. This path is difficult and not recommended if you are not fit enough and have sickness of height. It is called as Gajachi Waat. One needs to climb the vertical rock wall of 40 feet height to reach the top. This path was created by Hadsar villagers to avoid 2 km walk to Pethichi wadi village and go by the main route.
I and Pawan started on bike from Pune at 6 in the morning. We had breakfast on the way and reached the Hadsar village by 9:30 AM. We parked the bike near a house and inquired the lady staying there about the path. She directed us to the way between two hills.
There are no sign-boards or direction marks. The road is unpaved and full of trees and bushes. There is a small temple on the way. It took us 30 minutes to traverse and make it there. We could hear the sound of an animal moving through the forest. We were hoping it was not a leopard.
From here, we walked for 10 minutes through rocky boulders. One has to be careful of not getting hurt.
We reached the most anticipated location from where the rock wall starts. We could clearly see a bastion and saffron flag on the top. I had heard a lot about this and was very excited to try the rock climbing. You have to be very focused and hold the firm grip while climbing. Take it one step at a time and do not rush.
After completing the first patch, we saw two caves.
From the cave, we could see panoramic view of Pimpalgaon dam and surrounding villages. The climb was worth the fabulous view.
The second patch of rock climb is relatively easier. It took us an hour to reach the top of the fort.
It was an experience of lifetime. Felt so much accomplished after completing it without using any climbing equipment or support.
I would not recommend anyone to try it out just for the sake of thrill and adventure. There is a huge risk, one wrong step or move and it could be fatal. Be extremely cautious.
We saw the temple of Lord Hanuman carved from a rock. There was no shed on it though.
We turned left and started exploring the fort. We saw couple of water tanks ahead.
Moving on, we came to the Lord Mahadev temple. It is a beautiful place with huge Nandi in front of the temple. There is a fair organized on the occasion of Mahashivratri. Inside the temple, there is a Shivling and idols of Hanuman and Ganesh.
Just beside the temple, a priest stays in the hut. He takes care of the temple.
Near the temple, there is a big lake, which gets dried up in the summer. There is a small hill on the fort which is the highest point.
Adjacent to lake are the remnants of a structure.
Moving ahead, we came to the fascinating spot on the fort. The underground storage units. While exploring fort, one has to be extremely careful when you come to this point, as there is no fencing around and it is about 20 feet down from the ground level.
These are all carved out from a single rock. There are three such granaries near each other.
The heat in the summer was testing our endurance and we also ran out of drinking water. There was water in the tanks but it was not potable. You must carry enough water if visiting this fort in the summer. Just near the main entrance, we saw Lord Hanuman sculpture.
After an hour’s of walk, we started getting down. The steps took us to a gate.
Near to it is a kind of storage space sliced from the rock.
This fort is actually located on two hills. The entry gate is in between these two hills. I went to adjacent hill and could see some ruins there. There is a Lord Ganesh idol.
Also a water tank carved out from the rock.
First gate to the fort.
Coming back to bigger hill, the steps made up of rock can be seen.
The steps are broken at many places so be careful here.
Once the steps are over, the path is again unpaved and there are directions marked with arrows on the rock. We had to follow the route to a watchtower.
From here, we actually came to other village named Pethichi wadi. We had kept the bike at Hadsar village, so asked the locals about the directions and they told us it is around 2 km away. We were very tired to continue and did not get any respite from the scorching sun. We took couple of stops on the way to quench our thirst and came back to the start point.
We thanked the lady who helped us with the way to the fort and then returned back to Pune.
Leave only your footprints, Take back only pleasant memories.