Torna Fort Trek
“If Sinhgad is a cave then Torna is an eagle’s nest“ - James Douglas.
Torna Fort was the first fort captured by Shivaji Maharaj in 1643, making it the nucleus of the Maratha Empire. After centuries, it has now become a popular destination for adventure lovers.
The fort is also known as ‘Prachandagad’, located in Pune district, Maharastra. The name derives from ‘Prachanda’ (huge or massive) and ‘gad’ (fort).
The hill has an elevation of 1,403 metres (4,603 ft) above sea level, making it the highest hill-fort in the district.
About the trek:
Torna has always been a favorite place for trekkers and campers, and if you are seeking some adventure, then this is your chance to challenge yourself, and also witness history.
From the top, you’ll get to see a spectacular view of the Sahyadri Mountains, along with Khadakwasla Dam, Singhad, Raireshwar, Bhatgar, Mahabaleshwar, Raigad, Pratapgad and Makarangad.
The trek starts from Velhe as its base village. The initial trail is a concrete road, and if you walk for 200 metres, you’ll have the first view of the Torna Fort. During the monsoon, there forms a waterfall, which might not be there at this time of the year.
The initial ascend will be a worthy effort, and you’ll get a splendid view. The trail further goes uphill, and although there’s a prominent trail, some overlapping foot trails are also there which will lead you to the surrounding forests! So, you need to be careful!
After walking for some time, you’ll reach the ridge – and walking on the ridge will definitely excite you. You’ll get beautiful valleys on both side, and clouds kissing the hills, and playing hide’n’seek. There are several waterfalls around this site, and in the backdrop, you’ll see the Panshet Dam.
We shall halt here for a quick break, and recharge ourselves. The next one hour will require some real adrenaline jerk, and you’ll have to cross rocky patches here and there. After the stretch of rocky patches, you’ll finally reach the entrance – Bini Darwaza.
A little ahead, you’ll see a large water tank and just behind that is the Menghai Goddess Temple. On the right side of the temple is the Budhala Machi and on the left side of the temple, a little further ahead, you’ll reached Konkan Darwaja. It is called so because the route opens to the Konkan Plateau. As you’ll walk on the Torna Top plateau, you’ll also come across the famous majestic Zunjar Machi.
You'll get plenty of time to explore the place, breathe in some freshness, and dive into the history of the Maratha Empire. The post-monsoon period is the best time to trek to Torna, and the lush greens will not fail to soothe your eyes.
We shall start descending, once we are filled with contentment of explorations. Plan The Unplanned will make sure that you return back safely, before darkness sets in.
Torna Fort is ideal for a day trek. So, what are you waiting for? This is your chance to embrace nature – take a break from the monotony and cacophony, and let your soul free.