Maharashtra is a rich historical state. The Marathas and the Mughals had much land and built some beautiful buildings and forts. Telling many tales of Marathas, the fort in Maharashtra is an integral part of the tourist attraction in the state. Although most are now in ruins, the forts in Maharashtra are over 350 and are a symbol of prosperity and history. There are fortresses in the state that dates back to the 12th century, while some forts in Maharashtra are up to the 15th century and are located on the hill. Most of the forts of Maharashtra were built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj & his Maratha Empire. They built some of the strongest forts that proudly stand in Maharashtra. Some forts are worth planning the trip. Top 10 Forts in Maharashtra are as follows:

1. Rajmachi Fort

Rajmachi Fort

Rajmachi Fort is located one of the several historical forts in the hills of the green Sahyadri mountain range. This fort also comes in the Top 10 Forts in Maharashtra. In this mountain range is two twin fortresses Manaranjan Ballekilla and Shriwardhan Ballekilla, that a wide machi surrounding the two Ballekillas. Udhewadi is a small village of just about 22 homes positioned on the machi, at the southern foot of the Manaranjan Ballekilla of Rajmachi fort. From Lonavala and Kondivde or Kondhane village in Karjat Taluka of Raigad District of these two ways approaches to Rajmachi fort.

Lonavala to Rajmachi fort distance is 15 km, and it is approximately a simple walk, even if there are a few ups and downs on this pathway. The distance on foot takes about three and a half hours. From Kondivde or Kondhane village to Rajmachi is a steep climb up. This route climbs up two and a half-hour of takes about an experienced trekker. If any Trekkers’ Groups not well-known with the Trek Route, they should take on a local Route Guide, during the dried out season after rains i.e. from Nov-May in this period a strong and robust utility vehicle like Tata Sumo, Mahindra Bolero, Qualis, etc. can be taken right up to Udhewadi. The route is a considerable way of Phanasrai, Della adventure Resort, Patel Dam, Kune village, Khandala, Jambhali Phata.

Height: 2710 feet 

Visiting Time: 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Time Duration: 4 to 5 Hours

Entry Fees: No entry fees

2. Raigad Fort

Raigad Fort

Raigad Fort is positioned in the Mahad, Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. These fort located 820 m above the sea level and the green Sahyadri mountain range. Just about 1737 steps are leading will take you to the fort. They exist to reach the top of the fort in just 10 minutes of the Raigad Ropeway and an Aerial tramway.

By Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj the Raigad Fort was in custody and made it his capital in 1674 when he was crowned as the King of the Maratha Kingdom which later residential into the Maratha Empire, then cover a lot of western and central India. The fort was looted and destroyed by the British after captured Kalkai, it was handed over to the British East India Company on 9 May 1818. This Fort is 15 different names known as Raigiri, Badenur, Islamgarh, Rahir, Shivlanka, Gibraltar, Reddi, Rashivata, Tanas, Jambudweep, Bhivgad, Rajgiri, Rairi, Nandadeep, Raigadh of the east.

Height: 2700 feet

Visiting Time: 8:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Time Duration: 2 to 3 Hours

Entry Fees:  Ropeway ticket fees- 

                      Rs. 190 each person for Group of 25 to 50

                      Rs. 185 each person for Group of 51 to 75

                      Rs. 180 each person for Group above 75

                      Rs. 170 each person for accompanying Teachers                          & School Staff

3. Purandar Fort

Purandar Fort

Purandar fort is located in the 50 km away from the Western Pune, the fort is one of the few in Maharashtra that has two levels within its premises. This fort place at 4,472ft(1,363.07 m) above the sea level in the Western Ghats. Sambhaji, son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was born in the Purandar fort. So this fort is known as the birthplace of Sambhaji. On the eastern side of the main fort, there are two twin castles namely Purandar and Vajragad.

The upper level is known as Balekilla, while the lower is called theMachi. At the site of Balekilla, there is a large door called the Dilli Darwaza which is a great place for photography. There are no noteworthy sites on the lower level. It can also see the Kedareshwar temple that was built in honor of Shiva in this Purandar fort. From the name of Purandar village, the fort was named as Purandar fort.

Height: 4,472 feet

Visiting Time: 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Time Duration: 2 Hours

Entry Fees: No entry fees

4. Torna Fort

Torna Fort

Torna Fort is a large fort situated in the Pune district in the state of Maharashtra. It is also known as Prachandagad. This is historically important because it was the first fortress made by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1646, at the age of 16, the center of the Maratha empire. The height of the mountain is 1,403 meters above sea level and the highest hill-fort in the district. This fort is believed to have been built in the 13th century by the followers of the Hindu deity, the Shaiva Panth. In 1646, in the fifteenth year of King Shivaji Maharaj, this fort was taken and it became one of the forts of the Maratha Empire.

Shivaji Maharaj named the fort “Prachandagad” and named it Torna and built many monuments and towers in it. After the assassination of Sambhaji Maharaj, son of Shivaji Maharaj in the 18th century, the Mughal Empire gained a brief authority. A Menghai Devi Temple, also known as Tornaji Temple, is located at the entrance to the fort. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb then named the fort Fututlagai after the Mughals fought hard to capture the fort. The Purandar agreement brought Maratha into federalism.

Height: 4,603 feet

Visiting Time: All day

Time Duration: 3 to 4 Hours

Entry Fees: No entry fees

5. Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad Fort

Sinhagad Fort is located in the around 35 km southwest of the city of Pune, India. This fort takes its name from the Marathi word Lion. The fort is believed to have been won by Tanaji Malusare’s brother from the Mughals. Formerly known as Kondhana, the fort was the site of many battles, mainly in the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670. This fort is situated in perched on a lonely cliff of the Bhuleswar range in the Sahyadri Mountains, and the fort is located on a hill about 760 m above mean on the ground and 1,312 m above mean sea level. Some information available on this fort suggests that the fort may have been constructed 2000 years ago. The caves and the carving at the Kaundinyeshwar temple are proof of this.

The Sinhagad Fort was built natural protection due to its steep sloping structure. The bastions and walls were built at main places. To enter the fort are two gates, the Kalyan Darwaza and the Pune Darwaza which are at the southeast and north-east ends. On this fort some old unstable that was thought to have been used by the Marathas’ army to keep their horses. A monument is also erected in honor of the brave Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare. The tomb of  Rajaram Chhatrapati and a small temple of Goddess Kali in this fort residue.

Height: 4,320 feet

Visiting Time: 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Time Duration: 1 to 2 Hours

Entry Fees: Rs. 20 for two wheelers, Rs. 50 for four wheelers

6. Tikona Fort (Vitandgad Fort)

Tikona Fort

Tikona fort is the hill fort in Maval in western India. It is close to Kamshet, 60 km from Pune. The 3500 ft (1,066.8 m) high hill is pyramidal in shape, which is why it is called the Tikona fort. The village near the fort is called the Tikona-Peth. It was the battlefield of some wars between the Marathas and the Mughals and was once the Nizams. This fort is a trekking destination noted for the large gates, temples of ‘Trimbakeshwar Mahadev’, water tanks and some seven caves.

There is a vihara on the fort which was conquered by A.D.Malik Ahmad Nizam Shah from the Nizam Shahi family about seventy-eight centuries ago in 1585 and it was taken over by the Nizam. In 1657, Shivaji Maharaj conquered Tikona, Karnala, Lohgad, Mahuli, Songad, Tala and Visapur forts and took over the entire Konkan, the territory of the Nizam.

Height: 3,500 feet

Visiting Time: 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM

Time Duration: 3 to 4 Hours

Entry Fees: No entry fees

7. Murud- Janjira Fort

Murud- Janjira Fort

The Murud-Janjira Fort is a famous fort and tourist place and this fort located on the island just off the coast of the Murud village. This fort is one of the most beautiful castles in Top 10 Forts in Maharashtra. The word Janjira is not of Indian origin and the Arabic word may have come after Jazeera, which means island. Murud was once time known as Hubsan(“of Habshi or Abyssinian”) in Marathi. The name of the fort is an Arabic word concatenation for Konkani as “morod” and Island as “jazeera”. The Arabic word in Konkani as “morod”  and is not present in Marathi. The famous Siddi King Malik Ambar built a fort at the end of the 17th century at Janjira on the Konkan coast. It is still undisturbed, at this time under the protection of the Archaeological Survey of India(ASI).

 In Janjira, the Africans developed their state which(with their notes, coat of arms, cavalry), despite repeated attacks by the Mughals and the Marathas, failed to take over. After that, the African rulers of Janjira went on to take over another fort at Sachin in modern-day Gujarat. The current Nawab of Sachin called Reza Khan and the title of Nawab was given to their ancestors by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb because they had not permission his competitor Shivaji to take over the Janjira fort. The Murud-Janjira fort has some escape doors, demolished mosque, 26 rounded bastions, and pools. Inside the fort are also three huge cannons that are famously known as Landa Kasam, Chavri and Kalaabangdi. To get to the fort, you have to take a boat off the dock. You can book a ticket for Rs. 20 per passenger or you can take rent a private boat for Rs. 600.

Height: 40 feet

Visiting Time: 7:00 AM- 4:45 PM

Time Duration: 2 Hours

Entry Fees: No entry fees

8. Shivneri Fort

Shivneri Fort

Shivneri Fort is situated near Junnar in Pune district of Maharashtra and is a 17th-century military fort. This is the birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, founder of the Maratha Empire. Shivneri has been known as the place of Buddhist rule since the 1st century AD. These caves, rock-cut architecture and water system depicts the existence of a settlement from the 1st century AD. The name Shivneri became the name as it was under the possession of the Yadavas of Devagiri. This fort was used mainly to protect the old trade route from the port to the city of Kalyan. 
In 1595, Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhosle’s grandfather Maloji Bhosle was empowered by the Maratha chief, Ahmednagar Sultan, Bahadur Nizam Shah and gave him Shivneri and Chakan. After the weakening of the Delhi Sultanate in the 15th century, the place shifted to the Bahamani Sultanate, and then moved to the Ahmednagar Sultanate in the 16th century. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born on this fort on 19 February 1630 (some accounts place it 1627). And he spent his childhood there. An English traveler, Fres, Visited the fort in 1673 and found it invincible. According to him, the fort was a good reserve for thousands of families for seven years. After the Third Anglo-Maratha War, the fort came under British rule in 1820. Inside the fort, there is a small temple dedicated to the goddess Shivai Devi and named after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Bhosale.

Height: 3,500 feet

Visiting Time: All Day

Time Duration: 1 to 2 Hours

Entry Fees: Rs. 1 per person (Child), Rs. 5 per person (Adult)

9. Lohagad Fort

Lohagad fort

Lohagad Fort is one of the many hill forts in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This fort is located 1,033 m above sea level, near Lonavla Hill Station and 52km northwest of Pune. The fort is connected within a short distance to the neighboring Visapur fort. The fort was under the Maratha Empire most of the time, remaining less than five years under the Mughal Empire and this fort was used to keep the loot from Surat. 

Shivaji Maharaj won the Lohagad fort twice. The history of Lohagad has been covered by many politicians: Satavahanas, Rashtrakutas, Bahamanis, Mughals, Marathas, Nizams, Yadavas and Chalukyas. Shivaji Maharaj captured it in 1648 AD, but in 1665 AD by Purandar’s treaty, he was forced to surrender it to the Mughals. In the year 1670, Shivaji Maharaj reclaimed the fort and used it as a treasure. Later, during the Peshwa period, Nana Phadnavis used this fort for some time and built a large hayid and a footwell in the fort. The fort has been declared a monument protected by the government.

Height: 3,389 feet

Visiting Time: 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Time Duration: 3 to 4 Hours

Entry Fees: No entry fees

10. Pratapgad Fort

Pratapgad Fort

Pratapgad is literally ‘Valour Fort’, a large fort located in the Satara district of the western Indian state of Maharashtra. This fort also comes in the Top 10 Forts in Maharashtra of the most famous forts. Important as the battlefield of Pratapgad, the fort is now a popular tourist destination. Pratapgad fort is 15 km from Poladpur and 23 km west of Mahabaleshwar.  The real fort has two forts (one at the top of the hill and the other at the southern end). The fort is 1,080 meters above sea level and it overlooks neglected the roads of Par and Kineshwar villages.

The Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj commissioned Prime Minister Moropant Trimbak Pingale to construct the fort on the banks of the Nira and Koyanav rivers and to protect the Khand, it was completed in 1656. The battle of Pratapgad between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Afzal Khan took place on 10 November 1659 under the fort of this fort. This was the first major test of the newly created state army and it was the stage for the establishment of the Maratha Empire. The popular attraction of the fort is the tomb of Afzal Khan and the temple dedicated to the goddess Bhavani.

Height: 3,540 feet

Visiting Time: 10:00 AM- 6:00 PM

Time Duration: 2 Hours

Entry Fees: No entry fees

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