Every weekend invites a getaway to some amazing place. But this time it was continuously raining for the past three days. The monsoon has started. The big question was to select the destination. Finally, Lohagad came to our minds, and we started planning for this adventurous yet rainy trek.
Lohagad is a UNESCO world heritage site located at the height of 3400 ft. The Maratha empire structure is gifted with beautiful natural beauty and has amazing ancient architecture. Being the favorite destination for hikers and trekkers, it is the perfect one-day weekend gateway. Located around 50 km from Pune, Lohagad attracts many adventurists from Pune as well as Mumbai.
The adventurous trekking route, astonishing natural beauty, phenomenal view, and heroic history give the breathtaking experience one could ever have.
The best time to visit Lohagad Fort:
During summers –
March to June when the temperature is moderate – 23 degrees to 29 degrees celsius – the best time to experience the fog-free atmosphere and panoramic views.
During monsoon months –
July to August when the atmosphere is cool and you get to experience the beautiful lush green surroundings. The routes are quite slippery but firm steps ensure the best moments with spectacular views.
The trip was another adventure with office teammates during my internship. We all got ready by 6 in the morning and started our journey in our cars towards the destination. The route along the journey was very pleasing, cold, and energetic. I forgot my morning sleep by the flowing winds through my window.
We took a breakfast break and then proceeded further. While getting out of Pune city, we took some different routes and lost our way. But thanks to google maps, we were right on track in some time.
We reached the base village ( Lohagadwadi village ) in two hours. From that point on, there was a 5 km trek ahead. But we opted to drive for a little more distance and start our trek at a later stage.
How to reach Lohagad Fort:
By train –
You can easily get a train from Pune or Mumbai to Lonavala station and then a local train to Malavli station. Then you can opt for a taxi/auto to the base village that is just 5 km from the Malavli station.
By taxi/own vehicle –
A taxi can drop you at the base village from where you can start your trek. With your own vehicle, you can drive more kilometers ahead of the route. Also, you can drive your own car/ bike to the base of the fort.
Time to reach the base of the fort (trekking time):
Usually, it takes 1.5 to 2 hours, but nature and photo lovers will surely take a longer time. The return journey takes the same time.
It started raining heavily as we reached the base village. After crossing 2 km of the trek, our car couldn’t get ahead because of the heavy slopes and slippery roads. As none of us was a trained rider for such roads, we decided to park our cars at that point and move ahead walking and enjoying nature. The weather was so lovely – raining and chilling.
Some lohagad trekking tips:
1. Wear full clothes in summers to avoid tanning and in monsoon to avoid heavy rains beating.
2. Carry phones in zip-locked plastic bags to be able to carry your phones and wallet even in rains.
3. Have tight grip shoes to carry, even running shoes can work. Trekking or hiking shoes are the best option.
4. Carry cash instead of cards, since there are no ATMs near the fort.
5. Carry enough water – around 2 liters as you will need it through your journey.
We started trekking at our own pace enjoying the kairis (raw mangoes) and corn bought from vendors in the way.
Recommended – Have a nice breakfast before starting the trek, since there isn’t any shop on the trekking route.
Being a photo lover I clicked a lot of pictures in the way. The rains were not constant, and so could enjoy some sunlight in the way. Although walking in the rain was more interesting. The roads were simple and so was the trek.
Time to visit the fort – 9 am to 6 pm.
There were many local shops/restaurants at the top. We enjoyed hot tea and scrumptious pakodas up there in this chilling atmosphere. And then we proceeded to climb the fort through stairs. The flowing water through the stairs was very astonishing to watch. It’s a picture-perfect location for many photographers.
The fogs covered our way, completely felt like relishing in the clouds. Till the time we reached the main entrance of the fort, it started raining again. The steps became slippery, but firm steps carried us forward. The entrance was very beautiful. Looking down from that height was like watching the best scene ever – lush green surroundings, a beautiful road, and a splendid city view.
Entering the fort gave me the real historic feeling of what this fort has. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj used to keep his treasury in this fort. It was huge. During weekends, you encounter many people visiting this place.
The fort was huge and tall. The walls were too strong to last for so many years. The views from this height were the most awesome views. There are some temples up there along with a plain area where you can spend your time with family and friends. The cool winds and the foggy weather was a perfect mixture to relish those moments.
We were completely wet, but it wasn’t cold. Many people carried raincoats and umbrellas to cover themselves but we decided to go on without it.
The Return Journey
After grooving for around 2 hours, we started our journey back. After reaching the base of the fort, we had light lunch at the local shop. On the way down, the city view from this height left me awestruck. The fog was cleared and we were dancing and singing mesmerizing in the weather.
We had lunch in the famous “Tony da Dhaba” at around 3 pm on the way towards Pune. I was relished eating the delicious food.
The entire journey was so spectacular that those windy vibes still make me feel like going there again.
I reached home at around 6 pm. The 12 hours journey was contemplating, very adventurous, and most importantly filled with memories.
This rainy trek gave me great insights (one important lesson) – If you have courage and determination towards your goal, you just reach your destination, even if you get some obstacles in the way. Rains didn’t stop us from an outing, they taught us to go with the flow and enjoy life.