Travel Diaries: This 17th Century Fort In Junnar Offers Spectacular Views
What Makes It Awesome?
If the 9-to-5 job has got you bored and you're seeking adventure for the weekend, consider Shivneri Fort. Situated in Junnar, about 90kms away from Pune, the fort can be easily accessed by well-connected roads.
History enthusiasts, set yourself on the path to Shivneri Fort in Junnar. Why, you might ask? We bet you didn't know that this fort was once home to Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Martha Empire. Even if the fort came to light because of the birth of an historic king, a number of historians have found that this place has traced back to the 1st century A.D. The fort has seen over three dynasties rule over it, starting with the Yadavas of Devagiri, who passed on the fort to the Bahmani Sultanate of Delhi. From this Sultanate, this fort came under the lordship of Maloji Bhosale, grandfather of Shivaji Maharaj.
The trek leading to the fort is fairly easy; all you need to do is climb well-maintained stairs. However, if you are a professional trekker or looking to please that adventure bug inside you, take the chain gate on the western side of the fort. To reach either of the entrances, the route is through the small village-town of Junnar.
Once climbed, you will stumble across a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. From the tip of the fort, you can also spot other forts - Naryangad , Hadsar ,Chavnar and Nimgiri - waiting to be explored. Already fascinated by the exterior spiral gates? Step inside to witness statues of Jijabai and young Shivaji and at the centre of the fort lies Badami Talav, a beautiful pond. There are two more water springs in the fort and they have water throughout the year.
The thing we like the most is the fort’s surroundings which are clean and well-maintained. So much so that it does not seem like a historical monument.
Don't restrict yourself to the fort, the village-town of Junnar also offers other sight-seeing. You can experience living in the countryside, be a part of amazing treks or camp under the stars. However, to camp in the fort premises, you would have to take official permissions from the office at the foothill of the fort. The fort is officially open from 5 am to 7 pm.
What Could Be Better?
Since there are a lot of facilities available, we also wish that there was parking facility around the fort.
Since this is a plastic free zone, we advise you to carry your own water bottles. Coming before 10 am is a good way to avoid the heat and crowd.