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Trek Your Way To The Top: 5 Forts Around Pune You Can Check Out On Your Day Off

    Maharashtra is historically rich in forts, with a lot of them being focused in or around Pune – which was once the capital of the Maratha Empire. We’ve rounded up 5 forts that we think you can totally check out the next time you’ve got some free time, or have a friend visiting {touristy stuff is good too}.

    Sinhagad Fort

    Also known as ‘Lion’s Fort’ and one of the most popular forts around Pune, Sinhagad Fort is just a short 1.5hr {25km} drive away from the city. Historically known for being a battleground, Sinhagad Fort is now popular for trekking {because of its steep slopes}, sightseeing {the military stables, a memorial, a tomb, and a temple are still intact}, and panoramic views of the surrounding Sahyadris. There are also PMPML {municipal} buses that ply here from Swargate/Shaniwar Wada, but they don’t go all the way up to the fort. It is extremely popular on weekends, and in the monsoon and winter seasons. #LBBTip: There are also chai and food stalls here, which you can enjoy while soaking in the views. Alcohol and non-veg food is not permitted.

    Malhargad Fort

    Malhargad Fort

    Kalewadi, Pune
    Also known as ‘Sonori Fort’ for the village that lies at its base, Malhargad Fort is located at Saswad; just a 1.5hr {30km} drive from Pune. We hear there are two temples here which are somewhat intact, and both the trek to the top and the fort ruins themselves are relatively easy to cover on foot. The fort is small, and so makes for an ideal day-trip. Bicycling, trekking, and overnight camping are also popular activities here. It’s a bit isolated, so unless you’re in a large group, we advise you not to hang around after dark.

    Lohagad Fort

    Lohagad Fort {aka ‘Lohgad Fort’} is located right near Malavali village {on the outskirts of Lonavala}, which you can reach either by local train, or by car – it’s just under a 2hr {around 65km} drive from Pune. The fort is accessible by steps, and is most popular for trekking because of the steep incline. Some of the structures like the walls and ramparts are still intact, which make it a popular tourist attraction, and great for taking photos. There are food stalls and snacks available at the foot of the fort, but beware of wild monkeys! #LBBTip: If you want to make a day of it, the Bhaja Caves are located nearby {2km away} as well – just a short trek away.

    Purandar Fort

    Famous for being the birthplace of Sambhaji {the son of Shivaji Maharaj}, Purandar Fort is about 1.5 – 2hrs {around 40km} away from Pune by car. This architectural ruin is a masterpiece, famous for its ancient temples and relics, and the ‘Dilli Darwaza’. It’s ideal for a one-day trip or trek, and the lush green views from the fort are spectacular. Its twin – Vajragad Fort – is also nearby, if you have extra time for a stop. Read our recommendation here. #LBBTip: The Fort is managed by the Indian Army, and we hear it’s mandatory to carry valid ID proof, so be prepared.

    Rajmachi Fort

    Located just outside Lonavala, Rajmachi Fort is an extremely popular destination for camping and trekking. It’s a 2.5hr {83km} drive from Pune city, close to Della Adventure Park, and a bit of a steep climb to the top – where it plateaus. Rajmachi Fort is a protected monument, and points of interest here include a historical water reservoir, Shiv Mandir, fortifications, ramparts, two Ballekillas {fortresses Shrivardhan and Manoranjan}, among other structures. A visit to Rajmachi Fort is ideal for nature lovers and people who love adventure activities. #LBBTip: If you plan on camping here, we suggest you make arrangements in advance – there are several tour and camping groups that arrange treks and other activities around Rajmachi Fort.