Forts, especially the historic ones, have something enchanting about them. Most of these antiquated structures stand as relics today but somehow manage to still draw attention and intrigue. These imposing edifices are a testament to their past, of victory and defeat, of power and influence. There isn’t any state in entire India which doesn’t house at least a handful of such significant forts and fortresses that speaks of its history. Maharashtra is no exception. Interestingly though, most of the state’s forts are located on the hills, owing to the state’s vulnerable geographical position on the Arabian Sea. This probably made the kings and the rulers to fortify the valleys and the plains by setting up a vantage point on higher grounds.
Let’s look at some of the most magnificent forts that lie on the Sahyadri mountain ranges between Mumbai and Pune. Book a premium and economical Mumbai to Pune cab service and go on a ‘fort-hopping’ trail. Stop and explore at the ones that intrigue you and fulfill your wanderlust.
Each of these ancient structures not only makes for an idyllic location but also serve as an adventure destination.
Forts near Mumbai
One of the most significant forts of the state, particularly in this region, Rajmachi also serves as a popular trekking spot. The old stone structure sits on a cliff in the Rajmachi village, about 118 Km from Mumbai. From the highway on way to Lonavala (from Mumbai), you can take the exit eastwards and reach the village. The fort is a little outside the main village settlement. The highest point of the fort sits at 2710 feet from the sea level and makes for a heavy trek. You can also take the car all the way to the viewpoint, where the panoramic views of the nearby Bhimashanker and Ulhas River will make the drive worthwhile.
This is yet another significant fort in the Sahyadri Mountains. It sits on a hill, about 1033 meters from the sea level, about 95 Km from Mumbai, and before Rajmachi. Historically, this is more popular than many others in the neighborhood, the reason being its function as the administrative seat of the Maratha Empire. You will find a lot of days and night trekkers plying this trail from the fort base to the ramparts or further up to the bastions. The fort location is also naturally scenic with plenty of greenery, flora, and fauna.
Although third on our list, this fort actually lies first on the route to Pune from Mumbai. Mahuli Fort is situated in the Asangaon village in Thane district at nearly 75 Km from the city and forms the highest point of the district. With thick forests and natural beauty surrounding the old stone edifice, this fort area has been declared a sanctuary.
This ancient fort sits at an incredible height of 4671 feet on the Sahayadris and is 105 Km away from Mumbai city.
While not much is spoken about its history, its current state of being is what makes this place exotic. Nestled amidst dense foliage of trees and shrubs, the entire premise offers a luxuriant treat for the eyes. There are seven different routes to reach the fort through this natural landscape.
One of the most recognized trekking zones in the Pune district, Tikona is perched at a height of 3500 meters, at a distance of about 122 Km from Mumbai city. The highlight of this fort is its triangular shape which gives it the advantage of excellent views of its surroundings. With the wide views of the Pawna Dam on one side, the Sahyadri Mountains on the other and the valleys from the third, Tikona Fort can leave any visitor in awe.
Forts near Pune
Here are a few more places which are not exactly on the way to Pune but near the city nevertheless. You can book a cab in Pune from a licensed vendor and explore any or all of these historic structures. Each of these ancient sites has immense significance in the history of Maharashtra.
A 17th-century fortress, this served as the birthplace of the great Maratha ruler Shivaji. More than just a historic structure, the fort is an object d’art in itself. From fine carvings in stone to strategic architecture, the fort represents architectural brilliance.
If compared to other forts in the area, this is at a relatively lower level, but that doesn’t make it any less important. There are 1500 steps that lead to the fort at 820 meters, from the base and the entire surrounding is covered in lush greenery, especially in monsoon. It is said that this site once served as the capital of Shivaji.
One of the largest fortresses of Pune, the Torna Fort is known for having quite a difficult trek routes. But its significance lies in the fact that this was the first ever siege of Shivaji at the age of 16 when he overthrew the Mughal army and captured the entire area, thereafter turning it into an important center for the Maratha Empire.