Purandar fort is one of the important hill forts in Maharashtra. It is located near Pune & is popular with trekkers. Fort information, trekking route and images are given in this article.
Location: 1.5 kms west to Saswad, Pune district, Maharashtra.
Purandar fort is one of the prominent forts in Maharashtra. This popular fort is situated closed to Saswad near Pune. This fort was and still a very strong hill fort ever built. This fort has witnessed important events in the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He won this strong fort only at the age of 15. Birth of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj (Son of Shivaji Maharaj) took place in this fort. This was the place where the loyal commander of Maratha Empire- Murar Baji Deshpande took his last breath while protecting his great king.[caption id="attachment_146" align="aligncenter" width="750"] What about this view? ;)[/caption]
The fort is located at a height of 4472 feet above mean sea level. There are two routes from base to reach the top of the fort. One of them will take you to the Sar Darwaja. Another route is 100 meters long secret doorway to the north side of the Purandar fort. It is situated on the same mountain range of the Sinhgad fort. Purandar and Vajragad stand on the Indranil mountain. Nowadays, National Cadet Corps Academy has their base at this fort. Paragliding is frequently performed by the army from here.
Trekking at Purandar Fort
The location of the Purandar fort is very unique. It is elevated very high amidst the great Sahyadri Mountain Range. The height of the highest peak of this fort is 1475 meters. Trekking to this fort gives an unforgettable experience. One can see beautiful views of the nearby Sahyadri mountain range while trekking. Peaks of Torna, Sinhagad, Rajgad & Raireshwar can be spotted from Purandar.
- Trek Difficulty Level: Trek to Puranadr from Narayanpur has a medium difficulty level. About 3 hours are required to reach up to the top from Narayanpur. A good motorable path is present till Purandeshwar temple which is halfway to the fort (from there it takes about 45 minutes to reach atop). Hikers can also start trekking from the base village. Villagers allow parking vehicles nearby their homes.
Purandar fort is one of the oldest fort ever built in Maharashtra. The fort was built during Yadav era and handed over to many other rulers. Before Maratha kingdom, this fort was ruled by Bahamani, Nizamshahi, Adilshahi rulers. Now, the Indian army has a strong army base stationed at this fort.
The Bahmani King-Hasan Gangu first fortified Purandar fort in 1350 AD. During its early times, the used to control directly by the concerned government authorities instead of estate holders (Jahagirdar in Marathi) of that region. During the times of Bedar kings between 1347 to 1490, this fort was surrounded by enemies many times. So to prevent the defeat, a man and a woman were buried alive under one of the bastions of the fort. It is believed that this act was done to satisfy their god.[caption id="attachment_147" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Statue of Murar Baji Deshpande![/caption]
Bahamani Sultans strengthened the fort in the 14th century by constructing bastions & walls. Nizamshahi rulers had control over this fort for about 100 years from 1484 AD. Later in 1596 AD, the fort was awarded as Jahagir (Estate) to Maloji Bhosale, who was the grandfather of Shivaji Maharaj. Maratha Empire had this fort till 1646 AD. However, in 1665 AD, Mughal won Purandar fort under the command of Jai Singh and Dilir Khan. In this historical fight between Marathas & Mughals, the brave commander of Marathas- Murar Baji Deshpande was assassinated. He did not surrender the fort to Mughals till his last breath. But in the end, the fort to surrender in order to protect the people in the fort.
Architecture & Structures
Purandar fort is built on the Indranil Mountain. According to Hindu legends, this mountain was generated when Lord Hanuman was carrying the Dronagiri mountain and some part of that range fall down from his hand. The construction of this for was gigantic. It was well designed and strongly built fort. The fort has many bastions (buruz) and gates (Darwaja). Hatti buruz, Konknya buruz, Shendri buruz, Nishana buruz and Fatteh buruz are the worth seeing spots on the fort.[caption id="attachment_148" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Abondoned Church atop fort![/caption]
All these buruz played a vital role in the defense of the fort. Konknya buruz was used to imprison the criminals. The Sar darwaja is next gate followed by the Bini Darwaja. Kedar darwaja is situated south of the Fatteh buruz. After that, Dilli Darwaza is situated at the at the eastern end of the fort. Purandar fort has many reservoirs for the supply of water. There are about 50 small and large water reservoirs on the fort. Various temples of Lord Kedareshwar, Ganesh, Mhasoba, Hanuman & Narayan are there on the fort. Temples of goddess Laxmi and Padmavati are also present on the fort.
This fort is among the highest forts in Maharashtra. Purandar fort is divided into 2 levels: Ballekilla (Upper Part) and Machi (Lower Part). The lower part of the fort has a plain portion of about 300 meters. Several abandoned monuments like bungalows, churches & military structures are there on the north side of the lower part. The sculptures of 2 lions on each side are carved northern gate of the fort.
Best Time To Visit: June to February is an ideal time to visit this fort. Visit during summers makes you exhausted due to high temperature. There are no facilities to take rest except under few trees.
How To Reach: Tourists can take personal or hired vehicles from Pune till base village (Narayanpur) of the fort. There is an east trek path from a base village up to the fort top. You can reach Narayanpur by taking a road to Saswad via Hadapsar.
- By Train: Pune railway station is the convenient railhead to reach the fort. Pune is well connected to all important cities in Maharashtra. Cabs & other hired vehicles are also easily available from Pune till the fort.
- By Road: Purandar is located 40 kms south of Pune by National Highway-4. Buses are available from Pune to These buses stop at the base of the Purandar fort. You can also reach Narayanpur village via Saswad-Bhor route.
- By Air: Nearest airport to this fort is situated in Pune city.
Eating Stuff: Carry your own food and sufficient amount of water with you. There are no hotels or eateries on the way to the fort. As the trek route is quite long (3 hours from the base village), you will definitely need more amount of water.
Stay: Trip to Purandar can be achieved in 1 day from Pune. As there are many varieties of hotels in Pune so staying in Pune is a good option. One can also stay in Saswad or Narayanpur.
Neighbors in Sahyadri Mountain Range:
- Sinhagad Fort
- Kalsubai Peak
- Parvati Hill, Pune
- Torna Fort
- Tung Fort
- Gilbert Hill
- Vetal Hill
- Baner Hill
Map to Reach Purandar Fort:
Have you ever done any trek in Sahyadri mountain range? How was your experience?