Are you stressed out from your daily routine? Do you want a break from this rat race. Oh wait, now you chose travel as your remedy. Cheers! You are on the right place. Grab your bags and gear up for an adventurous trek to one of the ancient forts in India, i.e., Torna Fort.
Pune, the cultural capital of Maharashtra has numerous forts over the Sahyadri mountain range. Torna Fort, elevated at 1403 metres above the sea level is the largest fort in the district. The fort is also called as Prachandagad, Prachanda meaning massive and gad meaning fort in Marathi language. The monuments and towers built inside the fort add a rich legacy to it.
Though the origin of this fort is not evident, many believe that it was constructed in the 13th century by Siva Panth, follower of the Hindu God Shiva. This was the first Fort captured by the Sovereign king, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1649. At his young age, Shivaji Maharaja conquered the fort from Adilshah of Vijapur, forming heart of the Maratha Kingdom. Torna Fort was one among the only two Maratha forts where Shivaji personally hoisted the saffron flag.
In 18th century, Mughal’s captured Torna fort by defeating Shivaji’s son “Sambaji” and named it as Fithal Ghaib, meaning divine victory.
With its spectacular view, Torna Fort is a popular trekking destination near Pune. The trek starts from a village named Velhe, which acts as a base of the fort. Once you start climbing, it takes 2-3 hours to reach the summit.
Though it is a bumpy ride, the experience would be out of the blue. In this trek you can find beautiful flower beds, temples, water bodies and also magnificent Machis- Zunzar Machi and Budhla Machi.
You can take two routes to reach Torna Fort. First is to trek from Velhe village. This trek will be for a day. You can also reach Torna Fort from Rajgad Fort but this trek lasts for two days and you need to stay for a night on the Fort.
EXPLORING THE WAY TOWARDS THE FORT
The trekking starts from Velhe village. Get ready with your essentials like good shoes, trekking pole (if needed), food, snacks, water and energy drinks.
Ahead of 200 metres from the village, you can get a better view of Torna Fort. The way to Rajgad Fort is visible from here. In the monsoons, you can even see waterfalls across the sides. If you are lucky to visit at that time, don’t forget to capture these views.
In a while you have to cross a ridge surrounded by beautiful valleys with lush greenery.To the back side of the ridge,you will figure Panshant dam.Take a break and savour the beauty of mother nature.
When you climb further, you will come across rocky patches. Cross them carefully. The rocks will be extremely slippery during monsoons. After you cross them, you will enter Bini Darwaja. Little ahead from there, you will reach the top of the hill. It will be a picturesque view.
Here you can visit Manghai Devi temple, also called as Tornaji temple and take the blessings of the God. This is the ideal place to rest for the night if you wish for a two day trek. The temple can easily accommodate 20-30 people or you can pitch tents anywhere on the Fort.
To the right side of the temple, you can see Budhla Machi and to its left, you can find two large water tanks known as Shiva Ganga and Patal Ganga. Walk on the top of the Torna Fort to explore Zunzar Machi. The architecture of the two machis will leave you in awe.
Many other forts like Raigad Fort, Lingana Fort, Pratapgad, Makrandgad, Purandar Fort and Sinhagad can be seen from Torna Fort.
You may like to read about Rajgad Fort
HOW TO REACH TORNA FORT?
To reach Torna Fort you have to first reach Pune. The Fort is 200 km away from Maharashtra and 60 km from Pune. Take Narsapur road and reach Velhe village from Pune.
Through Air– Pune International Airport is the nearest Airport at a distance of 73 km from Velhe village. You can hire a cab from Airport to the village.
Through rail– 65 km from Velhe village, Pune Junction Railway Station is the nearest station to reach the Fort. It is ideal to book a Taxi to reach Torna Fort from here.
Through road– Maharashtra State Road Transportation Corporation provides bus services to Velhe village from Swargat bustop in Pune.
BEST TIME TO VISIT TORNA FORT
Being the major tourist attraction of Maharashtra tourism, Torna fort attracts visitors all around the year. But the ideal time to visit the Fort is during Post- Monsoon season, between September to March. This is when you can explore the real beauty of the Fort with varied flowers blooming and spreading the fragrance all the way. This would be a treat to the eyes.
NEARBY AREAS TO VISIT
There are several places to visit in the proximity of 60 km from Torna Fort.
- Temples– Manghai temple, Ram Mandir, Devi Kajdai Mandir, Somgai Mandir, Kalubai temple, Iscon temple, etc.
- Forts- Rajgir Fort, Rajgad Fort, Sinhagad Fort, etc.
- Museums- Joshi’s museum of miniature railway, Raja Dinkar Kikar museum
- Ajmai lake
- Madhe Ghat
- Panshet dam,
- Rajiv Gandhi Zoo,
- Mahatma Phula museum
- Lal Mahal, etc.
Also read about Rajgad Fort– https://www.forttrek.com/the-king-of-forts-rajgad-fort/
AVAILABILITY OF SERVICES NEAR THE FORT
- Food– there are very few stalls available on the way where you get Maggie, tea and lemonade. It is better to carry own food and beverages
- Accommodation– there are no hotels nearby the Torna Fort. Though people can find a room to stay in the village for a night, it is better to complete the trek by evening and reach nearby town or Pune for the stay
- Hospital– Primary health Center located in Velhe village is the nearest source for medical treatment
Alike all the famous Forts in India, Torna Fort too is exclusive for its historical significance, architecture and cultural heritage. Do not miss a chance to explore the beauty of this Fort.