Maharashtra is one of the richest states in India in terms of wealth, culture, history and heritage. Hence, tourism is an emerging industry in the state. With natural wonders, historical sites and diverse culture, Maharashtra has it all! One of the highlights of Maharashtra is its forts, which are the hallmark of the various empires and kingdoms in India, especially the Maratha Empire. One of the famous forts in Maharashtra is the Shivneri Fort - The Birthplace of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Shivneri Fort: A Fort In Maharashtra With A Long History
Shivneri Fort, located in Junnar in Pune District, has a long history behind it. The area around the fort has been known to be a Buddhist dominion since the 1st Century CE. The rock-cut architecture, caves and water systems indicate that the place has been continuously inhabited for almost 2000 years. The fort was also under the control of the Yadavas of Devagiri. This is when the fort got its name.
The fort had been in control of several dynasties. In the 16th Century, the fort came into control of the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, with Junnar as its capital. The control of the fort then passed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s grandfather Maloji Raje Bhosale. He was at the service of the Ahmadnagar sultan at that time.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born in Shivneri Fort on February 19, 1630. He spent his entire childhood there. He was named Shivaji after Goddess Shivai, whose temple is inside the fort. In due course of time, the fort came under the control of the Mughals. It was captured by Sambhaji Maharaj in 1716 and it was bought under the control of the Maratha Empire again. Ultimately it fell under British control in 1820 after the Anglo Maratha War.
Architecture And Attractions
Shivneri Fort, being the centre of history has witnessed several wars and destruction. The walls of the forts are made of mud and rock. The fort is in Triangular shape with its entrance from the southwest side. Along with the main gate, there is the chain gate on the side, where one has to hold chains to climb up to the fort gate. The fort has several gate structures which ensure that the fort is protected.
The fort has a prayer hall, a tomb and a mosque inside the fort. One of the highlights of the fort is a water pond known as Badami Talav, which is located at the centre of the fort. The statues of Shivaji Maharaj and his mother Jijabai are located south of Badami Talav. Along with the lake, there are two water springs in the fort, Ganga and Yamuna.
How To Reach Shivneri Fort
Shivneri Fort is located in Junnar, a town located 91 Kilometres from Pune. Shivneri Fort is located 92 kilometres from Pune and 156 kilometres from Mumbai. The fort is around 2 - 3 kilometres from Junnar town. It is easy to reach the fort top from the main entrance.
The trekkers with proper gear can try reaching the fort via the chain route. The fort is located 1024 m above sea level and is located on Shivneri Hill.
Weather And Climate
Junnar has a hot semi-arid climate throughout the year. April and May are the hottest months with the temperature reaching 42°C. Winters are also quite chilly, which temperatures reaching as low as 10°C at night. It rains heavily during monsoons as well.
Things To Do Nearby
There are many things you can do near Shivneri Fort. The town is Junnar is rich in history and has several attractions which you can explore. Some of the things you can explore in and around Junnar are:
Shree Vighnaharta Ganpati Temple
Shree Lenyadri Ganpati Temple
Yashodhan Agri Tourism - The Best Agro Resort In Junnar
For those who want to visit a great historical fort like the Shivneri Fort, one needs to live in an even better Agro Resort. Yashodhan Agri Tourism is located amidst the lush greenery of Junnar. It is the perfect escape from the boredom and monotony of city life. It showcases the authentic village culture with the comfort of modern amenities.
At Yashodhan, you can experience many activities such as exploring the farm, experiencing the village life, enjoying food cooked from chulha, and enjoying various fun games.
The rooms are spacious and comfortable with all the amenities you need. The proper offers several types of accommodations such as Suites, Royal Tents, Dormitory Tents and Dormitory Cottages. The Multipurpose hall, Shahi Durbar, combined with a 12,000 sq. ft garden is a perfect place to host weddings and other events.
Yashodhan Agri Tourism is 25 Kilometres from Shiverni Fort, an approximately 40 minutes drive.
Shivneri Fort is one of the most iconic forts in Maharashtra. It should be on your list if you want to explore Maharashtra to its fullest. If you are near Pune or Mumbai, the fort should definitely be on your list.