Maharashtra is considered to be the land of forts. These forts have shaped the history of not only Maharashtra but of the entire Indian Subcontinent. These forts are especially associated with the Maratha Empire - one of the most influential empires in India. he most influential Maratha ruler in history was Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He is known for fighting against the Mughals and establishing the Maratha Empire. At 16, Shivaji Maharaj captured his first fort - the Torna Fort.
Torna Fort - Its History and Significance
Torna Fort, also known as Prachandagad Fort was constructed in the 13th Century CE by the Shiva Panth. From 1470 to 1486 CE, Malik Ahmed, a Bahmani ruler took control over the fort. Later, it was under the Nizam Shahi dynasty. Chhatrapati Shivaji, at the age of 16, captured the fort from Adilshah. The fort was renamed the Torna Fort.
After escaping from Agra, he built new structures on the fort and renovated it. After Shivaji Maharaj’s death, the Mughals took control of the fort after the assassination of Sambhaji Maharaj. With the strategic efforts from Shankaraji Narayan Sanchiv, the Marathas won the fort again.
In 1704, Aurangazab again captured the fort and renamed it Futulgaib, or “Divine Victory”. After 4 years, the Marathas won the fort again. It was restored to the Maratha Confederacy by the treaty of Purandar. The fort has been an important part of Indian History, especially during the struggle between the Marathas, Mughals and the British.
Torna fort is surrounded by mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. Half of the road towards the fort includes beautiful meadows and lush greenery. The other half includes rock-carved steps. The fort is great for trekkers and is said to have medium difficulty.
The region has a hot semi-arid climate throughout the year. The temperature ranges from 19 to 33 degrees on average. During summers, i.e in the months of April and May, the temperature can go up to 42 degrees. Winters can be extreme, with the temperature going down as low as 10 degrees during the night. It rains heavily during the monsoon season.
How To Reach Torna Fort
The fort is located at an altitude of 4603 feet above sea level. It is located around 50 kilometres from Pune. The base village for trekking is Velhe. From Velhe, it takes around 20 minutes to reach the plateau, and from the plateau to the entrance of the fort, it takes around 2 and a half hours.
Things To Do
The fort is massive and it requires 3 hours to explore the fort. Some of the places to visit in Torna Fort are:
Temple Of Goddess Mengai
Temple Of Goddess Toranjai
Maal and Safeli Bastions
For the fort, you can also get a mesmerizing view of the Rajgad Fort, Raigad Fort, Sinhagad Fort and Lingana Fort.
Best Time To Visit Torna Fort
The best time to visit the fort is post-monsoon when the surroundings are covered with lush greenery. Winters is a great time to visit as well since it's the season for blossoming flowers and the weather is cool as well.
You should definitely visit the Torna Fort since it is one of the best forts in Maharashtra with rich culture and heritage. In Velhe, the base village, we have Mango Forest Agro Tourism - the best agro resort in Velhe with a rustic feel and modern amenities.