Monsoon season is invariably the trekking season, so we decided to head to Lohagad Fort for our 2nd trek of the season. We started a bit late this time; at around 7:30 AM and reached Bhaje village at 8:30 AM.
We planned to park our car at Bhaje village and trek to Lohagad; however if you wish you may drive all the way to Lohagadwadi (Base of Lohagad Fort). Distance between Bhaje village & Lohagadwadi is around 4 KMs. Don’t worry on the parking front as there is ample parking space; at Lohagadwadi as well as at Bhaje village.
As we walked from the Bhaje village towards Lohagad, we could see the Visapur Fort on left and the Lohagad fort on the right. The Bhaje Caves are also on the same road; just take the steps on left as soon as you start from Bhaje village. As you walk on the tar road, make sure you take the shortcuts to cut down on the distance.
It will also gives a decent opportunity for birding as you make way through lovely greenery. After covering around 2-3 KMs, you reach a junction where in a left will take you to Visapur Fort and right leads to Lohagad. There is an open space for parking at this junction as well. Walk for another 1 KM and you reach Lohagadwadi. There are a lot of hotel here, serving Zunka Bhakri, Rice thali, Chicken thali and so on. Strangely the cost was on the higher side; in my past experiences at Sinhagad and Karnala, food was priced very well.
The steps of the fort start from this point. Another 30-45 minutes and you will be atop the Lohagad Fort. It does give some beautiful views of Dudhiware, Pawna Lake, and the Visapur Fort. Also, don’t miss the Vinchu Kata. Its the highlight of this fort and lives up-to the hype.
We were all prepared considering the raining season, but there was not a single drop of rain 🙁 . Thankfully the weather was overcast most of the times, but it did get hot and tiring while returning.
No trip of mine is complete without birding; there was hardly any activity but I did come across the beautiful Malabar Whistling-thrush and the jungle bush quails! The Malabar Whistling-thrush comes pretty close to White-rumped Shama in terms of voice.. very melodious indeed. The way to the fort was pretty much buzzing with its melodious voice.. We also saw the commoners like White throated kingfisher, Bulbuls, Indian blackbird and Jungle babblers.
How to reach:
We took the old Mumbai Pune highway and drove upto Kamshet. As soon as you cross Kamshet, you need to take a left to Malavali Railway Station. Once you cross the railway line, you drive along; cross the express highway and follow the road. The road shall take you Bhaje Village. You can rely on Google Maps; just search for Malavali, select the Old Mumbai-Pune road option.. and follow the route..! Total time from Pimple Saudagar to Bhaje Village is roughly around 1 hour 15 mins.