Avchitgad Fort Trek
Avchitgad Fort trek is a hill fort surrounded by the beautiful Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra. It resides near the town of Roha in Raigad district. The fort can be seen from Nidi Railway Station which is nearby.
Constructed by the Shilahar kings of the Shilahar Dynasty, the Avchitgad Fort was used by Nizamshah of Ahmednagar. It was eventually taken over by the Maharatha king, Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. According to historical references, Shivaji reconstructed the fort. The work was done in a hurry, thus giving the name Avchitgad, meaning in a hurry. The fort has two bastions in the north and in the south that were used to keep a watch on the surrounding regions.
The Peshwas were the keepers of the Avchitgad Fort till February 1818, after which the Third Anglo-Maratha War took place and Avchitgad Fort as well as other neighboring forts were won over by Colonel Prother.
Avchitgad Fort trek stands talle at a height of 300m. It is at a distance of 118 km from Mumbai, 142 km from Pune, 258 km form Nashik and 303 km from Kolhapur. Villages of Padam-Kharapti, Megha and Pengalsai are the base of the fort.
The summit of Avchitgad Fort provides a beautiful view of the neighboring Talagad, Taila-Baila, Sarasgad, Sudhgad, Raigad, Savashnagad and Ghangad forts and has a temple of the Pingalsai goddess. The fort also has a large 16 sided lake whose water can be used for bathing and washing. There are 6 small cisterns as well that provide potable water. The fort is surrounded by fauna and thick jungle which is home to foxes, monkeys, leopards etc.
The route from Medha has a bastion at the entrance of the fort hat has an inscription written on it. One can come across the temple of Lord Vitthal en route.
The Avchitgad Fort trek can be reached by three ways. All three of them being fairly easy trails.
The first one starting from the village of Padam-Kharapti. The route starts from an old factory residing in the village that takes approximately 2 hours to reach the Southern entrance. The trek goes through the dense forest that surrounds the fort and provides a good experience for hiking and trekking.
The second route is from Medha village.The trail starts from a big well known as Haud. It takes about an hour to reach the front bastion as we ascend through the thick woods.
The third route being the one from Pengalsai village, takes approximately 2 hours to reach the fort.
Even though the Avchitgad Fort is not wide enough, it stretches unto great lengths and it takes a long time to explore the entire fort.
How to reach
The base villages, Padam-Kharapti, Medha and Pengalsai are well accessible by road and can be reached by private vehicle. Pengalsai is 5 km from Mumbai-Roha highway while Medha is 7.5 km.
For public transport, ST buses can be used to reach Roha and from there local private transportation is available to the base villages. There are also ST buses going directly from Roha to Medha village.
By train, the nearest stations are Roha and Nidi from where you can take the public transport to base villages.