Bhivgad Fort Trek
Bhivgad Fort Trek lies in Karjat in the Raigad region. It is a medium grade trek. This trek is also known Bhimgad fort trek or Bheemgad fort trek. The fort does not have much historical significance documented and hence is not visited by many despite being close to Pune.
Not much is known about the history of the Bhivgad Fort Trek. It seems that the fort was used as a strategic watch tower. It is believed to be built during the Satvahana period.
The Bhimgad fort is spread north-south. It lies at an altitude of 850ft above the sea level. The total area on the top of the fort is about 4 acres.
While trekking the fort from the Gaurkamat village, there are steps carved into the stone. It seems likely that this was the main entrance for the fort. To the right of this, two caves are carved on the upper part of the ridge. A frame has been carved on the outer wall of the cave. There is a sculpture of a human and an animal carved outside the cave. The second cave is partially excavated.
There are a total of nine water tanks on the fort. An excavated pillar from the Satvahana period can also be found here. At one end of the fort there is a bastion and ramparts buried in the ground. The front part of the hill is separated from the fort by a 30 to 40 feet deep gorge. There was no access to the fort from here, but the ramparts have now collapsed and the gorge is filled with boulders. One can now climb the fort from here with some level of difficulty. One can see the distant region up to Sondai, Irshalgad, Prabalgad and the Matheran mountain range from the top of the Bhivgad fort trek.
The trail for the Bhivgad fort trek starts near the Gaurmata temple, while keeping Bhimgad fort on the left. One can reach the gorge of Bhivgad withing 15 minutes on this trail. On reaching the gorge, the path on the left side leads to Bhivgad. The fort can be reached in 10 minutes through this pass.
A road from Gaurkamat village leads you to Bhivgad from the top of the hill. This is the main and convenient way to reach the fort. This is the old and main path of the fort and all the remains are on this trail.
There are rock cut steps that leads you to what seems likely as the main entrance of the fort. There are a lot of stones and boulders scattered in this area and there are two caves on the right side of this place. Continuing on this trail will lead you to rock cut steps and eventually the entrance of the fort. The trail continues from the upper side of a water tank which can be found here.
The trail leads you to the Balekilla or the upper fort. On the way to the fort, you can see two cisterns on the slope on the right side, while the path on the back leads to the base of the fort. The fort can be entered through a small gorge. Just before the entrance of the fort, there is a small trail that goes towards the left, if taken it leads to a ancient pillars dug in the rock.
On entering the fort, there are two full and tow partially covered tanks. On the right side there are ramparts of a wall. Going further on the trail, there are remains of a bastion and ramparts buried in the ground. The front part of the hill is separated from the fort by a 30 to 40 feet deep gorge over here as well.
How to reach
Vadap village is at a distance of 5 km from Karjat while Gaurkamat village is 1 km away from Vadap. Both these villages can be reached in half an hour.
If travelling by train, one can reach Karjat Railway station either from Mumbai or Pune and then take an auro-rickshaw from the bridge to Vadap. As it is on the way to Jambhivali, one can cacth an ST bus too from the Karajat railway station.
If travelling by personal vehicle, one can park the vehicle close to the electric pole near the Gaurmata temple. The rest of the way will have to be trekked.