Hadsar Fort Trek
Hadsar fort trek is a beautiful trail located in Junnar region. One can start a 5 day trek from Naneghat-Jeevdhan-Shivneri-Lenyadri. Hadsar by itself is a medium grade trek in terms of the difficulty level.
Hadsar Fort trek, also goes by the name of Parvatgad fort trek. It was built during the Satvaahanas and was densely populated back then. It is located in the outskirts of Ahmednagar (commonly known as Nagar) to control and monitor the trade route passing through Naneghat. As per historical references, Hadsar was one of the forts traded between Shahaji Raje and the Mughals in the 1637 Treaty.
The gates of the Hadsar Fort are great examples of medieval architecture. Twin doors in a tunnel-like entrance, steps cut out of the rock and the Giumukha design of the doorway is worth exploring. Passing through the main entrance, the route is split into two parts. One of these leads to the top of the hillock and the other to the second doorway. Right after the second doorway a water cistern with potable water can be seen.
Moving towards the raised area in front of the cistern leads us to three huge stores cut out of the cliff’s rock. One can give this a miss though. The rock also has pictures of Lord Ganesh carved on it. On the right, there’s a big pond with a Mahadeo Temple and a small Nandi Temple. The temple hall has six corners. Three corners of the temple has the idols of Lord Ganesh, Garuda (Eagle) and Lord Hanuman on them. During the rainy season, the pond in front of the temple is completely full. A well-like stonewalled structure can be seen in the middle of this pool. A solid bastion lies adjacent to the temple.
A cistern now filled with sandy soil can be seen to the right of the bastion wall. a few metres from here leads us to a carved-out cave in the rock. This was intended to be used as a watchtower.
A number of Sahyadri forts like Chavand, Naneghat, Shivneri, Bhairavgad and Jeevdhan is visible from the top of the Hadsar fort trek. Manikdoh dam and it’s surrounding area can also be seen from the top.
One of the route goes through the royal entrance, while the other has been made by the villagers by carving steps in the rock. Both the trails originate from the Hadsar village. There is a well on the way where one begins to climb the hill from the village of Hadsar.
Walking for a short while to the left on the plateau, a pass between two hills can be seen after 15 minutes. The bastion can be reached in half an hour if we keep walking straight from here. The entrance to the fort can be reached after a quick short rock climb. Two water cisterns carved into the rock can be seen on the way.
To take the other trail, instead of moving in the direction of the pass one has to go around the hill from left and reach the other side. A short distance from this point will take us to the main entrance of the pass. As it is the royal approach, this approach is much easier. It takes only about an hour to reach the fort from this trail.
How to reach
Junnar is well connected to Mumbai and Pune by road. If travelling by public transport, one can take a state transport bus either form Mumbai and Pune and reach Junnar Bus Station. Any bus to Nimgiri, Rajur or Kewada from Junnar will take you to Hadsar within 45 minutes.