Hanumantgad fort trek
Hanumantgad fort trek lies in the Pune district at a height of 1108 ft ASL. It is adjacent to the Nimgiri fort trek and are separated by a small ravine.
Not much is documented about this fort in terms of history. There are a lot of relics and remains of the fort. It must’ve been used to keep a guard on the Nimgiri fort as it’s entrance can be seen clearly from the Hanumantgad fort.
Nimgiri and Hanumantgad are two forts behind Khandichi Wadi village near Ghatghar. There’s a newly built Kalubai temple in the field just a short distance away from the village. Ancient idols and the remains of the old temple are scattered in the courtyard and on the way.
Further away there is a tower and shelter built by the forest department and path continues between the two. At the end of the path there are steps and a path leads to a cave carved in the Nimgiri hill. The cave is abandoned and was used for surveillance.
There are some steps carved in rock on the Hanumantgad fort trek. The entrance of Hanumantgad and the two adjoining bastions are still standing strong. However the entrance is buried in the ground up to the upper arch. This part of the fort is well fortified.
The highest point of the Hanumantgad fort trek is at an altitude of 3500 feet above sea level. It is situated on two small hills and is spread over 9 acres.
There are many large pools or tanks of water on the fort along with other ramparts. On the left side of the hill, There are ruins of a Chauburji castle which has been excavated recently. There are a total of 9 water tanks on the fort.
There are some old tombs of Mughal architecture, suggesting that the fort was dwelled by Maratha as well as Mughal Sultanate. There is another cave here with a stone carved entrance.
Chavand, Jeevdhan, Hadsar, Harishchandragad and Sindola forts are clearly visible from the top of Hanumantgad fort trek.
The base village for the Hanumantgad fort trek is Khandichiwadi. The trail starts from the primary school in the village and leads you with Nimgiri on the right side of the gorge and Hanumantgad on the left side.
One can see a high voltage pole on the way from the village. This is where the Kalubai temple is. Further to this you’ll see a shelter and a watchtower built by the Forest department, the trail goes between the two. The trail ascends steeply from here to the base of the fort. A small tree has the directions to both the forts nailed to it. At the end of the steps, a path leads to the cave carved in the hills of Nimgiri on the right.
From here it takes about 20 minutes to reach the gorge between Nimgiri and Hanumantgad. On the way to the Hanumant fort on the hill on the left, you have to take some steps carved in the rock. It takes you to the entrance of the fort.
Once through the gates, you can see large pools of water. There are even more tanks on the slope of the hill. Ruins of the fort are visible below the second tank. The ruins of Chauburji castle can be found on the left side of the hill. It takes about half an hour to explore the entire fort and four hours to see both the forts from the base
How to reach
The base village for the Hanumantgad for trek is Khandechiwadi. The easiest way to get here is to reach Junnar from Pune-Mumbai. A road from Manikdoh dam near Junnar takes you towards towards Ghatghar village towards Naneghat. This distance is about 25 km from Junnar and about 10 kms from Hadsar village.
If going from Mumbai, one can go via Kalyan-Murbad by catching any State transport (ST bus) to Alephata or Junnar. Those coming from Pune have no choice but to reach Junnar. At a distance of 2kms after passing Malshej Ghat there is a fork. One has to continue for about 4kms on it to reach a village called Pargaon. From here one can take a road to Khandepadyar via Borwadi-Madh. The same road goes further to Hadsar.
Khandepada or Khandechiwadi, the base village is 7 km from Pargaon. The village road near the base village is in a bad condition and there are no vehicles that reach here. There is only an ST bus that arrives at Borwadi at 2 PM, there are no buses after that.