Kavlya Fort Trek
Kavlya fort trek is one of the least visited forts in Pune, Maharashtra even though it lies in Varandha Ghat which is a famous tourist destination. Varandha Ghat is an important route connecting Raigad in the Konkan and Pune on the Ghats. Kavlya fort was built to overlook this route.
There is not much information about the history of the Kavlya fort. It was built to guard and protect the Varandha Ghat. As the Varandha Ghat pass was frequented by a lot of traders the British Government built a paved the road in 1857. The fort was divided into two parts
Kavlya fort is strategically placed at the border of Pune and Raigad. There is a temple of Waghjai near the gorge at the base of the fort. There is no source of water on the fort, hence trekkers need to carry enough water during the summer months.
There are step at the start of the trail. There is a bastion towards the left once you climb the stairs. There are a few ramparts on the hill in the fort. There are two rock cut tanks, one filled with soil and the other tank has been cleaned by trekkers and has water in it. The water is not potable.
There is a quadrangle built in Ghadiv stone hidden in a caraway tree. The height of the fort is about 1980 feet. Apart from this there’s not much to see on the fort. Much of the fort is actually consumed by a deep ravine and a lot of ramparts may be covered under them.
The bastion offers amazing views of Varandha Ghat, Madhe Ghat, Gopya Ghat, Shevatya Ghat spread in the Sahyadri range. One can easily make out Rajgad, Torna, Raigad forts and Shivtharghal from a distance here.
Many forts suggest that the Kavlya fort trek was divided into two parts due to the Varandha Ghat. The range is divided into the northern section and the southern section due to it’s direction.
The other end of the fort has 8 water tanks which are dug side by side. One of the tanks is adjoined to the other and a trench has been dug to provide water to animals. As these tanks are used by the food vendors on the Ghat, the path is well paved and can’t be mistaken.
The trek starts from the Waghjai temple near the gorge at the base of the fort. At the beginning of the trail there are 15-20 steps in two stages. After climbing these steps, we reach a quarter. There are 10-12 steps leading down to the left side and there is a circular construction of the bastion on the lower side.
A straight path along the edge on the right and the valley on the left can be seen from here. The path is well paved as the villagers cut the grass on the hill for the cattle. Continuing on this path for 15 minutes will reach you to a small hill. From here we can see a Saffron flag hoisted on the bastion at the far end of the fort, continue in that direction.
While descending the hill you can see the ruins of the fort around. You will also see some ruins near the edge of the valley. Crossing the next hill will bring you to the main level of the Kavlya fort. You’ll find the water tanks here. To reach the bastion of the fort, one has to take the trail behind these tanks. It takes an hour to explore the fort.
To go to the southern part of the fort, one needs to head back to the Waghjai temple and continue from there to the upper side of the ghats. Besides the temple there is a 200 feet mound, one needs to trek this to reach a fork. Going towards the left will take you to the 8 water cisterns.
How to reach
It is at a distance of 100 kms from Pune. One has to reach Varandha ghat through Bhor. Once at the Varandha Ghat, one has to locate the Waghjai temple the start point for the trek. It is about 40 kms from Bhor.
If travelling by private vehicle one can park their vehicles at the hair pin bend or ask the local vendors to find a place to park. there is absolutely no security for your parking here.
If travelling by State Transport (ST bus) Pune – Bhor Bus Stand of MSRTC is the closest bus station to reach this spot. Pune station is the nearest station to reach Varandha Ghat road.