Narayangad Fort Trek
Narayangad Fort Trek is a medium level trek, located in Narayangaon in Junnar Taluka, Pune. The top most point of the trek is at 2557 ft ASL. Narayangad is situated in the middle of a flat area close to Junnar Bazaar and Naneghat and makes for a good sightseeing point.
The fort is believed to be built in the Satvahana era. It was used to keep a watch on the Junnar Paithan route. The fort was said to rebuild by the first Peshwa Balaji Vishvanath and service grant to Sayaji Povar. In 1818, after the last war of Maratha Emperor, Narayangad was surrendered to the British Emperor.
There is a tank known as Narayan Take on the fort. It is believed that the idol of Narayana found in the tank on the fort in 1830 AD may have been found in this tank.
Narayangad Fort is a type of a hillfort. The fort trek is a medium grade trek having 2557 feet of altitude from the sea level. The fort is very close to the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope. This telescope is built at Khodad village, which gave great fame to the area of Narayangaon.
As we enter the fort we will be able to see two small hills located at either side of the doorway. On the left hill, there is a temple of Goddess Hastamata which has a properly marked route for villagers. There are two stones carved sculpture of Sharabh and the door-strip carved with a small Lord Ganesh idol. The main hall of the temple’s height is approximately 4 feet high and has a stone carving of Tandala, an idol of Goddess Hastamata.
There is a pillared water tank seen on the way which is named as Narayan tank. Here are remnants of the fortification wall in front of this water tank. There is a beautiful temple of Mukaimata at the foot of the Narayangad fort trek. One can see Shivneri fort in the distance and the Amba Ambalika caves around it.
Next to Narayan Take, there is a Chor Darwaza (thief’s door or hidden door) hidden in the bushes on the side of the valley. It is not accessible because of the bushes exposed way to get there. A straight path leads to the bastion at the eastern end of the fort. At this point you can see the remains of bastions and ramparts. Even though the fort is not very high in terms of heigh, cliffs on 3 sides of the mountain provides it with natural defence.
The Narayangad fort trek is a medium grade trek having 2557 feet of altitude from the sea level. From the base village temple of Mukaidevi, it takes a minimum of 10 minutes to reach the rock-cut steps and 10 minutes more to reach the fort through these steps. There is a small descending path to the left of the temple which takes us to the rock-cut water tanks. It takes at least complete one hour to visit the entire fort.
How to Reach
Once we drive to Pune from Alefata, after 2 km there is a toll booth. After passing this there will be a bridge built over the Kukdi river. Just after the bridge, there is an unpaved path to the left passing by a canal. This path interconnects to the path coming from Narayangaon village and forward leads to the temple of Goddess Mukaidevi at the base village. This is the shortest track to access the fort if the trekkers are boarding from Mumbai. Alefata to Mukaidevi temple on this route is 16 Kms.
Trekkers need to Reach Narayangaon from Alefata. A path opposite to the S.T stand of Narayangaon goes to Khodad village. At 9 km distance on this path, we come across a junction from where the straight path goes to Khodad village and the path to the left goes to the base village Mukaidevi temple. The distance from Narayangaon to Mukaidevi temple on this route is 10.5 km. If we get down on the junction by boarding a bus from Narayangaon to Khodad, it takes a minimum of 30 minutes to reach the base village temple.