Fort Type : Hill Base Village : Junnar, Pune district
Grade : Easy Height : 3500 feet
Distance From Pune : 100 kms
24-Nov-2010 : I was about get married in few months and the group had planned few treks. I didn’t want to go before the big event. But then finally everyone convinced me 🙂 My only condition was lets keep it small trek and close by. So Shivneri fort was finalized.
The fort is in Junnar taluka, and located around 80 kms from Pune. It takes around 2 hours to reach this fort.We were planning to go early in the morning and come back by early evening. Ram also wanted to come back early as he had plans to go to his native village that evening itself. I always wanted to visit this place. Birthplace of Maharaj. Such an inspiring place. We had booked a vehicle and were all set.
We started early. All had assembled at Swargate and arrived more or less on time. On the way we took break near Chakan to have breakfast and then we continued.The road to the fort is not good. The Nashik highway it self is not that good, with much of the section is standard 2 lane highway. We reached at the base of the fort around 9:00 am and immediately started the ascent. The weather was good and surroundings pleasant. The fort had been renovated recently and many things have been restored. There are simple steps to climb all the way to the top. We reached the top in around 1 hour.
We first went to the place where Maharaj were born. The palace still exists. We sat inside it for some time, took few pics. There is one floor constructed above the base floor. We went up there which offers great view from the top.It was just amazing feeling to just be there.
Then we came down from the upper floor and went outside the building. We roamed around a bit. There is a big ambarkhana at the top and visited that place. Then we went to see and take darsan of Shivai mata mandir, from whose name Maharaj were named. We spent some time there and then we started back. On the way back we had nimbu pani. The trek had not been much tiring as it is a short one and the weather was also cool. At one corner under a tree a man was telling stories and powadas of Maharaj. We sat there and listened to him and were completely transported back in time. It was such a great filling to listen to the powadas on this very fort. Truly unforgettable experience.
Then we continued on our way down hill. Few in the group suggested to go to Ozar Ganpati temple which is en route. Ramesh was bit skeptical as he had to reach early to Pune, but we convinced him and went. We had a good darshan. There was plan to go to Lenyadri Ganpati temple. But by now Ramhesh had lost his cool. So we didn’t take any chances and started back towards Pune.
All of us were very hungry by now, so we took a break on the road side dhaba on the highway. The service was very slow, which delayed us further and the food also was not good. It was a very late lunch as the time was around 4:30 pm. As we were delayed on our trip back, the traffic had started building at Ranjan gaon and Chakan areas. We faced heavy traffic on our way back in Pune city as well, till we reached our homes. Ramesh was very angry and upset with us. We finally reached home at 9:00 pm.
We had a great experience. My last trek as bachelor:)
PS: Even after reaching to Pune so late at around 9:00 pm and even after all of us insisting against it, Ramesh still went to his village at night :(. From next time we need to have a water tight plan and need to make sure that we don’t break promises..