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Old 31st October 2013, 10:40   #1
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Default Trek to Purandar Fort

Purandar fort figures repeatedly in the rising of Shivaji against the Bijapur kingdom and the Mughals. Purandhar fort stands 4,472 ft. above the sea (1,387 m) in the Western Ghats, 40 kms southeast of Pune. It actually consists of two forts - Purandar and Vajragad (or Rudramal). The latter is the smaller of the two and is on the eastern side of the main fort. The village Purandar takes its name from this fort. Purandar fort is also known for birthplace of Sambhaji raje Bhosle (son of Chhatrapati Shivajiraje Bhosale).

In 1818, Purandar was invaded by a British force under General Pritzler. On the 14th of March, a British garrison marched into Vajragad the smaller fort. As Vajragad commanded Purandar, the commandant had to accept terms and the British flag was hoisted at Purandar on the 16th March, 1818.
It is also said that Purandar is the broken part of the Dronagiri Parvat which Hanuman was carrying in Ramayana.

During British rule it was used as a prison. A German prisoner Dr. H. Goetz was kept here during World War II. He studied the fort during his stay there and later published a book on it. It major use however was as a sanatorium for British soldiers.

This area also houses an ancient Kedareshwar (Shiva) temple.

Purandhar fort is currently used as a National Cadet Corps Academy & they are building some major training infrastructure there.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purandar_fort

I went to this trek over last weekend as a part of my Organization's Ecology initiatives. We started from Western Suburbs at 11 pm on Friday night & after several pick-up & bio breaks we managed to reach the foot hills of the fort at 6 am in morning. The fort is approx 40 kms from Pune & roads are generally good right till the fort.

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Team briefing, do's & don'ts & warm up session.

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Approach road to the foot hills of the fort.

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The trek leads were expecting the climate to be very hot & we were clearly instructed to carry 2.5 liters of water per head. But luckily due to overnight rains the climate was pleasant & the hills were inviting.

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Last edited by Jignesh : 31st October 2013 at 10:42.
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Old 31st October 2013, 11:07   #2
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

Let me mention here that this was my first trekking experience whatsoever & the experience was really great. It has left me wanting to go on medium grade treks in future.

After lightening our backpacks by leaving the things like extra pairs of clothes in bus we finally started the ascend at 6:45 am.

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Finally the first destination - the Church comes in sight, much to the relief of newbie trekkers.

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The trek continues. Sometimes it was easy walk while sometimes it was little difficult passing through slippery trail due to overnight rains.

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Finally at 7:10 am the Sun appears out of the hills generating a wonderful view of the plains (fields) below & also making trekkers sweat real hard.

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People specially newbie trekkers taking frequent breaks...

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Last edited by Jignesh : 1st November 2013 at 11:14.
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Old 1st November 2013, 11:48   #3
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

The flora & fauna en-route was photographers paradise.

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Attempt to capture colors of miniature flowers through my humble 7 MP camera. It is high time I get a DSLR camera.

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The church is very near now.

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Finally at 7:40 am, after almost 1 hour of trek the Purandar fort is visible.

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As the fort is currently occupied by NCC the entry to the fort is allowed after 8:30 am. The team took this opportunity to rest, re-group & have breakfast (Idli, Thepla & Banana).

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The flora & fauna was mixture of cactus & other normal green plants. The reason for this is one side of Purandar fort gets normal rain fall while other side gets very less rains.

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Last edited by Rehaan : 1st November 2013 at 18:10. Reason: Removing last thumbnail as requested.
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Old 1st November 2013, 17:59   #4
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Travelogues. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st November 2013, 18:58   #5
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

Great TL . So you guys trekked all the way up it seems. You can actually take a vehicle upto the NCC gates. But anyways trekking is more enjoyable, and you hiked at the perfect time - early morning .
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Old 1st November 2013, 21:06   #6
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodge_Viper View Post
Great TL So you guys trekked all the way up it seems. You can actually take a vehicle upto the NCC gates. But anyways trekking is more enjoyable, and you hiked at the perfect time - early morning .
Hello Dodge_Viper,

Thanks.

We we did went all the way up till the temple at 4,472 feet. Further pictures will follow in subsequent posts.

Yes. Vehicles are allowed till NCC gates & there were a couple of school buses that came all the way up.

Also we enjoyed going up during early morning. But while coming down after lunch 1:30 pm was quite an effort. But fortunately hot climate dried all the water on the trek route & it was no more slippery.

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Old 2nd November 2013, 14:52   #7
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

Approximately at 8:40 am we were allowed to proceed further & entered Fort premises. The team took the opportunity for a group picture:

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Little ahead there was the church that was used by Britishers during one of the World Wars.

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Below is what remains of what once a glorious church:

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There was still some climbing to be done before we reach the main fort & the team proceeded ahead.

A very different type of tree:

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Shiva Temple

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Probably some local deity

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Old 2nd November 2013, 15:09   #8
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

Finally we reach the Fort entrance that looks similar to the Murud Janjira fort gates.

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Place that once upon a time fired huge cannons & chased away the enemy.

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This is me

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Probably this is the pole where British flag was hoisted in 1818.

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Wonderful colors of nature

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This was not the end of our trek. Our final destination was a temple high up the hills & the team proceeded further.

The temple visible far away (our final destination)

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With full zoom:

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Construction going on in full swing for NCC training centre (General public is not allowed there)

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Old 2nd November 2013, 15:35   #9
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

Huffing & Puffing the team went ahead

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Some natural source of water which troops may have used it in past

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Construction site now far away

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Much to relief of people like me, the temple seems to be very near now

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Finally approximately at 10 am we reach the Kedareshwar Temple at top of Purandar Fort at 4,472 feet.

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For those who could not trek

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After a 45 minutes break & briefing the team started the decend towards birth place of Sambhaji Maharaj.

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Old 2nd November 2013, 15:46   #10
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

Shivaji Maharaj

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Sambhaji Maharaj

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It was indeed great to hear Sambhaji Raje's heroics & how he managed to come back to power despite all the odds.

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It is said that a Maratha warrior should live a life like Shivaji Maharaj & die like Sambhaji Raje.

After a local (light) lunch of masala rice, pickle & butter milk the team descended quite quickly.

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Old 3rd November 2013, 08:08   #11
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Default Re: Trek to Purandar Fort

Nice narrative and pictures.

Did you see any creepy crawlies? No snakes or small animals or birds?
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Old 3rd November 2013, 11:43   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Nice narrative and pictures.
Did you see any creepy crawlies? No snakes or small animals or birds?
Hello Sudev,

Thank you. Feels good to be appreciate by you.

No. We did not spot any small animals or birds. Also as we were part of our organization's ecology initiative, a trip to places where animals like snakes reside is a strict no no.

Also as this place witnesses very limited rainfall I feel existence of wide variety of animals will not be possible.

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